Human Fertility in Latin America: Sociological Perspectives

By J. Mayone Stycos | Go to book overview

16
Education and Fertility in Latin America

Latin American countries invest fairly heavily in education, in one way or another. Toward the end of the fifties, six countries were expending $10.00 or more per capita per year on education: in order of descending magnitude -- Venezuela, Brazil, Panama, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Chile.1 No country was expending less than 8 percent of its total public spending on education, and four were spending more than a fifth. Such outlays for education represented from 1.2 percent of the national income in Colombia to as much as 4 percent in Peru.

The most common justification for such expenditures relates to the role of education in economic and social modernization, but in addition it is sometimes alleged that education will have a pay-off in reduced fertility levels. With increasing education, birth rates are expected "automatically" to decline, obviating the necessity for direct programs of fertility control. To test this assumption we have assembled three classes of data on the relation of fertility to education in Latin America -- international, interregional (intranational), and interpersonal.


NATIONAL DATA

There are two general types of educational measures available for Latin America: those which reflect current success at edu

____________________
1
Statistical Abstract of Latin America, 1962, Table 14, p. 25.

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