Demographic Dimensions of an Intervillage Land Dispute in Nubri, Nepal

Geoff Childs*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)


    The demographic basis for a land dispute between two Tibetan villages in Nubri, Nepal, is examined in relation to family systems. Despite close proximity and sociocultural ties, the villages experience divergent population growth rates resulting from different frequencies of marriage. In one, old-age security concerns induce parents to retain female labor within the household by designating daughters to be nuns, a practice that has the unintended consequence of limiting aggregate population growth by barring many women from marriage and reproduction. In the other village the slightly different family system results in fewer nuns, faster population growth, and a need for more land. Comparisons with family systems and demographic outcomes in Europe and Asia reveal this to be a case in which preventive checks can exist in a context of early marriage and high marital fertility and demonstrate how concerns for old-age security can act as a restraint on aggregate fertility.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1096-1113
    Number of pages18
    JournalAmerican Anthropologist
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2001


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