Fertility in Lesotho: An Analysis of Change over Time Based on Parity-Dependent Measures and Birth Intervals

Ntsoaki Mapetla, University of Cape Town
Tom A. Moultrie, University of Cape Town

The Lesotho Population Census of 1996 provided first evidence of a decline in fertility following high and stable fertility for over two decades. The paper seeks to document the pace of the fertility transition in Lesotho through an assessment of changes over time in parity progression and birth intervals. The primary sources of data are the Lesotho Demographic and Health Surveys of 2004 and 2009. Parity progression measures are estimated using the Brass and Juarez (1983) method which is an extension of the life table analysis approach proposed by Rodriguez and Hobcraft (1980). The assessment of birth intervals is done using an approach proposed by Aoun (1989). Results show that the median birth intervals increase with each parity progression within each age cohort. The median birth intervals also increase as the age groups become younger. Assessment of both parity progression measures and median birth intervals point to a steady decline in fertility over time.

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Presented in Poster Session 7