When Fertility Was Increasing in Developing Countries

Throughout the twentieth century, the number of childless women in Ovamboland was decreasing. In the 1950s, the change in labour migration was the largest factor in fertility decreases. However, modern medicine has reduced the proportion of childless women. In fact, in many developing countries, fertility was increasing during the 1960s and 1970s. Modern medicine has made childless women less likely to die from a lack of eggs or fertile sperm.

In Ovamboland

The decline in Ovamboland’s fertility rates was accompanied by an increase in mortality. A study conducted in North-Central Namibia estimated fertility trends during the 1960s and examined the effect of the HIV epidemic. The study introduced the use of parish registers as a source of data for fertility studies in Africa. Data from Evangelical Lutheran congregations were also used, as were the 1991 and 2001 Population and Housing Censuses and the 1992 and 2000 Namibia Demographic and Health Survey. The authors analyzed census data using the P/F ratio method.

This research draws on the parish registers of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia to study mortality in Ovamboland. It finds significant discontinuities in mortality trends, including rapid changes during the early 1950s and 1960s. In addition, adult mortality declined more than existing model life tables would predict. This study provides evidence for the importance of church-based health policies in developing countries. And finally, this study highlights the need for long-term and comprehensive data collection on the health status of people in rural Africa.

In Botswana

A recent study suggests that when fertility was increasing in Botswana, the rates fell by more than two babies per woman between 1981 and 1988. The baseline estimates were overestimated by about 20%, but actual fertility dropped by about one child per woman during that period. The decline was attributed to deterioration in social conditions due to the drought in the early 1980s, and increased availability of family planning services. Future rates of fertility decline will depend on the effectiveness of these efforts.

The available TFR estimates for Botswana vary from year to year. A decline from 7.1 in 1981 to 6.5 in 1984 might indicate that fertility rates have begun to decline, but it could also be attributed to a high fertility rate in 1981. Regardless, the findings are important to understand why Botswana’s fertility rates are falling. The data will help policymakers assess how much resources are needed to combat the country’s declining fertility.

In Namibia

When fertility was increasing in Namibia, the government took measures to decrease the number of teenagers having children. The HIV epidemic, which affected the country in the 1990s, affected the rate of fertility by ten percent. Fortunately, the situation has changed since the epidemic peaked in 2008, when Namibia’s fertility rate increased again. While the age at first birth is not yet scientifically determined, there are some factors that contribute to this trend.

Fertility increased significantly in the late 1990s in both parts of the country. In fact, in the early 2000s, the number of babies per woman was 2.6. However, fertility has only increased slightly since 2008, which is not consistent with the results of the 2013 NDHS. Although Namibia’s mortality rate climbed in the 1990s, it was relatively stable until 2005, when the HIV epidemic ravaged the country. Perhaps increased fertility helped the country’s overall mortality rate fall.

In Kyrgyzstan

The population dynamics of Kyrgyzstan are affected by the balance between natural increase and migration. While natural increase is higher in Central Asian ethnic groups, migration was the main reason for decline in European ethnic groups in the Kyrgyz Republic. Although external migration has a strong ethnic component, ethnic Russians account for 51% of total migration. This suggests that ethnic Russians are the largest foreign group in the Kyrgyz Republic.

Population growth in Kyrgyzstan has been accelerated by the importation of advanced medical technologies, development of sanitary infrastructure and availability of qualified medical care. Despite this rapid increase in the population, the country has been able to maintain the traditional lifestyle. Moreover, the decline in fertility has slowed due to measures taken to support families. Currently, the population of Kyrgyzstan is growing at a fast rate.