Fertility Developments in South Africa since 1990

Martin Enoch Palamuleni, North-West University, South Africa

The paper examines trends in fertility and its proximate determinants (marriage, contraception and post-partum infecundability) in South Africa since the new democratic dispensesion in 1990. The study uses the data from 1996 and 2001 censuses, 2007 community survey and Demographic and Health Surveys data sets of 1998 and 2003. The goal is to identify the important intermediate variables that are amenable for policy towards fertility reduction. Analysis shows that fertility in South Africa is slowly approaching replacement level and there are increases in the absolute measures of all three determinants. The magnitude of change is greatest in marriage, moderate in contraceptive use but least in duration of breast-feeding. The results suggest that changes in marital factors followed by contraception are the major determinants of fertility in South Africa.

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Presented in Session 1: Low Fertility in Developed and Developing Countries