The relative importance of women’s education on fertility desires in sub-Saharan Africa: A multilevel analysis

Kebede, E., Striessnig, E. ORCID:, & Goujon, A. ORCID: (2021). The relative importance of women’s education on fertility desires in sub-Saharan Africa: A multilevel analysis. Population Studies 1-20. 10.1080/00324728.2021.1892170.

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Lowering desired family size is a necessary precondition for fertility declines in high-fertility settings. Although accumulated evidence links socio-economic developments to changing fertility desires, little research has disentangled the relative importance of key socio-economic determinants. Combining individual- and community-level data from Demographic and Health Surveys in 34 sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries, we compare the relative role of different socio-economic factors on fertility desires at the individual, community, and country levels. Results show that at the individual level, women's education has a stronger effect than household wealth and area of residence. The high levels of reported desired family size in rural parts of SSA are mainly a consequence of relatively lower levels of education. The relative impact of women's education is even stronger at the community level. Our findings are robust to alternative measures of fertility preferences and strengthen previous findings regarding the relationship between fertility and women's education.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Demographic and Health Survey; community education; desired fertility; fertility intentions; multilevel analysis; place of residence; sub-Saharan Africa; wealth; women’s education
Research Programs: World Population (POP)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 17 Mar 2021 11:57
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:34

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