The Fertility Decline in Sub-Saharan Africa: Who’s Next after the Elite?

Clémentine Rossier, University of Geneva
Jamaica Corker, University of Geneva
Bruno D. Schoumaker, Université Catholique de Louvain

In this paper we use DHS data from 12 countries in sub-Saharan Africa to investigate the trends and changes in fertility levels since the 1990s across three broad social strata. These strata (elite, intermediate and lower) are defined through educational attainment, household assets for each residence, to approximate their degree of integration into the modern economy. We examine how the rate of fertility decline has varied among these three socioeconomic groups over time, and calculate how each group’s fertility level, combined with compositional changes across the population, contributes to changes in national fertility levels. Our focus is on the growing influence of the "intermediate groups", who have one foot in the modern economy and are likely the next frontier in the region's fertility decline. We also investigate trends across countries by categorizing them according to their region, overall fertility levels, broad categories of economic development levels and desired family sizes.

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Presented in Session 181: Reproductive Health and Fertility over Time