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 14: Fertility preferences in Myanmar

Khaing Khaing Soe, Nyi Nyi and Thomas Spoorenberg

Abstract

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.

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