Why is Fertility Transition Slowest in Yemen among the Arab States? Some Clues from the Analysis of Proximate Determinants of Fertility

Prem C. Saxena, Independent Consultant

Among 22 members of the League of Arab states, Yemen has the highest fertility and slowest transition that began in the early 1990s. It was slow initially but recorded slight increase during the later part of the decade. Using 1991-92 and 1997 YDMCH Surveys data the present study attempts to answer “why is fertility transition slowest in Yemen?”. The role of proximate determinants on fertility decline has been studied using Bongaarts (1982) model. The contributory factors to fertility decline have been identified by decomposition of the change in Yemen’s total fertility rate (TFR). Contraceptive prevalence and postpartum infecundability emerged as the most important factors accounting for the reduction of TFR from 7.7 in 1991-92 to 6.5 in 1997. Index of marriage had negligible impact whereas the role of induced abortion was completely absent. Females’ age at marriage has still to play a great role in accelerating fertility transition in Yemen.

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Presented in Session 13: The Onset of Fertility Decline in Africa