Family planning in Latin America and the Caribbean: the achievements of 50 years.
This report examines the 50-year period starting in the mid-1960s that witnessed a dramatic decline in fertility and steady increase in contraceptive use in the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region. The current contraceptive prevalence rate (all methods) of 74 percent is among the highest of any region in the developing world. Many factors have contributed to the dramatic decline in fertility in the LAC region over the past 50 years: increased educational levels, improved economic conditions, decreased infant and child mortality, rapid urbanization, political stability, and changing cultural norms, among others. While recognizing the influence of these factors on fertility, what role did use of family planning play in fertility decline in the region? What lessons can be drawn for other developing countries committed to a development path that strengthens family planning services and improves health and living standards for their people? This report examines the specific role of family planning in accelerating fertility decline in the LAC region.