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Enduring Economic Hardship, Women's Education, Marriage and Fertility Transition in Kinshasa
Authors: Shapiro D.
Source: Journal of Biosocial Science, 20:1-17. [Epub ahead of print]
Topic(s): Fertility
Women's status
Country: Africa
  Congo Democratic Republic
Published: MAR 2014
Abstract: Summary This paper examines fertility transition in Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and second-largest city in sub-Saharan Africa. Shapiro (1996) documented the onset of fertility transition in the city, using data from 1990. Women's education was strongly inversely related to fertility, beginning with secondary schooling, and increases in women's education were important in initiating fertility transition in the city. The paper uses data from the 2007 Demographic and Health Survey in the DRC to examine fertility in Kinshasa and assess fertility transition since 1990, a period characterized by severe adverse economic conditions in the DRC. Fertility transition has continued at a strong pace. In part this reflects increased educational attainment of women, but it appears also to be largely a consequence of enduring economic hardship. The ongoing fertility decline has been accompanied by substantial delays in entry to marriage and childbearing, reflecting adverse economic conditions, which in turn have contributed to continuing declines in fertility.