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AIDS Anal Afr. 1995 Mar-Apr;5(2):2.

Birth-rate re-appraisal in southern Africa.

[No authors listed]


The birth rate may not be slowing as fast as originally thought in Botswana and Zimbabwe, the two Sub-Saharan countries believed to be making the best progress towards curtailing population growth. A new study from the World Bank has re-examined the evidence on which the claims of fertility decline were based, and concluded that the figures may have been misinterpreted. Two censuses, carried out in 1984 and 1988, revealed a steep drop in the birth-rate. But the bank study shows that the two surveys are no longer compatible, because the later one questioned better-educated women. Women who have more schooling are more likely to be using contraceptives, regardless of the success or failure of a country's family planning program. This means that projections for the size of the two countries' populations have certainly been underestimated. "Among women aged 25 to 34 years in Zimbabwe in 1984, between 20% - 50% of the observed fertility-decline can be attributed to differences in education across the surveys; between 20% - 30% of the decline among women aged 35 to 44 years in Botswana can similarly be explained," the report says.

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