Determine The Relationship Of Female Education On Family Size Economics Essay

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The objective of this study is to determine the relationship of female education on family size and also to determine the effects of education on age at marriage, desired family size, use and knowledge of contraception.

Education and knowladgee about birth control measurs may result in increasing use of contraceptives and reduction in fertility. Female education mostly results in increased age at first marriage, which as a result reduces the pregnancies, and being more aware of available contraceptive methods helps in limiting family size.

Educated women are more likely to marry later and use contraception thus have fewer children. Improving educational status of women is one very effective measure for controlling population growth in developing countries like Pakistan. Female literacy and awarenes about birth control and benefits of small femaily should be increased systematicly, to have an effect on family size.

Key Words: Female literacy, family size, age at first marriage, , knowledge of contraceptives.


. The importance of education for woman has been accepted world wide, as it improves their earning ability and empowers them in deciding about their family size, and other family decisions. As the empirical studies from the different American regions has shown that the educated women delay marriages, use contraceptives, reduce fertility and produce many other beneficial Reproductive and child and mother health outcomes studies conducted in UK have shown that the women with the higher education level even after marriages undergo in motherhood very late and even many of them adopted to stay childless, which reduces the fertility rate and the population growth rate in the those regions. low rate of child birth not only helps families in controlling there expenditures and help them attaining the high level of health, and education facilities for there family which leads in reducing the child labor in 3rd world countries like Pakistan where the child labor is in horrible condition, lesser facilities of education and low employment opportunities leads the people putting there child in work to add a little more to there family income.

Pakistan has a population of over 180 million and a growth rate of over 1.8 percent per year. It is the 6th most populous country in the world and 2nd in the Muslim countries. Due to that rapid increase in population it is far behind its targeted development and goals. Education may lead to late marriages and wider use of contraception and reduction in fertility, also education effect the social life of women by increasing desire for highr living standards. By providing better understanding of the reproductive process, and improved access to modern and effective means of contraception it can be assumed that the fertility level of a country will be negatively effected by the level of female education.

Female education reduces the unwanted pregnancies by increasing age at first marriage, and by becoming more aware of available contraceptives methods limiting family size. Evident from many countries, education seem to encourages women to marry men with higher incomes (a phenomenon that in society of Pakistan result in late marriages which in turn reduces fertility rate). Education also pays in economic terms for women, by allowing them going out of their houses and work in different sectors of the country. And the working women will desire small family so they can easly handle the family matters as well as the officel matters.

This study was carried out to found the effect of literacy on family size in our society.

Research question

Keeping in view the historical studies this study attempts to find out the following question.

Does increase in education affect the family size by reducing the fertility rate?

Literature review

Lam and Duryea (1999) use data from the Brazilian economy to explore the

Effects of schooling on fertility, labor supply and investments in children.

They observe that education women are drawn into the labor force by higher wages. The second margin revolves around the adjustment that has to be made in terms of child quantity and quality that result from the effects of schooling on home productivity.

The World Bank (1995a), writing on demographics and labor supply, notes that although no direct link exists between economic development and women's labor force participation, rapid development is often accompanied by higher female participation, higher levels of schooling for girls and lower fertility rates.

In this context labor market conditions are also relevant. For example, migration reduces the domestic supply of male labor, inducing the entry of women into the labor force. Also, the economic downturn of the 1980s had an impact on women's participation, which tends to rise with recessions in low-income countries

Mackellar and Bird (1997) note that demography and labor force participation are inextricably linked and should therefore be considered together. From their perspective, what happens to fertility affects women's labor force participation and vice-versa. They observe that in less developed countries, ageing is increasing the size of the labor force: the proportion in the middle age group remains constant and population is redistributed, statistically speaking, from the under-15 age group, where labor force participation is very low, to the 60-plus age group, where labor force participation is substantial, especially in countries with low incomes.

