The Nature and Determinants of the Incipient Fertility Transition in Ethiopia: Preconditions for Accelerating the Lagging Rural Decline

Charles H. Teller, George Washington University and Addis Ababa University
Assefa Hailemariam, Addis Ababa University
Tesfayi Gebreselassie, MEASURE DHS and Macro International Inc.

We document the nature of the incipient demographic transition since 1990, identifying preconditions for accelerating rural fertility decline, in order to meet the 2015 national population policy TFR target of 4.0 by 2015. There have been marked under-five mortality declines and urban total fertility declines since 1990, but the rural-urban fertility gap has widened to nearly 4 children. However, we expect the lagging rural fertility decline to begin to accelerate, due to a combination of emerging demand and supply factors: perceived greater survival of children and reduced desired for additional children; later age at first marriage, increased urbanization and girl’s secondary education; rising youth aspirations and rapidly increasing access the maternal health and family planning services. These social development factors are also being mediated in a predominantly rural country by population-land pressure and chronic food insecurity. Even greater commitment to youth aspirations, quality education and reproductive health services is required.

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Presented in Poster Session 5