Working Paper No. 76 January, 2009
Fertility trends in India exhibit much spatial variation, with some regions reaching total fertility rates below 2.0 even as others lag far behind with levels above 4.0. The relevant literature is replete with references to the conditions that have promoted or retarded declines in fertility. There is, however, a tendency to regard development and diffusion as exclusive hypotheses in explaining the differential trends. This may be due to the fact that studies generally focus on economic and social development and treat diffusion as an inherent process. This paper is an attempt to enlarge the focus to look at the pace of fertility change in terms of combinations of both development and diffusion factors as explanations for regional variations. It is an exploratory exercise.