Institute for Social and Economic Change

Working Paper: 316

Role of Fertility in Changing Age Structure in India:
 Evidence and Implications

C M Lakshmana



This paper examines the role of fertility-decline in changing the age structure of population in southern states of India in recent decades, particularly of children, youth, adults and elderly. In recent decades, there has been a continues decline in fertility and mortality rates in India in general, and south Indian states in particular. However, fertility remains relatively high among the less educated and poorer segments of society as well as rural population mainly due to their poor socio-economic development status. This finds reflection in the changing age structure of population in India in general and markedly in south India. On one hand, declining fertility in the last three decades has brought about remarkable decline in the number children in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, on the other, a mere reduction of TFR in Kerala and Tamil Nadu has resulted in significant increase in the size of elderly population in the state. However, the increase in the share of youth population attributed to fertility change was comparatively high in Andhra Pradesh during the decades under review.

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