A Geographical Analysis of Fertility Status of Khorasan Razavi Province



Extended Abstract
If the population of a region has internal and external balance, it can reach higher levels of development and power. One of the most important and effective internal variables is the situation of population fertility. The main purpose of this article is standardization and spatial analysis of fertility differences in Khorasan Razavi Province, based on the data collected in 2006. The method for this analysis is descriptive-analytical along with suitable statistical tests. The results of this research show that the border counties with their Sunni sect population have a significant fertility difference with the counties that are not located in the border regions and the same issue has caused that in a larger scale, the fertility of the province has a significant difference with all over the country. The results of the tests have applied significances, and this is because of the similarity of the standardized and general fertilities of the counties. According to correlation test, independent variables such as the ratio of poverty, literacy, population size, social development indicator and the rate of immigrants entering from other provinces, have a significant relation with the rate of fertility. In the multivariant regression model, the two variables of poverty and literacy have entered into the equation. So, it is very important to consider these two variables, especially in the counties of Khaaf, Taaybaad and Torbat-e-Jaam.
Iran is a significant example of prevailing realistic in history, because contrary to last prevailing procedure from implementation of population control methods, Iran has highest level in Islamic countries (Roudi Fahimi, 2004, 6I ). Of course, regardless of claims such as opposition of Islamic fundamentalism to birth control (Getis et al, 2006, 212) ,Islam has never forbidden prevention of pregnancy (Fillmann et al, 2005, 1071).
However, the Muslim theocracy of Iran has endorsed a range of contraceptive procedures and developed one of the worlds most aggressive family planning programs (Getis et al, 2006, 212).
In the third stage of the demographic transition, birth rates begin to fall in response to lower death rates, urbanization, and other changes associated with modernization. Fertility falls in modern societies as women derive statues from activities other than childbearing
and motherhood Children in modern societies become economically active at much later ages than those in agrarian societies and marry later (Kuby et al.2004, 112).
Regardless of this, study of fertility spatial patterns due to regional differences is necessary and attractive. For example, in course of time, due to welfare state order, negative relation of fertility and women eco7nomic partnership in Denmark and Sweden has been weakened (Billari and Kohler, 2004, 164).
Conventional economic theory predicts that increases in the wage rate of women has lead to increases in women s labour force participation and decreases in fertility owing to increased opportunity costs of children in combination with a low income elasticity of the number of children.
A negative association between fertility and migration may exist because of selectivity, disruption, or adaptation. Selectivity implies that migrants are different from non-migrants
in many ways, both observable (i.e. education and age) and unobservable (i.e. motivation), that lead migrants to have lower fertility that non-migrants (Jensen and Ahlbury, 2004, 219).
Fertility studies in Iran have proved fertility relation with level of women literacy (www.nocrir.com), increase of marriage age, women employment and urbanization (Novrozi, 1998, Rashidi, 2000, Ghodrati, 2005).
Province of Khorasan Razavi due to ethnical and religious variety, having a long boundary with Afghanistan and Turkmenistan and specially high and heterogeneous rate of births- 20 per 1000 and 1.88 to 3.7 total fertility- has particular appeal for fertility studies.
In this research, following hypothesizes based on a formal census of 2006, have been
- There is any significant difference between rates of general fertility with standardized
fertility of counties of province.
- There is significant difference from fertility between frontier and non-frontier counties.
- Fertility rate has a reversed relation with urbanization, literacy and acceptance of migrant and direct relation with poverty.
Calculation and comparison of general and standardized fertility rates indicates that there is a relatively complete proportion between thent In the other words, age structure of population had no influence on fertility rates so that fertility is affected by other factors.
Based on spatial analysis one can say that difference of frontier and Sonian counties such as khaf, Torbatjam and Taibad with other 16 counties is completely obvious. Value of t-test equal with 2.73 for total fertility and value of F-test(7.8) are indications of significant differ ce of them with other counties. Maxirnum total fertility (2.3 to 3.7 children) in khaf, Torbatjam, Taibad, Serakhs and Daregaz, respectively and minimum of that in center of province (Mashhad, 1.88 children) is considerable.
Correlation coefficients between dependent variable (fertility) and independent variables have proved third hypothesis to a large extent. The only exception is lack of fertility and urbanization relation due to generality fertility control in villages.
In Multivariable Regression Model for analysis of the effects of independent variables on total fertility, two variables of poverty and literacy were included in equation. Based on R-square, nearly 40 percent of total fertility changes is determined by literacy variable and 21.5 percent of that by poverty variable.
Due to relative homogeneity of population age structure, rates of general fertility are not significant different with standardized rates of counties. So multivariable regression and correlation tests are important to identify affecting factors on fertility.
Based upon the results of Regression Model, emphasis on the promotion of literacy level and decrease of poverty by means of increase of knowledge, information, skills and self-reliance of families, is not avoidable.
The basic changes should be aimed environmental-social justice, and approaches such as empowerment women, ethnics and democracies enhancement (Cunningham, 2006, 77), particular in Khaf, Taibad and Torbatjam counties.