Contextual and Individual Effects behind Fertility Change in the West Bank and Gaza Strip

Anaïs Simard-Gendron, Université de Montréal

The classical theory of the demographic transition cannot explain the ongoing high demand for children in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Individual-level variables have always been the main focus of studies on Palestinian fertility. However, contextual factors are important to capture the mechanisms of fertility change. To better understand their fertility, we use retrospective data from the 2004 Demographic and Health survey conducted by the PCBS by modelling a multilevel discrete-time logistic regression on the birth histories of ever-married women aged 15-49. Regional characteristics representing the proportion of Jewish settlers, the status of women, and infant mortality are considered. The status of women, through higher education, is the main factor behind fertility decline. The decline in infant mortality only has a light negative impact on fertility. Finally, the presence of Jewish settlers contributes to decrease fertility as regions with a higher proportion of settlers had a significantly lower fertility.

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Presented in Poster Session 3: Fertility Intentions and Behaviors