Fertility transition driven by poverty: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Eshetu Gurmu, Addis Ababa University
Ruth Mace, University College London

Demographic Transition Theory states that fertility declines in response to development forces, thus wealth and fertility are negatively correlated. Fertility decline started in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in Western Europe as a response to industrialization and economic development. Different from this, in Sub-Saharan Africa and other developing countries, economic crises in 1980s and there after have become a major cause of fertility decline. In Addis Ababa, a very low level of fertility is observed as a result of recurrent famine and drought affecting the country’s economy for more than three consecutive decades. Controlling for other variables, multivariate analysis of the life history data of 2976 women of reproductive age revealed that low fertility in the city is in response to chronic poverty. Economic stress is found to not only affecting union formation and stability but also timing of first as well as consecutive births.

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Presented in Poster Session 2