Wanted and Unwanted Fertility and the Ghanaian Fertility Decline: A Research Note

Samuel Agyei-Mensah, University of Ghana

This paper uses the concept of unwanted fertility to gain insight into the Ghanaian fertility decline. One backdrop for this paper is the recent literature that has questioned the usefulness of the concept of unwanted fertility in reproductive decision making in Africa. It is based on analysis of data from the 1979 Ghana Fertility Survey and the Ghana Demographic and Health Surveys conducted between 1988 and 2003.The findings of the study indicate that most of the fertility decline has been in wanted fertility rather than the elimination of unwanted fertility. Hence a transition to low levels of fertility (TFRs less than 4.0) in Ghana cannot occur unless couples articulate target numbers of births that are modest or small in size, and secondly, take explicit steps to achieve these goals. Thus the wanted and unwanted distinction must become a reality in the attitudes and corresponding behaviour of reproductive couples in Ghana.

  See paper

Presented in Poster Session 5