The causes of stalling fertility transitions
Studies in Family Planning 37(1): 1-16
Publication date: 2006
An examination of fertility trends in countries with multiple DHS surveys found that in the 1990sfertility stalled in midtransition in seven countries: Bangladesh, Colombia, Dominican Republic,Ghana, Kenya, Peru, and Turkey. In each of these countries fertility was high (more than six birthsper woman) in the 1950s and declined to fewer than five births per woman in the early or mid-1990s, before stalling. The level of stalling varied from 4.7 births per woman in Kenya to 2.5births per woman in Turkey. An analysis of trends in the determinants of fertility revealed asystematic pattern of leveling off or near leveling in a number of determinants, including contraceptiveuse, the demand for contraception, and number of wanted births. The stalling countries did notexperience significant increases in unwanted births or in the unmet need for contraception duringthe late 1990s, and program effort scores improved slightly, except in the Dominican Republic.These findings suggest no major deterioration in contraceptive access during the stall, but levelsof unmet need and unwanted births are relatively high, and improvements in access to familyplanning methods would, therefore, be desirable. No significant link was found between the presenceof a stall and trends in socioeconomic development, but at the onset of the stall the level of fertilitywas low relative to the level of development in all but one of the stalling countries.