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The lagging demographic and health transitions in rural Ethiopia, 1990-2005: Analysis of productive assets, sociocultural, agro-ecological and health service coverage factors effecting trends in fertility, mortality and nutrition

Charles H Teller, Population Reference Bureau (PRB) and Addis Ababa University
Tesfayi Gebreselassie, Macro International Inc.
Assefa Hailemariam, Addis Ababa University

We study the lagging demographic transition in overwhelmingly rural Ethiopia in the past 15 years, and suggest policy implications for their acceleration. Constructing comparable trend data from the 3 nationally representative surveys since 1990, we observe rural-urban divide in Ethiopia widening, with Addis Ababa having gone through the fertility transition to below replacement TFR (1.4), but rural areas remain in a pre-transition level (6.0) However, the epidemiological transition is in progress, with steadily lowering under-five mortality and chronic malnutrition. Factors which reduce fertility, such as rising CPR and age of marriage, female education and reduced desired family size, are occurring, but without effecting rural fertility so far. New indicators of other factors affecting the transition will be analyzed, including rural assets, socio-cultural norms, agro-ecological zones and access to health services. Implications for assisting the governments reaching their strategic objectives in population, health and rural development programs will be discussed.

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Presented in Session 25: Population growth and poverty linkages in Africa