Tibetan Fertility Transitions in China and South Asia



The own-children method, an indirect technique, is used to estimate fertility rates for two populations of Tibetans during the 1980s and 1990s: a sample of rural villages in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China and exiles living in India and Nepal. The analysis provides evidence that these two populations underwent remarkably similar fertility transitions in both timing and magnitude. In both cases total fertility rates declined from over six births per woman to below the level of replacement in a span of 15 years. The parallel nature of these fertility transitions is intriguing given that, although the populations share a common ethnic identity, they have lived under sharply differing political, economic, and social conditions since the 1960s.