The Changing Roles of Ethnicity and Education as Determinants of Fertility: The Case of Kinshasa

David Shapiro, Professor of Economics, Demography and Women's Studies, Pennsylvania State University

Colloquium, SAR Boardroom

Wednesday, October 29, 2014, 12:00–1:00 pm, Free

In the mid-1950s, a large-scale survey carried out in the Belgian Congo found substantial differences in fertility of different ethnic groups, with groups from the north of the country in particular showing comparatively low fertility and a high incidence of sterility. This presentation will use data from a series of surveys that have been carried out in Kinshasa and in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to show how, over time, ethnicity has become much less important as a determinant of fertility outcomes, despite ethnic group differences in fertility-related behaviors. At the same time, women’s education—which was irrelevant to fertility outcomes in the 1950s because the vast majority of women had no schooling—has become increasingly important as a determinant of fertility.
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