Pakistan Institute of Development Economics



Evidence of Fertility Decline in Karachi

From most accounts of demographic transition in other societies it is expected that fertility is more likely to undergo changes in urban areas and these differences in reproductive behaviour will permeate only at a later stage to rural areas. In the light of the persistently high rate of population growth in Pakistan, fertility levels have acquired acute importance. Growth rates have been found to be ever higher in the urban areas of Pakistan and are estimated to be over 4 percent per annum as compared to a growth rate of 3 percent for Pakistan as a whole. The higher urban rate of growth has been attributed both to lower mortality and higher marital fertility in urban areas in combination with substantial rural to urban migration. Whereas in most societies, urban fertility is found to be lower than rural fertility (Alam and Casterline 1983) this was not the case for Pakistan. Earlier findings based on the Pakistan Fertility Survey 1975 and the Population Labour Force and Migration Survey 1979′ both found that urban marital fertility exceeded rural marital fertility whereas, the total fertility rate as an outcome of later marriage patterns urban areas, was slightly lower than in rural areas [A1am el (II. (1983); Sothor (1979)).

Afifa Akhtar, Zeba A. Sattar

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