A Re-examination of Fertility Transition in Pakistan

Ghulam Yasin Soomro


Pakistan is passing through an early stage of fertility
transition. The slow-paced transition has been analysed in an earlier
study done by Sathar and Casterline (1998), which concludes that the
increase in the levels of prevalence has accelerated the fertility
transition in Pakistan and as a consequence marital fertility has
declined. However, this claim is not supported by the relevant
statistics. A re-examination reveals that the effect of contraception is
the lowest in the decline of fertility. The rise in marriages and
breastfeeding has played a significant inhibiting role in the decline of
fertility and marital fertility has remained constant. The structural
adjustment programme (SAP), initiated in late 1980s, has led to more
poverty and the proportion of never-married has increased in Pakistan as
revealed by the Population Census 1998. Labour force participation by
the females increased in the post-SAP period. The new economic situation
appears to be indirectly responsible for the decline of fertility, and
it appears to be consistent with the Malthusian macro theory of

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.30541/v39i3pp.247-261


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