Abstract

A correlation analysis of data on four fertility variables viz. closed birth interval, open birth interval, age and parity, collected in a survey of about 2,000 married women in the reproductive ages in rural India, is carried out in order to study the interrelationships among these variables. Two hypotheses are formulated governing the relationship of the closed and open birth intervals with the fecundability distribution of fertile women, and Parity Progression Ratios which are largely influenced by the proportion of women becoming sterile after each parity. The data lend support to the hypothesis that while the closed intervals are influenced mainly by the distribution of fecundability of women of non-zero fecundability, the open birth intervals are influenced mainly by Parity Progression Ratios or the proportion of women becoming secondarily sterile after each parity. The analysis suggests that we can use the mean open intervals of women classified by parity as indices of fertility, and such an index is comparable to the index of average age of women of given parity. In areas where it is difficult to ascertain the correct age of women this might be of practical value.

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