Predicting Fertility in Sub-Saharan Africa Based on Patterns of Contraceptive Use
Ellen Smith, Futures Group International
Bernice Kuang, Futures Group
Jurczynska Kaja, Futures Group
This analysis focuses on accounting for the oft-cited mismatch between fertility expectations and reality at the country-level in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Specifically, the aims of this paper are to more accurately predict fertility levels and changes over time by implementing revisions to the Proximate Determinants framework. As the most commonly recognized total fertility rate (TFR)-inhibiting component possessing an intuitive and rights-based policy lever, revisions to the contraceptive index are prioritized. Sixty-five historical TFR levels and 40 TFR changes are predicted and compared with observed fertility as an assessment of the accuracy, as judged by confidence intervals from TFR sampling errors. The results of our framework modifications hold important implications for how SSA—and thus world—population may be expected to grow, and may also help to set expectations regarding the demographic impacts of family planning programs in the region.