Schultz (1994), writing on human capital, family planning and their effects on

Population growth, finds evidence at the household level suggesting that fertility and

Child mortality is related to such factors as women's education and family planning.

Female Labor Force Participation in Ghana: The Effects of Education In such models of family resource allocation and behavior, women's educational attainment and family planning programs are seen to result in reductions in fertility as well as in child mortality.

In an earlier work on fertility, Rosenzweig and Schultz (1985) point out that fertility within the household is determined by the dynamic interaction between its supply of and demand for births, and variations in birth across households reflect exogenous

inter couple differences in both the supply of births and the prices, income and preferences for children or demand

Although the World Bank and others have accepted the argument that investment in female education pays off through higher social benefits, this calculation has been contested. Berhman (1991) states that the externalities to female education are not as great as is often claimed and are actually realized as private benefits. Furthermore, he argues that child health and welfare and fertility reduction might be gained in a more cost-effective way by spending directly on child health and family planning rather than on female education

Problem statement

The higher education levels have a greater impact on family size and the fertility rate.

Significance of the study

This study will be helpful in understanding the importance of education in controlling the population growth rate fro the government authorities and the concern departments.

Problem statement

the higher education level has negative effects over fartility rate and family size.


A sample of One hundred women were selected from the Satellite Town of quetta . The inclusion criterion was married females with children. Data was collected through convenience sampling where all information was recorded in a proforma. The educational status of females was an independent variable while dependent variables were age at marriage, family setup, education level, attained and desired family size, knowledge and use of family planning and her thoughts about female education. and level of education is defined as: matric and above . Main outcome measures considered were "educational status of female, desired and attained family size.

Computer programme Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 17 was used for data processing and analysis of the results. Test of significance (chisquare test) was applied to analyse the statistical significance of results. Co-efficient of contingency was applied in order to measure the strength of the relation ship between female education and fartility .


Ho: There is no relationship between higher education of wife and change in family size i.e. the two variables of classification are independent.

H1: There is an association between higher education of wife and change in family size i.e. the two variables of classification are not independent

Table No. 1 (b)

Testing of Hypothesis of Satellite Town Sample

"The Contingency Table"

Family Size

Educational Level








Below Matriculation




Above Matriculation




Grand Total





X² Calculated value = 12.168

Degree of freedom = (r-1)(c-1)= (3-1)(2-1)= 2

Level of Significance=  = 0.05 (we choose)

X² tabulated value at (2 df) = 5.99

Co- efficient of contingency = 0.4


As the calculated valve of X² falls in rejection rejoin, we therefore reject our null hypothesis of independence and conclude that data provide sufficient evidence of association between the two criteria of classification.

The Co-efficient of contin agency is 0.4 which shows that there is moderate relationship between higher education of wife and change in family size.

Hence the hypothesis "Higher is the education of wife, the greater will be the change in the family size" approves for Satellite Town sample.


The Co-efficient of contin agency is 0.4 which shows that there is moderate relationship between higher education of wife and change in family structure (size) which showes that education affects fertality rate and family size, by increasing the age at marriage and thus reduces the fertality rate .

In the currents study keeping in view the caltural ans social tresetions of quetta showed that the rise in education levels showed a incresing awarenes about different contraceptive methods and rise the use of these and specially the use of intrauterine contraceptive device and this was also reported by Zhan.11 Females advocating small family size unanimously agreed that better educational and upbringing opportunities for child are the reason for smaller families. Most (87%) had the knowledge about family planning and media played the strongest role for disseminating this information in 75 (57.7%) women. In he present study 92 (61%) couples were taking mutual decisions on their reproductive life. Attitude about female education showed a slow transition with parents gradually becoming aware of need to educate girl child as well.

Among educated females only 16.3% had large family size as compared to 90% uneducated who had large family size, though most of the illiterate women also favoured small family size. Deficit fertility gap between desired and actual number of children was greater in illiterate than in educated females and similar was reported by Zaki.12