Pakistan Institute of Development Economics



The Demand for Fertility Control in Pakistan

The shift from high to low fertility during the process of modernisation may occur through a reduction in the demand for children and an increase in deliberate fertility control behaviour of individuals. This, in tum, depends on couple’s positive attitudes and willingness to adopt contraception and the easy availability and accessibility of the means of fertility regulation. In social settings like Pakistan where the desire for large family size exists and deliberate family limitation is not very common, it is of great importance to study the process of making family size choices and assess the demand for fertility control which are very likely to influence the future prospects of fertility change. A recent study in reviewing population policy and family planning programme effectiveness in a number of Third World countries including Pakistan has stressed on the immediate need to estimate the potential demand for services and the extent of such demand in specific areas and subgroups of population [Freedman (1987»). The findings from WFS data on fertility desires for many developing countries also suggest that if women fully implement their stated desire for children and restrict themselves to wanted births, substantial decline in fertility is likely to occur in a majority of countries and unlikely in only a few [Lightboume (1988»). Such findings are important in the context of Pakistan’s fertility situation where a significant number of women want to stop childbearing and speculation about a substantial decline in fertility exists.

Naushin Mahmood, G. M. Zahm

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