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Educational Attainment and Fertility: Contextual Determinants in West Africa

Winfred A. Avogo, Illinois State University

Research from Western settings has established that women with more education have lower fertility. However, although fertility has declined after almost four decades of education policies and family planning programs, Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) still has the highest fertility in the world and the pace of fertility decline is the slowest. Using data from the Demographic and Health Surveys from four countries in West Africa, we investigate the effect of average educational levels in the community and other community characteristics on adolescent cohabitation and marriage and first birth. Using decomposition analysis, we examine changes in educational attainment and adolescent reproductive transitions within the last two decades. We find that although average educational levels in the community matter, individual educational levels are consistently associated with the outcomes of interest. We interpret the results of our analysis in the context of policy debates on Sustainable Development Goals on education and fertility in SSA.

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  Presented in Session P1. Poster Session 1