Volume 25 - Article 17 | Pages 545-564

The potential impact of intermarriage on the population decline of the Parsis of Mumbai, India

By Zubin Shroff, Marcia C. Castro

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Date received:01 Mar 2011
Date published:26 Aug 2011
Word count:5610
Keywords:fertility, India, intermarriage, Mumbai, Parsis, population decline


The Parsis, a community of Iranian descent, are an important ethno-religious minority group in India. Over the past few decades this group has shown a sharp numerical decline. The Parsis in India are endogamous and children of women married outside the community are traditionally not accepted within the fold. This paper appraises the potential role of female intermarriage in Parsi population decline. Population projections were made under various assumptions of fertility and inter-marriage scenarios. Results show that given current fertility, acceptance of children of intermarried women would have a negligible impact on stemming the population decline, which is chiefly driven by extremely low fertility.

Author's Affiliation

Zubin Shroff - Harvard University, United States of America [Email]
Marcia C. Castro - Harvard University, United States of America [Email]

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