Teenage fertility in developing countries.
Data were taken from "A Compilation of Age Specific Fertility Rates for Developing Countries" (US Bureau of Census, 1979) to compile a detailed profile of teenage fertility in developing countries as a basis for designing policies at an international level. Of the 127 countries for which data were available, 65 countries which had data for circa 1965 and 1970 were considered for this analysis. In 1960, the average number of births/1000 women aged 15-19 years was 116; in 1965 the average was 106. There was considerable variation in teenage fertility rates among countries in the developing world. The coefficients of variation of the number of births/1000 women aged 15-19 years were 47% in 1960 and approximately 44% in 1965. Both the Asian and African regions contained countries with very low teenage fertility rates, 31/1000 women aged 15-19 years in 1960. The lowest 1960 rate for Latin American countries was 50/1000. The largest proportion of all births in 1960 occurred in Latin America, 38%. The countries of Oceania contributed the smallest, 7.2% of the total teen births in 1960. Teenage fertility rates declined in all regions during 1960-65. The analysis of teen fertility rates of developing countries reveals several problematical aspects which have implications for policy formulation, including: the teen fertility rates of developing countries are very high relative to developed nations; and despite the fact that Africa and Latin America have higher teen fertility levels compared to the rest of the developing world, few international agencies have targeted Africa and Latin America as priorities for birth control activities.