Volume 22 - Article 10 | Pages 211-236

Modeling fertility curves in Africa

By Ezra Gayawan, Samson Adebayo, Reuben A. Ipinyomi, Benjamin Oyejola

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Date received:17 Feb 2009
Date published:12 Feb 2010
Word count:5782
Keywords:Africa, age-specific fertility, Akaikes Information Criterion, complementary error function, cubic/quadratic spline, polynomial model


The modeling of fertility patterns is an essential method researchers use to understand world-wide population patterns. Various types of fertility models have been reported in the literature to capture the patterns specific to developed countries. While much effort has been put into reducing fertility rates in Africa, models which describe the fertility patterns have not been adequately described. This article presents a flexible parametric model that can adequately capture the varying patterns of the age-specific fertility curves of African countries. The model has parameters that are interpretable in terms of demographic indices. The performance of this model was compared with other commonly used models and Akaike’s Information Criterion was used for selecting the model with best fit. The presented model was able to reproduce the empirical fertility data of 11 out of 15 countries better than the other models considered.

Author's Affiliation

Ezra Gayawan - Redeemer’s University, Nigeria [Email]
Samson Adebayo - Society for Family Health (SFH), Nigeria [Email]
Reuben A. Ipinyomi - University of Ilorin, Nigeria [Email]
Benjamin Oyejola - University of Ilorin, Nigeria [Email]

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