Accelerating Fertility Decline in Sub-Saharan Africa

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Abstract

This paper considers the question, what can governments in sub-Saharan Africa do to accelerate the decline of fertility in the region? It begins with a review and discussion of United Nations projections of fertility for sub-Saharan Africa, and suggests that in light of the stalling of fertility decline that has been observed in some countries of the region, those projections may be optimistic regarding the pace of fertility decline. An overview of the policy environment emphasizes several aspects of government views and policies on fertility and population growth and how they have changed over time, and some differences among sub-regions are noted. The Easterlin framework for fertility analysis serves as the theoretical framework for examination of how existing policies function to influence fertility. The paper concludes by discussing what governments can do to accelerate the decline of fertility.

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