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The Onset of Fertility Transition

Tim Dyson and Mike Murphy
Population and Development Review
Vol. 11, No. 3 (Sep., 1985), pp. 399-440
Published by: Population Council
DOI: 10.2307/1973246
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1973246
Page Count: 42
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The Onset of Fertility Transition
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Abstract

There is a growing awareness that fertility may undergo a rise before its secular long-term decline. This paper examines available time series on fertility trends in contemporary developing countries, and draws together studies that support the existence of this phenomenon. It argues that predecline rises in fertility have sometimes been substantial, and that they are a usual feature of both historical and contemporary transitions. An analysis of turning points in crude birth rates also suggests that fertility movements in different developing countries have sometimes exhibited considerable similarity in timing. The paper reviews the most likely causes behind fertility increases, and also argues that rising fertility has often made a significant contribution to faster population growth. It concludes by examining implications for matters of population research and policy.

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