Publications Summary

Document Type
Working Papers
Publication Topic(s)
Family Planning, Fertility and Fertility Preferences
Recommended Citation
Westoff, Charles F. 2017. Current Pregnancy and Fertility. DHS Working Paper No. 128. Rockville, Maryland, USA: ICF.
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Publication Date
July 2017
Publication ID


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This study revisits a methodological question pursued in 1980 – whether simple information on current pregnancy status can be used to estimate fertility rates reliably. If so, there would be a substantial gain in simplicity, convenience, and contemporaneity. The conclusion in 1980, based on a study of 15 countries in the World Fertility Survey, was negative. The present analysis using data from 148 Demographic and Health Surveys in 65 countries and adding a longitudinal perspective in 41 of these countries with repeat surveys, reaches a positive conclusion. An adjusted pregnancy rate was developed, based on reported pregnancy durations of 3-8 months, which corresponds very closely with national birthrates 1-2 years later. Additional analyses of subnational or regional data are much less reliable except for the states of India with much larger samples.


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