Slowdown in African fertility rate linked to disruption of girls' education

February 5, 2019 by Bob Yirka, Phys.org report
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

A team of researchers with the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis has found a connection between fertility rates in many African countries and access to education for girls living in those countries. In their paper published Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes their analysis of population and economic data in multiple African countries and what they found.

Earth can only support a certain number of people—nobody knows what that number is, but most would agree that steps are required today to prevent the population from exceeding that tipping point. Population growth tends to be highest in undeveloped countries, and nowhere is that more evident than in African countries. Scientists studying and ways to curb it have been working with governments in many African nations to keep tabs on population and as part of programs aimed at slowing population growth. Data from such studies has shown that progress in development of African countries has led to declines in fertility rates. In this new effort, the researchers have found a similar association between attending school and family size later on in life.

The researchers began their research by noting that fertility rates ceased declining in several African countries in the early 2000s. To find out why, they obtained data from surveys conducted every few years in the countries under study. More specifically, they looked at data covering the years 1950 to 1995. The data included family size and also information regarding access to education for the children in each household.

The researchers found that 20 years prior, during the 1980s, for children were reduced due to a variety of factors. Young girls, they found, who were denied access to education wound up having more children as adults than did girls in other countries who continued to go to school. They further suggest that had the girls been given the opportunity to attend school, the areas under study would have seen 13 million fewer births.

The researchers claim their findings highlight the need for funding of educational resources in underdeveloped regions as a means for slowing population growth.

Explore further: More women in poor countries use contraception, says report

More information: Endale Kebede et al. Stalls in Africa's fertility decline partly result from disruptions in female education, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2019). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1717288116

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Osiris1
3 / 5 (1) Feb 05, 2019
More fuel for moslime Islamic Staters like Boko Haram to try to burn down schools. They will see this study with a paranoid eye 'as a plot against them to 'reduce their birth rate'. Point of fact that the above article is well taken......more education WILL reduce the birth rate of all, not just those that want stairstep families and Shakespeare's 'o'erteamed loins' reference to women with toooo many children to be able to support.

Backwoods rednecks here in older less advanced and poorer circumstance times often had as many kids aa they could just in order to have enough survive to keep the farms going. They often got too many daughters (their opinions) that only 'could work in the kitchen' until they could be married off. They married them off as soon as possible just to not have to feed them when food short themselves. My old 3X great aunt at 12-13. Marriage lasted 50 years, 8 kids, 43 grandkids, hundreds of GG-kids. Had six mates in all. Lived to 122. Pillar of society
carbon_unit
5 / 5 (8) Feb 05, 2019
Incredibly poor article title. Sounds as if education was disrupted, leading to the lower birthrate when the converse is actually true. How about
Slowdown in African fertility rate linked to better girls' education

This is, of course, good news about an effect that has been known for a while.
TheGhostofOtto1923
not rated yet Feb 05, 2019
More fuel for moslime Islamic Staters like Boko Haram to try to burn down schools. They will see this study with a paranoid eye
Fundys are the cause not the effect.
My old 3X great aunt at 12-13. Marriage lasted 50 years, 8 kids, 43 grandkids, hundreds of GG-kids. Had six mates in all. Lived to 122. Pillar of society
The US was kept in an artificial pioneering state up until the middle of the last century in order to fill it up as quickly as possible. The mormon religion for instance was invented to fill up the resource-rich regions around utah.

Poor Jerry lee Lewis married his 13yo sweetheart in Louisiana and made the mistake of taking her with him on tour to London. They ran him out of the country.

"A Time to embrace and a Time to refrain" says the bible. The key to an enduring civilization is being able to plan and control major factors such as growth, resource usage, tech devt, and demographics.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (2) Feb 05, 2019
Slowdown in African fertility rate linked to better girls' education
Boko haram means 'western education is evil'. Its followers are very educated to the fact that anything you may want to teach them is meant to destroy them. Which, of course, it is.

But you need to destroy these festering ancient cultures first before you can effectively educate and provide opportunities to use that education. And usually the only way of doing this is to conduct generational wars meant to bleed off the most fanatic and recalcitrant, and kill them.

Pakistan avoided the Arab spring because bin laden and others were gathering up the disaffected youth there and sending them westward into coalition guns.

The war we are fighting in afghanistan began a few centuries ago. Soviets killed over 2M with a loss of only 15k, similar to our spread in vietnam.

Victory by any measure.
torbjorn_b_g_larsson
not rated yet Feb 06, 2019
Slowdown in African fertility rate linked to better girls' education
Boko haram means 'western education is evil'.


As our local foreign minister always say: "when has war ever solved anything?" It is the decrease in wars, even in the face of the partly AGW induced SW Asian drought, that has contributed to better education across the board.

Terrorist criminals are terrible for those afflicted, but they are not the problem here, and the justice system is the well tested way - with the help of military, admittedly - to reign it in.
TheGhostofOtto1923
not rated yet Feb 06, 2019
foreign minister always say
-When has a politician ever told you what was really going on? Not their job.
the justice system is the well tested way - with the help of military, admittedly
I see... and the military just stands there while the terrorists see the error of their ways and convert?

Theyre spreading their holy message by force of numbers. They wont stop until the entire world believes what they believe.

Funny - every generation thinks that it is the one that has finally become educated enough, mature enough, rational enough, saintly enough, MORAL enough, to finally do away with war. And then along comes an enemy that they absolutely HAVE to fight, or be annihilated.

Why do you suppose this is tb? You would blame the faulty nature of human institutions. I would say that these enemies are created and these wars STAGED, in order that they not be allowed to happen by themselves.

Overpop makes them INEVITABLE. Better they be waged constructively.
TheGhostofOtto1923
not rated yet Feb 06, 2019
The evidence is always there...

"at least 200 species (70 percent) of the world's largest animals are seeing their pops dwindle, and more than 150 face the risk of outright extinction.

"The primary threat in most of these cases appears to be human meat consumption.

"Direct harvest for human consumption of meat or body parts is the biggest danger to nearly all of the large species with threat data available"

-It takes a great deal of effort to keep obscuring it. A little easier perhaps because it is too horrible for most to accept. Easier to blame the people you didnt vote for than the natural propensity of the tropical human animal to quickly and systematically outgrow its food supply, leading to one catastrophic economic cycle after another.

A continuous swath from the sahara to the gobi - stripped, desertified. The question you need to ask is why the whole world doesnt look like this.

They used to say it was providence. You might say luck. I would say Planning.
TheGhostofOtto1923
not rated yet Feb 06, 2019
Your local politician would say whatever he was told to say. That IS his job.
but they are not the problem
No, they are a symptom of overgrowth. The solution is to destroy the religionist cultures that keep producing them.

Name one that ever disappeared by education alone.
torbjorn_b_g_larsson
not rated yet Feb 10, 2019
When has a politician ever told you what was really going on?


It was a nice quote illustrating a well known fact.

and the military just stands there while the terrorists see the error of their ways and convert?


How is your reading comprehension - I suggested the opposite action? Which would go to promote education due to discouraging war and criminality.

The rest of your comment is again emotive in things that does not interest others (first politics, now most anything in something akin to a Gish gallop) and not relevant to the science of the article.

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