This book, situated at the interface of history and demography, reconstructs demographic changes in southern India from 1881 to 1981. It measures and maps fertility changes keeping in mind the trends in the present, the concerns of the past processes and trajectories, and the spaces within which changes have taken place. Population and fertility change is thus analysed beyond the narrow confines of purely demographic variables with crucial emphasis on concrete historical contexts. The work also provides, for the first time, data on mortality, fertility and nuptiality, at the district level.
A pioneering study, it critically reviews the historiography on demography, in particular fertility change, and provides a detailed annual series of corrected population statistics for a full century. Applying conventional methodology to hitherto underutilised registration data, the author shows the dynamic trends in demographic change and their links to the larger changes in the political and economic spheres. Further, he identifies key determinants of fertility by analysing the interconnections between different demographic variables.
For the first time since Kingsley Davis’ seminal work on the historical demography of the subcontinent, The Population of India and Pakistan (1952), this study comes as an invaluable reference for students and scholars of history, demography and population studies.
List of Tables and Figures
List of Maps
Foreword by Tim Dyson
2. Making Sense of Colonial Artefacts
Database and Correction Procedures
3. Contexts of Demographic Change
4. Demographic Trends
5. Determinants of Fertility Change in Southern India
Ravindran Gopinath is currently Professor at the Department of History and Culture, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. He does research on Indian economic history with a focus on southern India.