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Fertility trends and differentials in central Ethiopia.

Hailemariam, Assefa (1990) Fertility trends and differentials in central Ethiopia. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

Official fertility estimates in Ethiopia show that fertility is high and varies regionally. However, the causes and correlates are not well understood. This thesis investigates the levels, trends and differentials of fertility in two administrative regions, Arsi and Shoa in Central Ethiopia using data from the Population, Health and Nutrition Project baseline survey conducted by the Ministry of Health in 1986. It also provides the socioeconomic and demographic explanations of high fertility in these regions. The thesis examines data limitations and identifies the types and sources of error. Missing, incomplete or inconsistent dates in the birth history are imputed and the validity of the data for fertility studies is assessed. Indirect demographic techniques and period-cohort analysis of birth histories are used for estimating fertility trends, and multivariate analysis is applied for examining fertility differentials. The population is shown to have high and rising fertility. Total fertility increased from about six children per woman around 1970 to about eight children in the early 1980s. Most of this increase occurred between 1977 and 1982. Significant rural-urban, religious and ethnic differentials are also observed. Early and universal marriage, high infant and child mortality, pro-natal cultural and religious values, low levels of infertility and the absence of birth control methods are investigated as possible explanations for the fertility patterns. Change in marital fertility brought about by the decline in the duration and intensity of breastfeeding and increase in exposure to the risk of childbearing through reduced spousal separation are identified as the major causes of the recent rise, while variations in breastfeeding patterns, infant and child mortality and stability of marriage rather than differences in contraceptive use appear to explain most of the observed differentials. The study concludes by identifying methodological problems and needs for future research. The implications of the study are underscored with specific policy recommendations.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Geography, Sociology, Individual and Family Studies
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/1153

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