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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Journal of international development
Title Has a fertility transition begun in West Africa?
Author(s)
Volume 7
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 1995
Page numbers 93-116
URL http://www.popline.org/node/293179
Abstract
This paper examines changing patterns of reproduction in two West African countries, Senegal and Ghana, which conducted both World Fertility Survey and Demographic and Health Survey enquiries. It aims to estimate fertility levels and trends in these countries, examine how changes in marriage, contraceptive use, breastfeeding and post-partum abstinence are affecting family building patterns and discuss whether a fertility transition has begun. While fertility remains high in both Senegal and Ghana, it has begun to decline. In Ghana, the drop in fertility commenced in the late 1960s but has slowed recently. In Senegal, fertility decline began a decade later but is now more rapid. With these declines, residential and educational differentials in fertility have widened, particularly in Senegal. Both rises in ages at marriage and increases in the use of contraception have contributed to the fall in fertility. However, most women of high socieconomic status still want four or live children. Other women want even more. Although a transition to the control of fertility by contraceptive means has begun, the transition to low fertility may progress slowly.

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