Volume 13 - Article 4 | Pages 83–116

Fertility decline in North-Central Namibia: An assessment of fertility in the period 1960-2000 based on parish registers

By Riikka Shemeikka, Veijo Notkola, Harri Siiskonen

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Date received:22 Jun 2005
Date published:30 Aug 2005
Word count:8653
Keywords:cohort fertility, contraceptive use, fertility decline, HIV/AIDS, Namibia, parish registers, period fertility, sub-Saharan Africa


This study examines fertility decline in North-Central Namibia in the period 1960-2000. A Scandinavian-type parish-register system, established in the beginning of 20th Century and still in use, provided register-based data for fertility analysis. Fertility decline began in 1980, was rapid in the 1980s, levelled off in the early 1990s, started again in 1994 and continued until the year 2000. Fertility declined in every age group, except among the 15-19 year olds, whose fertility increased. Cohort fertility started to decline among the 1940-44 birth cohort. During the 1980s, fertility decline was associated with increasing age at first marriage and declining marital fertility, connected to e.g. the War of Independence. During the 1990s, an increase in both the use of contraceptives and HIV-prevalence contributed to the fertility decline.

Author's Affiliation

Riikka Shemeikka - Helsingin Yliopisto (University of Helsinki), Finland [Email]
Veijo Notkola - Helsingin Yliopisto (University of Helsinki), Finland [Email]
Harri Siiskonen - Itä-Suomen Yliopisto (University of Eastern Finland), Finland [Email]

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