Census data reveals that educated Indian mums have fewer kids

Census data reveals that educated Indian mums have fewer kids

The data clearly indicates that the education of girls has led to an accelerating dip in the average number of children they have after they get married

The latest census data has some eye-opening facts to share, especially when it comes to educated Indian mums. The 2011 census data reveals that well-educated Indian mums have half the number of children than the less privileged mums.

The census says that mothers who had no or little education in their early life had 3.8 children on average. However, contrastingly mothers that had a graduate degree or above had 1.9 kids. That’s half the number of children compared to illiterate mothers.

census data

Image courtesy: The Hindustan Times

India had nearly 340 million married women and the average number of children was 3.3, down from 3.8 in 2001and 4.3 in 1991.

What the figures say

The data clearly indicates that the education of girls has led to an accelerating dip in the average number of children they have after they get married. The average number of children are quantified by taking the number of kids that women around 45-49 years have. 40-45 is chosen as it marks the end of the reproductive age.

  • Another striking fact is that while more and more girls are being educated, school drop out rates are on the rise! The enrolment data for 2014-15 put out under the District Information System for Education (DISE) shows that around 13 million girls were enrolled in Class 1, but the number fell to 58 percent to 5.4 million in Class 12. The dropout rates point out that it will take more time for the overall fertility rates to decline.
  • Another point to note in the data is that as the educational level increases, the average number of children falls down. Women who stopped studying after class 8(middle school) have 3 kids on an average, those who dropped out during middle and high school had 2.8 children, and those who studied till class 10 and above had 2.3 kids.
  • The falling fertility rates are also rising, says the census data.
  • There are 96 million illiterate married women who are in the child bearing age, that is, 15-49 years.
  • There are 16 million married women in the same category that have not studied beyond primary level.

However, experts say that there are a number of other factors as well that are responsible for this change such as the mother’s education. More educated women will likely be from better income households and they will likely be married to more educated men.

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