Fertility Dynamics and Patterns of Contraceptive Use in Malawi

Jesman Chintsanya, University of Southampton

In Malawi, a woman’s average fertility has declined by only one birth, from 6.7 to 5.7 children per woman in the last three decades. This study examines trends in the proximate determinants of fertility in Malawi with the view to explain their relative contribution to overall fertility level. First, age period specific fertility rates are reconstructed to examine past fertility trends for population and consistency check. Next, for each survey, the inhibiting influence of each proximate determinant on fertility is explored in detail. A modest decline is limited to the middle age group, an indication that fertility control primarily is as result of spacing rather than limiting births. While contraceptive use has risen tremendously, the effect of contraception in reducing fertility is less pronounced due to predominance use of one method, injectables. By decomposing fertility, the level of education contributed to two fifth of fertility decline.

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 Presented in Session P9. Family Planning, Sexual Behavior, and Reproductive Health