The Demand for Birth Control: Trends and Regional Patterns

John B. Casterline, Ohio State University
Chenyao Zhang, The Ohio State University
Jason R. Thomas, The Ohio State University

The desire to avoid pregnancy -- “demand for birth control” [DBC] -- is an integral component of standard diagnostic measures of reproductive success, namely “unmet need for contraception” and “percent demand satisfied”. DBC is simply fertility preferences (desire to have another child soon, later, or not at all) and is NOT tantamount to a demand for contraception. This paper will provide a comprehensive portrait of trends in DBC over the course of fertility decline. The contribution of the paper will be three-fold: (1) A rigorous examination of trends in the demand for birth control, filling a hole in the existing research literature; this will be regression analysis using survey data pooled across survey and country; (2) Formulation and application of a model for the demographic drivers of DBC; (3) Structured regional comparison, to test the proposition that fertility declines in SSA are different (namely, more substantial increase in DBC).

See paper.

  Presented in Session 60. Unmet Need and Demand for Family Planning- Measurement and Conceptual Issues