Are Brazilian Women Having Fewer Children than They Desire? A Comparison between 1996 and 2006

Angelita Carvalho, ENCE
Laura R. Wong, Cedeplar, UFMG

Brazil has experienced a very sharp decline in fertility in the last 50 years. The TFT was 6.4 in 1960 and 1.8 in 2010. Given this context, are women having fewer children than they desire? If so, what are the factors associated with the gap between desired and actual number of children? Using data from PNDS 1996 and 2006 (DHS-type) and multinomial logistic models, the answer to the first question is yes: In 2006, compared to 1996, the chance of having fewer children than desired was twice the chance of having the same number of children desired. Regarding the second question, having more years of schooling and a husband whose desired number of children was smaller than the wife`s increased the odds of having fewer children than desired. Rural/urban residence, labor force participation, religion, SES, race, and who decides how to spend the wife`s earnings do not seem to matter.

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 Presented in Session P3. Fertility Intentions and Behaviors