Fertility decline in a village in Laos

Shinichi Takahashi, Kobe University

How and why fertility in a poor village in Laos declined is examined using interview surveys. There are two different fertility decline paths, pre-industrialized and industrialized. The former results from imbalance between population and resources and brings about the onset of fertility transition in most of developing countries. Rural Laos is in the midst of the path. Surplus population due to mortality decline since World War Ⅱ was absorbed by farmland increase by forest reclamation, intensity increase in slash-and-burn farming, and by migration to urban areas. But these have had difficulties because reduction of rotation cycle of slash-and-burn farming attained to the limit, government controlled forest use since 1980s, and migration stagnated owing to slow urban economic growth. Furthermore, market economy bringing increase of child-rearing cost has gradually penetrated. The government introduced modest birth spacing program in the late 1980s. In these circumstances young women began to practice fertility control.

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Presented in Poster Session 2