Timing of first birth in India
Date of Issue2009
This study examines the timing of first birth in India using data from the third round of National Family Health Survey (NFHS-3) conducted in 2005-6. Transition to motherhood occurs at a relatively early age in India. Though age at marriage has a significant influence on timing of first birth, the relationship is far from linear with women marrying at a very early age having a late age at first birth. Despite wide variations in fertility levels among the states, the relationship between marriage age and age at first birth is remarkable similar. Education has a limited influence on the first birth interval. Much of the influence of education on timing of first birth is because educated women delay marriage. In India timing of first birth exerts only a modest influence on completed fertility at both the aggregate (state) and individual level.