Schooling opportunities for girls as a stimulus for fertility change in rural Pakistan

Document Type

Article (peer-reviewed)

Publication Date



This article explores many possible factors explaining the diversity of family-building experiences prevalent in rural Pakistan using primary data collected for this purpose in rural Punjab and Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP). In particular, we emphasize the status of primary schooling in the community as a factor of policy significance. Both provinces appear to be on the leading edge of the demographic transition in Pakistan if measured on the basis of recent rapid increases in contraceptive practice: among provinces in Pakistan, Punjab has the highest contraceptive prevalence levels, and NWFP experienced the most rapid rise in contraceptive use in the early 1990s. Our goal was to visit a range of rural villages or communities that reflect diverse socioeconomic and schooling conditions to explore the possible links between the schooling environment at the community level and family-building patterns. Section II discusses the development of hypotheses about the possible links between primary school access and quality and family-building behavior in the Pakistani context. Section III is a brief review of the empirical literature on modeling the determinants of family-planning practice, our indicator of family-building strategies. Section IV introduces our data, and Section V presents the results of our multivariate analysis.