It is actual bearing of children. Some demographer prefer the word natality in place of fertility. Facundity is the capacity to have children.
Factors regulating fertility
The following are important factors which regulate fertility. A knowledge of these factors is important in family planning.
- Age at marriage: Early marriage is a long established custom in India. The disadvantage of early marriage are.
- Duration of married life: Maximum child birth occurs in the first 15 year of married life. So efforts for family planning must be concentrated only during these early of married life.
- Spacing of children: Spacing between births reduce fertility rates.
- Education: Educated women give birth to lesser number of children when compared to illiterates.
- Economic status: Fertility decreases with an increase in per capita income. Therefore economic development is considered to be the best contraceptive.
- Caste and Religion: Muslims show higher fertility than hindus. Among Hindus, fertility is high in lower castes.
- Nutrition: It has an indirect effect. Well fed societies show lower fertility rate.
- Family planning: It is an important factor which can lower fertility.
- Other factors: Caltural and social factors like i) position of women in society. ii) value of children. iii) customs and beliefs. iv) widow remarriage. v) industrialization. vi) unbanisation etc. can affect fertility.
Indicators of fertility
Fertility can be measured by a number of indicators. The following are a few important indicators.
- Crude birth rate (CBR): It is defined as the number of live births per 1000 mid – year population in a given year. It is given by the formula: CBR = Total live births during the year/Mid year population x 1000.
- General fertility rate (GFR): It is the number of live births per 1000 women in the reproductive age group (15 to 45 year) in a given year. GFR is expressed by: Total live births/No. of females in the age group of 15-45 year x1000.
- General marital fertility rate (GMFR): It is the number of live births per 1000 married women in a given in the reproductive age group (15 to 45 years).
- Age specific fertility rate (ASFR): It is the number of live births in a year to 1000 women in any specified age group (like 16-20 years, 21-25 years etc).
- Total fertility rate (TFR): It is the sum of all Age specific fertility rate. It is obtained by adding all Age specific fertility rates (like ASFR of 16-20 years+21-25 years+26-30 years….. So on upto 41-45 years). TFR inficates the average number of children a woman will have if she passes through her reproductive years (15-45 years).
- Gross reproduction rate (GRR): It is the average number of girls that would be born to a woman during her reproductive period (15-45 years). This is true if she experiences the same fertility pattern and there is no mortality.
- Net reproduction rate (NRR): It is the number of daughters a new born girl will have during her life time. NRR of 1 is equivalent to attaining 2 child norm. The present level of NRR in India is 1.48 .