Determinants of Fertility: A Study on the Tea Garden Labour Community of Assam

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Arupanjali Borah , Amarjyoti Mahanta


This study examines the levels and determinants of fertility among the tea garden labour community of Assam. The determinants of fertility are highly specific to the context of the populations that live under diverse socio-economic backdrop. Living in the vicinity of tea estates, the tea garden labour community has developed unique socio-cultural and economic characteristics. Applying multiple regression on the data collected from 1304 tea garden labour community households, selected randomly from 23 sample tea estates, the study finds that female age at marriage, ever use of contraceptives and duration of breast feeding are the significant proximate determinants of fertility. Likewise, education of wives, per capita family income, place of work of the husband, infant and child mortality experience and desired family size are the significant background determinants of fertility. Thus, the socio-demographic and economic characteristics of the tea garden labour community have impact on their fertility level. While education of the wives has significant negative impact on fertility, husbands’ education is not found significant. The place of work of the husbands is a significant determinant but that of the wives is not a significant predictor of their fertility. Infant and child mortality affects fertility, but it has not promoted fertility by shortening the period of post-partum amenorrhea. Reproductive health awareness and popularization of family planning services can be effective strategies to regulate fertility. Female education should receive priority in the development programmes.

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