Authors: John C. Caldwell and Thomas Schindlmayr
Title: Explanations of the fertility crisis in modern societies: A search for commonalities
Near-global fertility decline began in the 1960s, and from the 1980s an increasing number of European countries and some Asian ones achieved very low fertility (total fertility below 1.5) with little likelihood of completed cohort fertility reaching replacement level.
Earlier theory aiming at explaining this phenomenon stressed the incompatibility between post-industrial society and behaviour necessary for population replacement. Recent theory has been more specific, often concentrating on the current Italian or Spanish situations or on the contrast between them and the situation in either Scandinavia or the English-speaking countries, or both. Such an approach ignores important evidence, especially that from German-speaking populations.
The models available concentrate on welfare systems and family expenses, omitting circumstances that may be unique to individual countries or longer-term factors that may be common to all.
Keywords: Fertility decline, Low-fertility Population, Population Policy, Population Replacement, Population Theory, Pronatalist Policy, Developed Countries, Europe, Population Law, Social Policy
Authors: Tom A. Moultrie and Ian M. Timæus
Title: The South African fertility decline: Evidence from two censuses and a Demographic and health Survey
Inadequate data and apartheid policies have meant that, until recently, most demographers have not had the opportunity to investigate the level of, and trend in, the fertility of South African women. The 1996 South Africa Census and the 1998 Demographic and Health Survey provide the first widely available and nationally representative demographic data on South Africa since 1970. Using these data, this paper describes the South African fertility decline from 1955 to 1996. Having identified and adjusted for several errors in the 1996 Census data, the paper argues that total fertility at that time was 3.2 children per woman nationally, and 3.5 children per woman for African South Africans. These levels are lower than in any other sub-Saharan African country. We show also that fertility in South Africa has been falling since the 1960s. Thus, fertility transition predates the establishment of a family planning programme in the country in 1974.
Keywords: Africa, Southern Africa, South Africa, Fertility, Fertility Rate, Demographic Transition, Apartheid
Authors: Anne Moursund and Øystein Kravdal
Title: Individual and community effects of women's education and autonomy on contraceptive use in India
This study makes use of the National Family Health Survey of 1998-99 to investigate whether differences in women's autonomy can explain much of the relationship between education and contraceptive use among married Indian women with at least one child. The analyses show that a woman's education does not influence her contraceptive use through a strengthening of her position in relation to that of men, but that the inclusion of a simple indicator of her general knowledge reduces education effects appreciably.
Further, the average educational level of other women in the census-enumeration area has an effect on a woman's contraceptive use above and beyond that of her own education. This effect cannot be explained by the specific indicators of autonomy, but can to some extent be explained by the son preference of the community. The latter is a more general autonomy indicator that may also pick up other contextual factors.
Keywords: Community, Contraception, Education, Fertility, India, Knowledge, Multilevel, Wanted Fertility, Women's Autonomy
Authors: Nan Li and Zheng Wu
Title: Forecasting cohort incomplete fertility: A method and an application
Drawing on insights from previous work on fertility forecasts, we develop a method for forecasting incomplete cohort fertility. Our approach involves two basic steps. First, we use a singular-value-decomposition (SVD) model to establish a relationship between the level and the age pattern of fertility for completed cohorts.
This relationship is then applied to incomplete cohorts to obtain forecast fertility. We propose techniques to evaluate model assumptions and illustrate our method using cohort data from Canada, the USA, Norway, and Japan. With the exception of Japan, our results show that the model fits the data well, and that the youngest cohort whose total fertility can be reliably forecast is age 25 for Canada, the USA, and Norway. Our method is less applicable to Japan, where the youngest cohort whose total fertility could be forecast was age 35 or older. We discuss the limitations of our method in the context of model assumptions.
Keywords: Fertility Forecast, Cohort Fertility, SVD Model
Author: John Bongaarts
Title: Completing the fertility transition in the developing world: The role of educational differences and fertility preferences
This study summarizes patterns of educational differentials in wanted and unwanted fertility at different stages of the fertility transition. The data are from Demographic and Health Surveys in 57 less developed countries. As the transition proceeds, educational differentials in wanted fertility tend to decline and differentials in unwanted fertility tend to rise. An assessment of fertility patterns in developed and less developed countries with low fertility concludes that these differentials are likely to remain substantial when less developed countries reach the end of their transitions. This conclusion implies that the educational composition of the population remains a key predictor of overall fertility in late transitional countries and that low levels of schooling can be a cause of stalling fertility.
Keywords: Fertility, Preferences, Transition, Fertility Differentials, Developing World
Author: Ernestina Coast
Title: An evaluation of demographers' use of ethnographies
A survey of papers reporting the use of ethnographies in three population journals and an examination of two case studies show that the criticisms made by anthropologists and others of demographers' use of ethnographies are well founded. In their use of these accounts, demographers tend to present an excessively static view of social organization, to use ethnographic evidence selectively to support other findings, to be indifferent to how long ago an ethnography was produced, to take for granted the validity of the ethnographic evidence, to ignore the broader historical context in which the ethnography was produced, and to be unaware of the ways in which demographic evidence can be used at all stages of the research process.
The adoption of anthropologists' suggestions for establishing the plausibility and credibility of ethnographic evidence could improve the value of the contribution made by these studies to demographic research and theory.
Keywords: Anthropology, Culture, Ethnography, Qualitative Research, Methodology
Authors: Monica Akinyi Magadi, Eliya Msiyaphazi Zulu and Martin Brockerhoff
Title: The inequality of maternal health care in urban sub-Saharan Africa in the 1990s
Numerous studies document the disadvantage in child health of the urban poor in African cities. This study uses Demographic and Health Survey data from 23 countries in sub-Saharan Africa to examine whether the urban poor experience comparable disadvantages in maternal health care.
The results show that, although on average the urban poor receive better antenatal and delivery care than rural residents, the care of the urban poor is worse than that of the urban non-poor. This suggests that the urban bias in the allocation of health services in Africa does not benefit the urban poor as much as the non-poor. Multilevel analyses reveal significant variations in maternal health in urban areas across countries of sub-Saharan Africa. The disadvantage of the urban poor is more pronounced in countries where maternal health care is relatively good.
In these countries the urban poor tend to be even worse off than rural residents, suggesting that the urban poor have benefited least from improvements in maternal health care.
Keywords: Urban Poverty, Antenatal Care, Delivery care, Unintended Childbearing, Urban Inequalities
Author: Noreen Goldman
Title: A reply to 'On the Far Eastern pattern of mortality" by Zhongwei Zhao
This article does not have an abstract.