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Determinants of fertility intentions among women of reproductive age in South Africa: evidence from the 2016 demographic and health survey
Authors: Olusegun Sunday Ewemooje, Elizabeth Biney, and Acheampong Yaw Amoateng
Source: Journal of Population Research, 37: 265–289; DOI: 10.1007/s12546-020-09246-w
Topic(s): Fertility preferences
Country: Africa
  South Africa
Published: JUN 2020
Abstract: Against the background of the fertility decline in South Africa in recent years, the present study aimed at understanding the factors that shape South African women’s general childbearing aspirations. Specifically, it sought to examine the effect of selected sociodemographic factors on the fertility aspirations of two groups of reproductive-aged women in South Africa, 15–34 years (younger women) and 35–49 years (older women). The results showed that being black African, having at least secondary-level education, urban residence, being employed and increased parity significantly determined women’s intentions for children, regardless of the age cohort. Belonging to a ‘richer’ wealth index category and living in a household of three or more people significantly determined fertility intentions for younger women, while cohabitation significantly determined fertility intentions for older women. The study also found that urban residence and increased parity significantly reduced fertility indecision for younger women only. Implications for policy interventions are discussed.