Is Fertility Decline Stalling in Sub-Saharan Africa? Re-Examination of Fertility Trends

Kazuyo Machiyama, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)
Andy Sloggett, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)

Stalling fertility decline has been suggested in several sub-Sahara African countries in recent years. However, most studies use only selected recent estimates derived from DHS country reports without considering the full nature of the data. We obtained TFR by single year for 10 years preceding each survey by reconstructing birth histories derived from 56 DHS surveys in 16 sub-Saharan African countries. The smoothed trends revealed that all countries have discrepancies between successive surveys and fluctuations around the cutoff years of eligibility for the special questions on child health. Although Kenya’s fertility stall appears almost certain, others have large discrepancies in the estimates and the overall smoothed trends suggest that the claimed stalls may be of less consequence than previously depicted. Further work to assess the degree and direction of the errors is imperative to obtain more accurate trends and identify fertility stall.

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Presented in Poster Session 5