The emerging fertility transition in sub-Saharan Africa

Type Journal Article - World Development
Title The emerging fertility transition in sub-Saharan Africa
Volume 26
Issue 8
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 1998
Page numbers 1431-1461
This paper summarizes the recent evidence on levels, trends and differentials in achieved fertility, nuptiality, and contraceptive use in sub-Saharan Africa. Drawing from a wide variety of data sources, not all of which have been readily available in the past, an interesting picture of fertility decline emerges, one that is quite at odds with the popular perception of stationary or very limited fertility decline. A fairly widespread decline in fertility is currently underway across Africa. Moderate to large declines in fertility have already taken place in Kenya, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Botswana, South Africa, and Côte d'Ivoire, with smaller declines observed in Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Burkina Faso, Gambia, Ghana, Mauritania, Senegal, and Sierra Leone. The driving forces behind these changes are later marriage and the greater use of modern contraception. A unique characteristic of African transitions appears to be the extent to which contraceptives are being used to space rather than to limit births.

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