Why are uneducated women in India using contraception? A multilevel analysis

Popul Stud (Camb). 2003;57(1):21-40. doi: 10.1080/0032472032000061703.


While women's education continues to be strongly associated with lower fertility in India, an important feature of India's current fertility transition is the spread of contraceptive use among uneducated women. Indeed, changes in their fertility are now making the major contribution to the country's overall fertility decline. We use multilevel statistical procedures to investigate the variation in contraceptive use among uneducated women across India. The analysis suggests that, while many of the expected socio-economic variables play their part, there are also considerable diffusion effects in progress, many of which operate at levels beyond the uneducated women's own individual circumstances. For example, we find significant relationships with others' use of contraception and others' education. Mass media exposure also emerges as an important diffusion channel. The multilevel analysis also reveals significant clustering of contraceptive use at different levels, much of which is accounted for by the variables included in the models.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Contraception / history*
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • India
  • Patient Education as Topic / history*
  • Women's Health*