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Fertility transition and the progression to third birth in Turkey

  • Economics


During the last two decades, Turkey entered into the last phase of its demographic transition. The latest nationwide Turkey Demographic and Health Survey (TDHS) reveals that the current TFR is close to reproduction level, with a wide range of west-east regional disparity. The purpose of this study is to examine important determinants of third-birth intensities of two-child mothers by applying event-history analysis to retrospective survey data. Some of the basic socioeconomic characteristics of women and their first marriages – related to the cultural context of fertility behavior – are investigated with hazard regression models. We demonstrate that the third-birth intensities differ considerably by mother tongue of the woman. Turkish-speaking women who read easily and who were employed and covered by social security before their first marriage had the lowest transition rate from second to third child. In contrast, Kurdish women who could not read and who did not work had the highest third-birth risk. While the fertility decline among Turkish women has been constant for two decades, the fertility remains high among illiterate Kurdish women, who can be classified as laggards in the Turkey’s fertility transition.

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