Fertility is one of the principal components of population dynamics that determines the size and structure of the population of a country, and has a powerful effect on its health and economic success. Fertility continues to be relatively high in Ethiopia, with women having an average of 5.4 children during their lifetime. This is, in part, because women continue to marry and give birth at a young age, have polygynous unions, and have their children close together.
Yet more than three-quarters of married women report that they either want no more children or want to wait at least two years before their next birth. For sexually active women and men, consistent use of family planning is the only way to control unwanted childbearing. Despite high knowledge of family planning, currently only 15 percent of married women are using any contraceptive method.
This booklet extracts and summarizes the major findings from the Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey (EDHS) 2005 on current fertility, use and knowledge of family planning, and family planning preferences among Ethiopian men and women.