Family Demography in Asia
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Family Demography in Asia

A Comparative Analysis of Fertility Preferences

Edited by Stuart Gietel-Basten, John Casterline and Minja K. Choe

The demographic future of Asia is a global issue. As the biggest driver of population growth, an understanding of patterns and trends in fertility throughout Asia is critical to understand our shared demographic future. This is the first book to comprehensively and systematically analyse fertility across the continent through the perspective of individuals themselves rather than as a consequence of top-down government policies.
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Chapter 9: Fertility preferences in Indonesia

Omas Bulan Samosir, Peter McDonald, Ariane Utomo, Terry Hull, Rina Herartri, Wisnu Fadila, Sopyan Masdar and Sri Hartini Rachmad


In the past, the majority of Indonesian women preferred a large number of children – five or more. The mean ideal number of children has fallen over time from 3.2 in 1987 to 2.6 in 2012. Differences in ideal number of children by age group have tended to become smaller. Desire for an additional child is strongly related to the number of living children a woman already has. The proportions desiring more children roughly halve with each additional child for women with one, two, three and four children. The sharp reduction after the second child suggests widespread agreement with the two-child family norm. The “Two children are enough” slogan has clearly gained continuous support in Indonesia where the two child preference has increased over time. Regional differences in expressed fertility preferences have persisted over time, but are narrowing down with the levelling off of overall fertility levels over time.

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