Fertility decline in Egypt: current obstacles, future prospects

John B. Casterline, Pennsylvania State University
Laila El-Zeini, American University in Cairo

The TFR in Egypt exceeds 3.0, and fertility has declined slowly during the past fifteen years. There appears to be a resistance to having only two births. This paper uses multiple sources of data and multiple methodologies to examine the following three questions: (1) To what extent can the excess of current fertility over replacement-level fertility be attributed to wanted as against unwanted fertility? This will be answered by applying a new methodology for estimating unwanted fertility. (2) What accounts for the continuing attachment of a substantial fraction of Egyptian couples to desired fertility of three or more births? This will be answered through analysis of survey data collected in 2004 that contain extensive inquiry on costs/benefits of children, familial norms, and related factors. (3) How much fertility reduction could be achieved by more effective family planning practice? This will be answered using 2000 DHS data and TFR simulation.

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Presented in Session 41: Fertility decline: onset and stagnation