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Fertility Transition: Southeast Asia

Elsevier Ltd
DOI: 10.1016/b0-08-043076-7/02137-9
  • Economics


Overall, fertility in Southeast Asia has declined from about six children per woman in the 1960s to around three children per woman in the late 1990s. This pace of fertility decline, one of the most rapid in the developing world, is likely to lead to replacement level fertility early in the twenty-first century. The population of the region will, however, continue to grow for another 50 years (and exceed that of Europe) because of demographic momentum. Precise explanations for the declines of fertility in Southeast Asia remain unresolved, but rapid socioeconomic development and effective family planning programs appear to have been important. The relatively high status of women in Southeast Asia may also have contributed to the rapid pace of fertility decline in several countries. Postponement of marriage in Malaysia, Singapore, and in Thailand has also contributed to the decline of fertility in those countries.

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