E-journal of All India Association for Educational Research (EJAIAER)


    VOL.20                            Nos:  3 & 4                 September & December, 2008




Pranab Barua                                                                       

Jiten Hazarika


The three prime demographic parameters viz. - fertility, mortality and migration depend on many socio-economic variables like- urbanization, economic condition, role of religion, family system, occupation of the couple, social status of the women, political factors and education. All of them have strong impact on the all three above mentioned demographic parameters and education being one of them also has influence on the demographic parameters. Education and fertility have close relationship. It is because of the following reasons. Educated women are quite conscious of having a limited family size. At an age when there have very bright chances of having good fertility, the girls are in the colleges and university and thus do not get children, while during this period uneducated girls get. In many cases educated women get employed and with employment they cannot afford to have more children. Span of child producing time in the case of educated women is much less, as compared with illiterate women. Similarly education has role on mortality and migration. The educated persons are more conscious as well as aware of the health problems and so mortality is less among them. Education is one of the important factors in the push-pull theory of migration. Educated persons are often welcome at the source of destination because of their skill as well as eligibility. On the other hand, uneducated persons are not sought at the place of destination and so they have to stay at the place of origin, even against their will.  



The broad objective  was to trace the cause of abnormal high population growth prevailing among the inhabitants of CHAR areas of western and middle Assam.




In-spite of launching several schemes by the Assam government for upliftment of the people living in the CHARS , the socio economic  condition  of the  people  living  in  these areas of western and middle Assam (Nalbari and Borpeta are two districts located in this part of Assam), as a  whole  is worse  than the  socio –economic  condition  of people  living  in other parts  of Assam , even Majuli (a CHAR in Jorhat district). So far as socio-economic and demographic factors are concerned, no significant differences are observed between the people living in Majuli and people living in other parts of Assam, thus Majuli is a. proper representative of Assam, regarding socio-economic as well as demographic parameters of the people living there in. This backwardness is resulting a very high growth of population among the inhabitants of CHAR areas of western and middle Assam.  Again, growth is a comparative term and comparison is either time relative or space relative. As in this case,   time series data for the specific study area was totally  unavailable,  there  was no option left other than accepting cross section data.  Majuli is also a CHAR. However as the objective of the paper is to study the impact of education on mortality and fertility behaviour so, information gathered from Nalbari. Borpeta and Jorhat are presented all together for analysis purpose. To get a clear picture of the poor demographic situation prevailing there in the CHAR areas of Nalbari and Borpeta districts of Assam first let us have a look on the Crude Birth Rate (C.B.R.) and Crude Death Rate (C.D.R.) of these people along with the all India figure. C.D.R. and C.B.R. respectively denote death and live birth per thousand people of a specific population in a specific period. C.B.R. of either Generals and O.B.C. of Majuli or S.C. and S.T. of Majuli has been found less than all India figure, whereas that for the inhabitants of CHAR areas of Nalbari and Borpeta districts has been found more than it. Thus the fertility of the inhabitants of CHAR areas of Nalbari and Borpeta districts has been noticed more than all India average. It can be said that like fertility, mortality condition of the inhabitants of CHAR areas of Nalbari and Borpeta districts has also been worst and it is the fact that until mortality condition is not improved, fertility condition cannot be improved i.e. population growth cannot be checked. Now, as the mortality condition has been found worst for the inhabitants of CHAR areas of Nalbari and Borpeta districts so there is nothing wrong for their high fertility behaviour. But when this mortality condition has been compared with all India average, then it has been observed that for all of these three groups the mortality condition is worse, as the C.D.R. of India during 2001 is 8 per thousand


To measure the role of education on fertility and mortality, educational attainment of the female has been considered as the indicator of education, on the other hand infant mortality (mortality within the first year of life), marital fertility (fertility of married female i.e. only legitimate births are considered) and usual fertility are employed as indicators of mortality and fertility. Regarding infant mortality, percentage of infant died /alive is computed. Again average children ever born per married female is calculated to measure the impact of education on marital fertility. On the other hand-Age Specific Fertility Rate (A.S.F.R.) and Total Fertility Rate (T.F.R.) are calculated to measure the impact of education on fertility. Where A.S.F.R. for the age group (x- x+5) is defined as 5mx = (Births to females in the age group (x- x+5))/ (Females in the age group (x- x+5)) and T.F.R is defined as 5x? 5mx.



Following are the findings based on above stated technique. It was found that literacy of mother distinctly reduces the risk of infant mortality in comparison to illiteracy. So by improving the educational system a check on mortality can be made. Interestingly regarding fertility and educational status (based on highest qualification of the female) it has been observed that fertility is more or less low for illiterate, as revealed by A.S.F.R. or T.F.R. However in the very early age group (15-19 years), the fertility of illiterate female is highest except the females having education up to class –IV (L.P.), which is almost expected since basically there is no distinction between an illiterate married female and a female married just after pursuing education up to class-IV. On the basis of T.F.R. it is seen that the illiterate females have had the least fertility, the possible reason of this might be that, a small portion of female is within the literate group   and all of these small section might be involved in the process of reproduction. it has been seen that for all the age groups   number of females has been less for literates than illiterates and so all of this small section might be involved in the process of reproduction. However as the percentage of illiterate female is much larger than the literate female so a small fertility of these illiterate females might result in more absolute number of births. when educational attainment has gone up, marital fertility has gone down. Thus it can be said that fertility can be checked by imparting more and more education.



From this study it can be said that imparting education is very much necessary there in these areas (CHAR areas of Nalbari and Borpeta districts) because, fertility and mortality is very high in these areas and checking these high fertility and mortality is the very need of the time. Moreover by imparting education this can be done there in these areas, because it has been observed that education has positive impact on fertility and mortality reduction in these areas also.