Volume 39 - Article 24 | Pages 685–700  

Fertility compression in Niger: A study of fertility change by parity (1977–2011)

By Thomas Spoorenberg, Hamidou Issaka Maga


Background: Very few studies have analyzed the fertility change in Niger – a country where the total fertility rate has remained high and stable over the last decades.

Objective: This study looks at the fertility change in Niger from a parity perspective to consider if reproductive behaviors are revealing some ongoing changes under the apparent stability of the total fertility rate.

Methods: Using birth history data from four representative sample surveys, parity progression ratios and mean birth intervals were computed, covering three decades of fertility change in Niger.

Results: Confirming the stability of the level of fertility, the results show little change in the progression to the successive parities. Yet, although women in Niger still end their reproductive lives with a similar number of children, the birth intervals indicate that the onset of childbearing and the progressions to the successive birth orders have been progressively delayed.

Conclusions: Over the last three decades, Nigerien women have continued to manage to bear a rather stable average number of children in their lifetimes, compressing their fertility to an ever-reducing number of reproductive years.

Contribution: This study documents the parity-specific fertility changes that are indeed at work in a pretransition situation for which few evidences are available, still.

Author's Affiliation

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