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Reproductive Intentions and Fertility Rates

Charles F. Westoff
International Family Planning Perspectives
Vol. 16, No. 3 (Sep., 1990), pp. 84-89+96
Published by: Guttmacher Institute
DOI: 10.2307/2133304
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2133304
Page Count: 7
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Reproductive Intentions and Fertility Rates
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Abstract

An evaluation of whether the stated desire to terminate childbearing is a valid predictor of fertility, using national data from 134 surveys conducted over the past 10-15 years, reveals a strong relationship between the total fertility rate and the percentage of women who want no more children, even when the comparison is restricted to developing countries only. More than two-thirds of this strong association acts through contraceptive prevalence. Further analyses confirm the relationship between intention and fertility across time for those countries for which there were two sources of data about five years apart (on average). The conclusion reached is that the proportion of women reporting that they want no more children has high predictive validity and is therefore a useful tool for short-term fertility forecasting.

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