The influence of education on fertility in Latin America

Elsa Ortíz, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Daniel Devolder, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

In Latin America there is scarcity of literature relating the fall in fertility with the increase on the level of education. Hence, in this paper we focus on education as a primary variable where our main objective is to analyze the trends in fertility in Latin America by studying eight countries (Bolivia, Colombia, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru and Dominican Republic) and comparing their Total Fertility Rate (TFR) by level of education. The data source used for Mexico is the National Survey of Demographic Dynamics conducted in 2009, and for the other Latin American countries we used the Demographic and Health Surveys. For the purposes of the study the editions of this survey are the following: Bolivia 2008, Colombia 2010, Haiti and Honduras 2005-2006, Nicaragua 2001, Mexico 2009, Peru 2007-2008 and Dominican Republic 2007. In order to compare the levels of fertility by educational attainment for the 8 countries we used three series of TFR. The first is a 10 year computed overall TFR for each country, while the next series are the first and third child order TFR, both calculated by educational level. In order to predict the values of being a mother or not, when comparing with the results of the previously calculated TFR, the variable that better adjusts is the interaction between the age of the woman and the birth year of occurrence. This analysis is done by fitting a logistic regression model. The first results show that despite the fact that Latin America has predominantly low and medium educational levels, there is a fall in fertility and a delay in the age at first and third motherhood especially among highly educated women.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Poster Session 1