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Replacement-level fertility in Egypt: obstacles and facilitating factors

John B. Casterline, Pennsylvania State University
Rania Roushdy, Population Council

The TFR in Egypt remains above 3.0, but a significant segment of the population expresses a desire to have just two births, signalling an emergent receptivity to replacement-level fertility. This paper examines factors that explain the growing attachment to a two-child norm, and factors that account for resistance to this norm in some sub-groups of the population. The objectives are two-fold: (i) To examine reasons why some Egyptian women prefer to have just two children and others prefer three or more; (ii) To model (via MIMIC modelling) the desire for two children vs. more than two children as a function of a set of fundamental determinants, including household economics, costs/benefits of children, and attitudes about closely related factors (gender relations, family norms). The analysis uses a sub-sample of the 2003 Egypt DHS that was re-interviewed in 2004 (n=3293), with the women asked at length about fertility desires and related factors.

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Presented in Session 164: Prospects for below-replacement fertility