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What evidence exists that draws links between secondary education (reproductive/child health/female empowerment) and reduced fertility in India, and more broadly in Bangladesh / Asia?
The report has sections on the following areas:
- Education and Fertility
- Education and Fertility in India and the Region
- Economic Returns to Women’s Education in India
- Education and Reproductive Health Initiatives
- Adolescent Reproductive Health Programmes
In reviews of regional and global studies:
- Women with primary education tend to have higher fertility than women with secondary–plus education, and women with no schooling tend to have higher fertility than women with primary education.
- Women with a secondary education are much more likely to perceive that they have greater autonomy, which in turn leads to greater control of reproductive decisions.
- In some of the least developed countries, basic education may have a positive effect on fertility, but the fertility enhancing impact of school has become increasingly rare.
In India-specific studies:
- Female education has a negative and significant effect on the fertility rate, but there are complex routes to India’s demographic transition.
- There is evidence to show that India’s fertility decline is now being driven by illiterate women.
- However, education continues to be central to this decline.
- A changed direction of causality must be considered: Fertility is also becoming driven by Educational decisions.
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