08 fevereiro, 2012

Diversity of childbearing behaviour in the context of below-replacement fertility in Brazil

Several Latin American countries have reached below-replacement fertility, if not in terms of 
the country average, at least for large socio-economic or regional groups within the country. Brazil, 
the largest of these countries, already has below-replacement fertility, as shown by a variety of data 
sources. The 2007 National Annual Household Survey (PNAD) gives an estimate of 1.96 children per 
woman. The recently released DHS (PNDS 2006) showed fertility at 1.8 children per woman. Hence, 
one might easily conclude that Brazil is following  the path of Mediterranean countries like Italy, 
Spain and Portugal. Indeed, the pace of continuous decline observed suggests that the quantum of 
fertility in Brazil will probably reach the lowest-low fertility of those countries in the near future 
(Lesthaeghe and Willems, 1999; Kohler, Billari, and Ortega, 2002). However, history does not repeat 
itself when comparing Latin American and European countries: one of the biggest differences is the 
timing of childbearing.

Suzana Cavenaghi and José Eustáquio Diniz Alves


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