Publications Summary

Document Type
Analytical Studies
Publication Topic(s)
Family Planning, Fertility and Fertility Preferences
Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Egypt, Jordan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Philippines, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Peru
Recommended Citation
Thomas Pullum and Shireen Assaf. 2016. Long Term Trajectories of Fertility and Contraceptive Use. DHS Analytical Studies No. 58. Rockville, Maryland, USA: ICF International.
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Publication Date
August 2016
Publication ID


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DHS estimates of current fertility and contraceptive use have immediate interest after the release of each survey. This report takes a long-term perspective, examining trajectories of fertility and contraception by piecing together the data from the countries that have had the most surveys. It includes 16 countries that have had five or more surveys—Bangladesh, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Egypt, Ghana, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Mali, Peru, the Philippines, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, with a total of 98 surveys. The fertility trajectories span an interval from about 1980 to about 2010. All of these countries have experienced declines in their TFR, by amounts ranging from one child in Tanzania to about four children in Jordan. The median TFR declined from 6.4 to 3.8, a reduction of 42% in about 30 years. There was a strong correlation, 0.72, between the first and last values of the TFR. In most countries the mean age at childbearing did not change but there was a greater concentration around that mean. Changes in the use of modern contraception were tracked in a subset of four of the countries that had six or seven surveys—Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, and Senegal, with a total of 26 surveys—using time-varying coefficient models (VCMs). The interest is in whether odds ratios are moving toward one, indicating similar levels of contraceptive prevalence across sub- populations. In most countries there has been a gradual reduction in the differences between sub-populations, indicating that access to contraception has broadened as overall use has increased.


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