Urban Fertility in Zambia at the Turn of the 21st Century: Understanding Fertility Decline amidst De-Urbanization

Athena Pantazis, University of Washington

Once a model of African urbanization, Zambia has seen substantial urban decline in the last part of the 20th century, most severely affecting the Copperbelt region. Conditions in urban Zambia are characterized by poverty and high child mortality, suggesting modernization is not the driver of fertility reduction here. Using data from 1992, 1996, 2001-02 and 2007 Zambia Demographic and Health Surveys, this study seeks to examine the interaction between Zambia’s turn of the 20th century urbanization processes and fertility, and to better understand Zambia’s persistent high fertility through comparison of proximate determinants of fertility across urban areas and modeling the effect of particular urban residence on fertility. Fertility in Zambia has been stagnant, though urban fertility has declined from 5.1 to 4.3 between 1992 and 2007, and regional differences suggest differences in decline between regions. Analysis of proximate determinants indicates some small differences between Lusaka and Copperbelt urban areas.

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Presented in Poster Session 2: Fertility Intentions and Behavior