Is Fertility Behavior in Africa Different?

Claus C. Portner , Seattle University

Half a century ago TFR was around seven children in most regions but is now mostly around the replacement level of 2.1. The outlier is Sub-Saharan Africa. Fertility decline has progressed at a much slower pace in Sub-Saharan Africa than in other regions, and even appears to have stalled in some countries. Why does fertility behavior in Sub-Saharan Africa appear to differ from other areas? This project uses DHS from countries in East Asia, South Asia, Latin America, and Sub-Saharan Africa to examine whether the determinants of urban fertility differ across regions. I focus on urban fertility for two reasons. First, urban areas tend to be less different across countries, which allows us to understand better whether Sub-Saharan Africa is inherently different. Second, despite significant projected increases in urbanization, we know much less about the determinants of fertility in urban areas of developing countries than about fertility in rural areas.

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 Presented in Session 1. Fertility, Family Planning, Sexual Behavior, & Reproductive Health 1