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 4: The socioeconomic context of fertility decline and preferences in Brunei

Norainie Ahmad


Brunei’s fertility transition has largely been under-researched, with only a handful of studies focusing on the direct and indirect determinants of fertility decline, and no existing demographic data or literature on fertility preferences. This chapter attempts to paint a picture of the changes that have been experienced by this little-known microstate, whose population has remained below half a million persons, and whose dramatic fertility decline resonates that of advanced economies. Yet Brunei has never implemented any population policy or family planning programmes that would have stimulated such changes. As the country advances further, it is clear that the maxim ‘development is the best contraceptive’ holds true. In particular, we look at the experiences of women from a macro and micro level, where shifting roles and improvements in socioeconomic status have prompted later ages at first marriage and increasing social acceptance towards having smaller families.

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