Publications Summary

Document Type
Comparative Reports
Publication Topic(s)
Fertility and Fertility Preferences
Recommended Citation
Rutstein, Shea O. 2002. Fertility Levels, Trends, and Differentials 1995-1999. DHS Comparative Reports No. 3. Calverton, Maryland, USA: ORC Macro.
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Publication Date
December 2002
Publication ID


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Small PDF IconFertility Levels, Trends, and Differentials 1995-1999 (PDF, 4128K)
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Based on DHS surveys conducted between 1990 and 1999, this report shows fertility rates, trends, and differentials for 43 countries. Eight types of measures are presented including total and age-specific fertility rates, general and crude birth rates, the mean number of children born to women, total marital fertility rates and marital duration, specific fertility rates, age at first birth, parity progression ratios, and birth intervals. These indicators are presented for the total country and by women’s residence, education, work status, and migration status, and by the education and occupation of their husband. Trends are examined for all countries using birth history data and for 22 countries by comparison with a previous DHS survey in each country. The Bongaarts proximate determinants indexes are calculated to assess the impact of these trends on fertility. The total fertility rate (TFR) for the three years preceding the survey in each country ranges from a high of 7.2 children per woman in Niger to 2.3 children per woman in Vietnam. Ten countries, Yemen and nine countries in sub-Saharan Africa, have TFRs of 6 children or more per woman. The high fertility in these countries is due mainly to early entry into motherhood and little behavior aimed at limiting births. Fertility limiting behavior including relatively high levels of contraceptive use and long intervals between births, is responsible for most of the low fertility levels in these countries. Fertility has declined in all countries except Colombia.


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