Women's education, family planning, or both? Application of multistate demographic projections in India

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Article (peer-reviewed)

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Is education the best contraceptive? Using the multistate human capital projection model, our analysis shows that the projected changes in India population vary depending on investments in education and helping women reduce unwanted fertility rates, that investments in both education and helping women in each education category—but particularly less educated women—meet their wanted fertility will have the largest impacts on India's population projections, and that the impact from investment in reducing unwanted fertility will be much more immediate and significant than only investments in education. Our analysis also reveals that an increasing education transition rate in India will not only help to achieve a population age structure that is favorable for economic growth, but also result in a larger share of skilled labor force that help to achieve higher economic growth rate. More importantly, investment in girls' education and achieving gender equality in education will be the most effective measure to increase India's population education level and improve its overall values of human capital.