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Age of Marriage of Women and Population Growth: The Kerala Experience

Leela Gulati
Economic and Political Weekly
Vol. 11, No. 31/33, Special Number: Population and Poverty (Aug., 1976), pp. 1225+1227+1229+1231+1233-1234
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4364831
Page Count: 6
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Age of Marriage of Women and Population Growth: The Kerala Experience
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Abstract

In Kerala increase in the age of marriage by itself did not bring down the number of children a woman had. It was the reduction in infant mortality, due partly to the shift in the age of marriage but largely to improvement in medical and public health facilities, which improved the child survival rate and this in turn seems to have influenced the number of children a woman wanted to have. What Kerala really shows to the rest of India is the need to combine all these factors and, of course, female education. It also cautions us against relying only on raising the age of marriage to reduce the rate of growth of population because, going by Kerala's experience, higher age of marriage alone might well lead to higher rates of growth of population, at least in the immediate future.

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