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  1. 1

    Patterns of fertility in low-fertility settings.

    United Nations. Department of Economic and Social Development

    New York, New York, United Nations, 1992. viii, 134 p. (ST/ESA/SER.A/131)

    The most recent UN analysis of fertility levels and trends over the period 1965-89 in selected countries which have achieved fertility transition from high to low fertility is presented. The study is both descriptive and analytical. All low fertility countries analyzed, with the exceptions of Romania, Ireland, and the former USSR, had total fertility of 2.1 or less in 1988-89 and include the following: Japan, Hong Kong, Republic of Korea, Singapore, most European countries, Canada, the US, Australia, and New Zealand. Low fertility countries from other geographical regions were omitted due to the lack of countries with similar sociocultural contexts available for comparison purposes. Low-fertility countries with population under 300,000 were also not considered. Data coverage, quality, and availability; the measurement of fertility; and comparability problems both across countries and through time are discussed in the first chapter. Patterns of fertility decline are then presented with consideration given to period, cohort, overall, and adolescent fertility; population reproduction; age at child-bearing; number of births; birth order, and births by legitimacy status. A scenario of societal process is then hypothesized which may have favored or conditioned changes in reproductive values and modified the proximate determinants of fertility. Specifically, attention is given to demographic conditions, technological progress and economic development, the role and status of women, effects on couples and families, changing reproductive norms, marriage, divorce, contraception, abortion, diversity of conditions, and fertility policies. Analysis reveals a sharp fertility decline from 1965 to the mid-1980s followed by a stabilization of period fertility in some countries and upward fluctuations in several. This decline has affected in all groups, with greatest reductions at age 35 and over, and has been led by the greater practice of contraception and changing societal attitudes on marriage and reproduction. UN medium-variant projections foresee the population of more developed regions increasing by 12% over 1990-2025 versus 75% in less developed regions. Population aging should also be expected. Social and immigration policy are finally discussed in the context of these population trends.
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  2. 2

    Relationship between women's economic activity and fertility and child care in low-fertility countries.

    Kono S

    [Unpublished] 1992. Presented at the International Conference on Population and Development [ICPD], 1994, Expert Group Meeting on Population and Women, Gaborone, Botswana, June 22-26, 1992. 44 p. (ESD/P/ICPD.1994/EG.III/17)

    A review of trends in women's labor force participation in 31 low fertility countries and a case study of Japan were provided and discussed. The policy implications for child care and research needs were identified. Countries generally had below replacement fertility of 2.1 children per woman. Only New Zealand, Sweden, Poland, and the former Soviet Union had above replacement fertility levels in 1989. The lowest fertility was in southern European countries, which had lower levels of economic development and social welfare. Both East Asian and European countries have used similar economic and demographic measures to reduce fertility. These measures included declines in infant and child mortality, universal education, decline of religious authority, decline of patriarchal family systems, equality and emancipation of women, and consumer oriented culture. The declining fertility in Europe reflected changes in life styles and post-materialism, whereas Inglehart indicated people's affluence has reduced the worry about satisfying basic needs. Many studies have affirmed the inverse relationship between family size and the extent of female economic activity. Female wage workers were found to have lower fertility than nonworking women. The relationships between employment and fertility in inter-country comparisons were not clear cut at any point in time or historically. For example, in 1975, Italy had above replacement fertility and now has the lowest fertility in Europe. Countries with the highest proportion of women in the labor force did not have the lowest fertility. A 1987/88 Italian national survey found that fertility was low because of the high cost of raising children, the uncertain future for children, maternal work, and an economic and employment crisis. UN reasoning was that, among other factors, dramatic social changes caused insecurity and child care was inadequate. Perez and Livi-Bacci have argued that structural characteristics have led to low fertility. Sweden, where women's status is the highest, had higher fertility due in part to indirect pronatalist measures. East Asian fertility decline was attributed to remarkable economic development, women's educational advancement, increased women's employment, increased age at first marriage, costly children's education, mass consumption desires, and Confucian tradition. Relationships between women's work and fertility were confounded by intermittent work patterns and often part-time work.
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  3. 3

    Population dynamics of rural Cameroon and its public health repercussions. A socio-demographic investigation of infertility in Mbandjock and Jakiri districts.

    Lantum DN

    Yaounde, Cameroon, Public Health Unit, Univ. Centre for Health Sciences, Univ. of Yaounde, 1979 Oct. 314 p.

    The preliminary findings of the Vital Statistics Survey Project, conducted under the auspices of the University of Yaounde in 2 rural districts of Cameroon in 1975-78, are reported. Vital statistics surveys were conducted in 20 villages in the Jakiri district and 3 villages in the Mbandjock district in 1976. Longitudinal surveys were conducted in 1976-77 and again in 1977-78 in Jakiri and in 1976-77 in Mbandjock. Jakiri's population is characterized by high fertility and high mortality. In contrast, Mbandjock shows low fertility and a stagnant or decreasing population trend. Data on factors related to fertility were collected from 3592 women in Jakiri and 251 women in Mbandjock. The crude birth rate in Jakiri was 37.5 livebirths/1000 population in 1976-77 and 27.5/1000 in 1977-78. In Mbandjock, the 1976-77 rates were 20.1, 31, and 12/1000 in the 3 villages surveyed. The average number of living children per woman was 2.67 in Jakiri and 1.55 in Mbandjock. 68.9% of Jakiro women and 79% of Mbandjock women ages 15-50 were currently married; however, the latter district is characterized by widespread marital instability. The average number of pregnancies per women was 3.1 in Jakiri and 2.67 in Mbandjock, with average child wastage ratios of 0.43 and 1.12, respectively. The infant mortality rate in Jakiri was 147/1000 livebirths in 1976-77 and 137/1000 in 1977-78. The rate in Mbandjock declined from 417/1000 livebirths in 1976 to 0 in 1977, a decrease attributed both to an effective measles campaign and the small sample size. The average desired family size was 9 in Jakiri and 6 in Mbandjock. Jakiri demonstrated a total infertility rate of 17%. The corresponding rates in the 3 Mbandjock villages were 48, 46, and 52%. The proportion of infertile women ages 20-29 was 18% in Jakiri and 22, 16, and 24% in the Mbandjock villages. According to the World Health Organization, a 15% infertility rate in this age group is the limit for declaring a serious public health problem. However, since Careroon authorities seem satisfied with the fertility situation in Jakiri, it is suggested that the limit be raised to 18%. Mbandjock, on the other hand, is considered to have a serious infertility problem. 4 recommendations are made to improve the health profile for this part of rural Cameroon: 1) family planning programs should be introduced in areas of population explosion; 2) health education campaigns should be directed against the high rates of communicable diseases and childhood immunization campaigns should be introduced; 3) nutrition education should be integrated into community development programs; and 4) vital statistics collection should be centrally supervised.
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  4. 4

    [Introductory remarks].

    Hansluwka H

    In: Campbell AA, ed. Social, economic, and health aspects of low fertility. [Bethesda, Maryland], U. S. Dept. of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service, 1980. xi-xii. (NIH 80-100)

    An explanation as to why WHO (World Health Organization) was co-sponsoring a conference on the social, economic, and health implications of low fertility was provided. WHO defines health broadly to include not just physical health but also mental and social health. WHO's interest in the health implications of population dynamics is a long-term concern. In 1965 the World Health Assembly, recognizing the impact of population dynamics on the health status of populations, mandated WHO to study the health implications of population dynamics, human reproduction, and family planning. Since that time this mandate was frequently reaffirmed and broadened. Given WHO's broad approach to health problems, WHO's interest in the health implications of declining fertility and low fertility is logical and understandable.
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