a project on fertility
transition in South India

  The project
  The Team




South India Fertility Project


The aim of the project is to analyse the social and economic dimensions of demographic change through the study of spatial heterogeneity of fertility in South India (200 m. inhabitants), a region in the developing world where fertility decline has been extremely rapid in the last twenty years.


The project consists in a combined statistical and spatial study of fertility differentials at different scales, using computerized Census data supplemented with fieldwork primary data.
The project starts with the constitution of a large database covering all localities of South India (social, demographic, economic, and infrastructure indicators). Simultaneously, data have been digitized on regional geo-referenced maps. This leads to a variety of thematic mapping, for different zones and attributes, and at different scales. Some micro-regions were later selected for intensive analysis with complementary fieldwork.



The project's feasibility rests on the following dimensions:

  • High heterogeneity of fertility levels in South India due to the rapid, but unequal spread of fertility decline.
  • Availability of computerized data from the 1991 Census of India at the lowest administrative level (village, urban ward).
  • Availability of fertility-related measurements from the Census of India
  • A network of researchers with expertise on all South Indian regions
    the capacity of the French Institute to process large statistical and spatial information bases.



Its relevance derives from the following:

  • current interest in economic vs. socio-cultural factors in fertility decline
  • pioneering role of GIS (geographical information system) in the identification and modelling of spatial phenomena
  • Combined statistical and spatial analysis
  • New demand for micro-level data and analyses to monitor demographic transformations


More about the project

More detail about the project implementation are found elsewhere on this site:

Schedule, Phase 1, Phase 2.