NFHS(2015-16) indicates that India has progressed in postponement of age at marriage among young cohort of women. However, even today those who get married constantly face social and familial pressure to initiate childbearing soon after the union. Succumbing to these pressures exerts huge health and developmental consequences to them. This paper analyzes the NFHS(2015-16) data to examine weather the unmet need for family planning methods is a relevant indicator to meet the objectives of postponing the first birth beyond 20 years and attaining a minimum 3-year birth interval among married adolescent women(15-18) in India. Our analysis shows that 12% of all births during three-year prior to the survey come from women age<19 years. It finds that demand for initiating childbearing among married adolescent women is quiet high. Additionally, only focusing and addressing unmet need among them by programme mangers may not yield desired results towards achieving the larger policy goal.
Presented in Session 226. Trends, Determinants, Consequences, and Measurement of Unmet Need