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Evidence of recent fertility decline in Eritrea: Is it a conflict-led decline?

Gebremariam Woldemicael, University of Western Ontario

Using retrospective event histories from the 2002 Eritrea Demographic and Health Survey (EDHS), we examine fertility responses to military conflict in Eritrea. The proposition of the possibility of a conflict-led fertility decline is examined using bivariate period fertility trend analyses and multivariate statistical methods. The findings are inconsistent with the hypothesis of a conflict-initiated decline. Rather, they indicate the onset of a long-term fertility decline, being accelerated by the recent border conflict with Ethiopia. The implications of these findings for theories about fertility change in times of military conflict is that crises may not be likely to initiate a sustainable fertility transition, but can still prompt short-term fertility changes and thus modify an ongoing decline.

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Presented in Session 49: Other Emerging Issues in Population in Eastern Africa