Ideal Family Size Dynamics in Kigoma, Tanzania

Megan Costa , Arizona State University
Laura Kelly, University of Pennsylvania
Florina I. Serbanescu, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Ideal family size is consistently measured in social surveys, including the Demographic and Health Surveys and Reproductive Health Surveys. Discrepancies between measured IFS and fertility behavior are not well understood. This paper considers predictors of IFS, exceeding IFS, and healthcare utilization among mothers who move from parities less than to those exceeding their IFS. We examine predictors of IFS in a rural, high-fertility population in Kigoma, Tanzania and Tanzania nationally. Among women surveyed in both 2014 and 2016 RHS, 14.7% of women have more children than their stated ideals, and mean IFS is 6.6 children. By age 45-49, 20% of women have exceeded their stated ideals. Further analyses will examine whether pre- and post-natal maternal behavior differ toward children with birth orders greater than stated ideals, and whether women approaching their fertility preferences are engaging in family planning programs.

See extended abstract

 Presented in Session 10. Fertility, Family Planning, Sexual Behavior & Reproductive Health 2