The Fertility Transition in Latin America

By José Miguel Guzmán; Susheela Singh et al. | Go to book overview
decline, there is no doubt that fertility in Bolivia is still high, exceeded only by levels found in Guatemala and Nicaragua.Fertility decline does not usually occur simultaneously, or follow the same path of change, in all sectors. This is particularly true for Bolivian society, which is characterized by a high degree of social heterogeneity, and whose inhabitants are exposed to very different levels of social advantage and distribution of wealth. If one asked who, in Bolivia, has many children, the immediate response would be: the population in the lower social groups, who represent somewhat more than two-thirds of the total. It should also be asked why those groups have so many children. In the first place, reproductive behaviour in these groups begins with early nuptiality. This fact is probably associated with traditional cultural norms, but there are also social factors that reinforce those norms. Among the poor, young people leave school much earlier than do the youth of the middle and upper social groups, and in a great many cases, do not even have the opportunity of attending school. For this reason, they do not need to postpone marriage, or, consequently, the first birth. In effect, it is Bolivia's large impoverished population--which is characterized by low levels of education, an unskilled labour force, low levels of productivity and income, and exposure to higher risks of mortality--that has the highest level of fertility in the country.
References
Bolivia, Ministerio de Planeamiento y Coordinación ( 19Estrategia de Desarrollo Económico y Social 1989-2000 La Paz: Ministeris de Planeamiento y Coordinación.
Carafa, C., González, G., Ramírez, V., Pereira, R., and Tórrez, H. ( 1983), Luz y Sombra de la Vida, Mortalidad y Fecundidad en Bolivia ( La Paz: Project on Population Policy).
CELADE ( 1988) Demographic Bulletin, 41 (Year 21) ( Santiago: Chile).
----- ( 1989) Demographic Bulletin, 44 (Year 22) ( Santiago: Chile).
CONAPO the Pathfinder Fund ( 1989), Mujer, Trabajo y Reproducción Humana en Tres Contextos de Bolivia ( La Paz: CONAPO Pathfinder Fund).
INE-CELADE ( 1985), Bolivia: Estimaciones y Proyecciones de Población, Total del País 1950-2025. Urbana y Rural 1970-2000 (Fascide F/Boll; La Paz: INE-CELADE).
INE-DHS ( 1990), Bolivia: Encuesta Nacional de Demografía y Salud 1989 ( La Paz: INE-DHS).
INE-FNUAP ( 1989), Bolivia Encuesta Nacional de Población y Vivienda 1988, Resultados Finales ( La Paz: INE).

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