Education and rural-urban differentials in fertility in developing countries – does residence matter?

Saroja Adhikari, International Institute of Applied System Analysis
Michaela Potancokova, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

Fertility transition is well underway in developing countries, and total fertility rates (TFR) recently reached or came close to replacement levels in several countries. However, fertility levels and the rate of decline of TFR differ by the place of residence and the education of women. Analysis of fertility by education and place of residence is crucial for a better understanding of fertility change in the region. A large body of literature found a strong negative relationship between educational attainment and fertility and inverted U shape in rural-urban fertility differential. Our research looks at both dimensions and investigates whether urban-rural fertility difference in the developing world is explained by the unevenly distributed education composition between rural and urban regions. We ask two fundamental questions: 1) What is the level and trend of education-specific urban-rural fertility? 2) Do the fertility differences between urban and rural exist due to the uneven distribution of women with different education? To answer these questions, we use multiple Demographic and Health Surveys of waves surveyed between 1984 and 2018.

Keywords: Fertility and childbirth, Spatial dependence/heterogeneity, Multi-level modeling, Urbanization and urban populations

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  Presented in Session 144. Spatial and Social Patterns of Fertility