Fertility Transitions in Developing Countries: Progress or Stagnation?



Over the past quarter-century, fertility has declined rapidly in many developing countries. Projections typically assume that this trend will continue until replacement level is reached. Recent evidence suggests, however, that ongoing fertility declines may have slowed or stalled in a number of countries in transition. This study examines the pace of fertility change in developing countries that have multiple Demographic and Health Surveys to determine whether ongoing transitions are decelerating or stalling. The main findings are that in sub-Saharan African countries, the average pace of decline in fertility was lower around 2000 than in the mid-1990s and that more than half the countries in transition in this region have stalled.