Ongoing Fertility Transition in Kinshasa: Evidence from the 2007 DHS

David Shapiro, Pennsylvania State University

This paper examines fertility transition in Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and second-largest city in sub-Saharan Africa. Shapiro (1996) documented the onset of fertility transition in Kinshasa, using data from 1990. Women’s education was strongly inversely related to fertility, beginning with secondary-level schooling, and increases in women’s educational attainment that had taken place were important in initiating fertility transition in the city. This paper uses data from the 2007 Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) to examine fertility in Kinshasa and assess fertility transition since 1990. During the early 1990s the DRC experienced an acute economic crisis, with pillaging and looting in 1991 and 1993 contributing to substantial shrinkage of the modern sector of the economy and extremely poor economic performance throughout the 1990s. Data from the 2007 DHS allow us to assess how fertility and several of its determinants have changed since 1990.

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Presented in Session 21: Timing of Childbearing and Fertility Transitions