Trends in the Timing of Reproductive Milestones among Ethiopian Women in the Past Decade (2000-2011)
Ayalu Reda, Brown University
Context: Ethiopia has been characterized by high population growth. In the past decade, there have been rapid social changes that could alter the reproductive trajectories of the population. Among these, economic growth, increased access to education, and contraception are notable. We investigate whether these trends have started to appear in Ethiopia. We use data from the 2000, 2005, and 2011 Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) to investigate recent trends in age at first sex and first marriage among young women in Ethiopia. Despite significant rises in contraceptive use and female education, there have only been small changes in the timing of first sex and first marriage. In fact, contrary to expectations, there is a stable level of premarital sex between the 2005 and 2011 surveys. Conclusion: Ethiopia has not yet produced large changes at the national level in the timing and context of first sex among young women.