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Proximate Determinants of Fertility in Eastern Uttar Pradesh


Bhattacharya, Bishwanath N.; Singh, Kaushalendra Kumar; & Singh, Uttam (1995). Proximate Determinants of Fertility in Eastern Uttar Pradesh. Human Biology, 67, 867-886.


Our main objective here is to examine and discuss the effects of some sociocultural and economic factors on the proximate determinants of fertility in rural areas of eastern Uttar Pradesh (population more than 40 million persons). The region is known for its present demographic trends because the crude birth, death, and infant mortality rates are among the highest for India. The determinants considered are age at marriage of female, postpartum amenorrhea (PPA), fecundability and sterility, and menopause. The sociocultural and economic factors studied are caste, education, breast-feeding status, and social status of the currently married females in the reproductive age group. The study population is predominantly Hindu, among whom caste is a strong indicator of socioeconomic conditions. The average age of the female at return marriage (RM) is below 18 years in each religion or caste group but has been increasing over time. Median durations of breast feeding and PPA differ significantly among various socioeconomic and demographic subgroups. These are longest in scheduled castes and shortest in upper-caste Hindus. As the social status of the household increases, the median durations of breast feeding and PPA decrease. The estimates of fecundability consistently decrease with age, whereas those of sterility increase with age after 35 years. The smallest estimate of sterility is 4%, corresponding to the 25-30-year age group in each religion or caste group. Occurrence of menopause is rare before age 35, and it increases with the age of the female irrespective of religion or caste. However, the risk is minimum for females in upper castes and maximum for those in scheduled castes.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Human Biology


Bhattacharya, Bishwanath N.
Singh, Kaushalendra Kumar
Singh, Uttam