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Age at first marriage and fertility in developing countries: A meta analytical view of 15 Demographic and Health Surveys
Authors: Akhtarul Islam, and Abdur Rahman
Source: Clinical Epidemiology and Global Health, Published online; DOI: 10.1016/j.cegh.2020.01.018
Topic(s): Fertility
Country: More than one region
  Multiple Regions
Published: JAN 2020
Abstract: Background Adolescent and early marriage increase the marriage duration which ultimately can boost the number of ever born children. On the other hand, when age at first marriage is too high there is a chance to birth complicity. In this study, the researcher has taken an attempt to investigate the structure of the relationship between female age at first marriage and fertility and find out a more precise estimate of the factor on fertility in developing countries. Methods This study comprises DHS data of 15 developing countries. A Meta-analysis, sub-group analysis, and meta-regression are used by the researcher to reach a valid conclusion keeping the study purposes in mind. Results This study has found that for the marriage age 18 and above, pooled OR is 0.47 [0.40; 0.56] which is statistically significant for 15 DHS data. A large amount of heterogeneity was found for meta-analysis with I2 = 98%. For Asian countries, the combined OR is 0.3828 [0.27, 0.54] on the contrary Non-Asian countries holds the pooled OR to be 0.4567 [0.39, 0.54]. Also, the variation among different countries fertility performance for age at first marriage is largely explainable by the moderator variable per capita health expenditure (PCHE). PCHE alone is responsible for 57.14% of the heterogeneity among the overall explainable heterogeneity. Conclusion In summary, our analysis highlights the effect of female age at first marriage on fertility in developing countries. This study explores the effective strategies to the developing countries that are suffering from high fertility. Keywords Age at first marriage; Fertility; per capita health expenditure; Developing countries and meta; Analysis