The past and current population development of the countries of Central Asia has received surprisingly little attention from demographers. If few studies have focused on investigating the changes in marriage, fertility and mortality in one or more countries of the region, fertility preferences have been largely disregarded. This chapter offers an exploratory investigation of the fertility preferences in the five Central Asian countries. Using sample survey data, the analysis first examines the fertility intentions of women in Central Asia and considers then if their reported fertility intentions were implemented in their reproductive behaviours. The study reveals strong fertility desire for an additional child regardless of the number and composition of the children already born, as well as higher desire for boys. These preferences in the fertility intentions are somewhat implemented in the region, especially among women who have had at least two children and those are only girls. These results and the likely future development of fertility in the region are discussed in the light of the experience of the countries of the Caucasus.
Khaing Khaing Soe, Nyi Nyi and Thomas Spoorenberg
The fertility transition in Myanmar has taken a unique path in Asia. Starting in the 1970s, the country experienced a rapid fertility decline despite low levels of social and economic development and the absence of an official family planning program. Indeed, Myanmar’s fertility decline was driven by an unusually high prevalence of female non-marriage resulting from ever increasing female education and high female participation in the labor force. Using data from sample surveys, this chapter explores several aspects of fertility in order to understand better Myanmar fertility dynamics. The study shows a high proportion of married women who want to delay their births. The proportion of those who desire no additional children is increasing and the ideal number of children is declining over the period. Multivariate analysis confirmed the influence of education, labor force participation and child mortality etc. on fertility. With more Myanmar women opting not to get married, coupled with the rising levels of female education and high female labor participation, the fertility levels are likely to continue to decline in the near future.