Westoff, Charles F., Kristin Bietsch, and Rathavuth Hong. 2013. Reproductive Preferences in Cambodia: Further Analysis of the Cambodia Demographic and Health Surveys. DHS Further Analysis Reports No. 87. Calverton, Maryland, USA: ICF International.
The decline of the total fertility rate (TFR) in Cambodia over the past decade, from 3.8 births per woman in 2000 to 3.0 in 2010, and the related changes in reproductive preferences is the focus of this further analysis of the three Cambodia Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS). Since the wanted total fertility rate (WTFR) declined only from 2.9 to 2.6 over these 10 years, most of the drop of actual fertility must lie in the reduction of unwanted births, through an increase in contraceptive prevalence and in use of abortion.
The factors found to be associated with the desired number of children include education, wealth, and the reduction of child mortality. Regional analyses clearly identify the capital city of Phnom Penh as having the greatest concentration of indicators of low fertility. Multivariate analyses of the number of children desired indicate covariates to include the actual number of children in the family as well as education, wealth, and child mortality. A multivariate analysis of current contraceptive use found the same covariates, along with exposure to television. Although there are data quality issues in the self-reporting of abortion, there seems to be clear evidence that abortion has increased over the decade. In general, the prospects of further increases in education and wealth, and in mass media exposure, along with continuing reductions of child mortality strongly suggest a continued decline of reproductive preferences and fertility in Cambodia.