Back to browse results
Stalled Fertility Decline in Egypt, Why?
Authors: Eltigani E. Eltigani
Source: Population and Environment, Volume 25, Number 1 / September, 2003
Topic(s): Fertility
Country: Africa
Published: SEP 2003
Abstract: Abstract After experiencing rapid decline since the 1980s, fertility in Egypt seemed to be stalling during the second half of the 1990s. In an effort to identify the population segment(s) responsible for the stalling, this study considers fertility trends of women from three standard of living strata (low, middle, and high). Using data collected by the 1988, 1992, 1995, and the 2000 Egypt Demographic and Health Surveys, the study indicates that the reproductive behavior of women from high and middle standards households is largely responsible for stalling of the fertility decline during recent years, and that prospects for a lower fertility in the future is limited, once the gap between the three groups closes. This means that the expectation of achieving replacement fertility Egypt within the next 15 to 20 years is in doubt if the current trends in the both actual and desired fertility of the middle and high strata continued. The key for future decline in fertility is the decline in desired number of children below the current level of 3 children by at least one segment of the population. The fact none of the three population segments expressed a desired fertility below 3 children deprived the society of a vanguard group that leads the rest of the society to replacement level fertility.