Fertility levels, trends and differentials in Limpopo Province of South Africa
Ngobeni, Jonas Godfrey Molate
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This paper investigates fertility levels, trends and differentials in Limpopo province. Census 96 and DHS 98 datasets were used in this study. Limpopo province experienced a decrease in fertility over the past five years, where Total Fertility Rate (TFR) declined from 3.9 in 1996 to 3.8 in 1998 and further decreased to 3.7 in 2001. Blacks still have the highest total fertility rate while Whites have the lowest total fertility rate. Majority of women in Limpopo province do not use contraceptives, nearly 40.6 percent of the women reported that they were currently using contraception whereas 59.4 percent indicated that they were not using contraceptives. As expected contraceptive use is higher in urban areas than in rural areas. The study also shows that the level of contraceptive use increases with the education of the women. Of the different methods used by sexually active women, 25.9 percent comprise injectable contraceptives, 8.4 percent use the pill, 2.5 percent use female sterilization and 2.2 percent use condom. Non-marital fertility in Limpopo province is a major problem where 64.7% of never married women indicated that they were not using contraceptives. 74.9% of teenagers indicated that they were not using contraceptives. These lower levels of contraceptive use among adolescents bring lots of problems in the society like teenage pregnancies, high risks of HIV/AIDS, abortion, delivery complications, low birth-weight infants and higher NWU rates of maternal mortality. The results of the multiple regression illustrated that, age of the mother, age at first birth, educational level, income, mother still alive, marital status, usual place of residence, race currently breastfeeding and current contraceptive method, as main determinants of fertility in Limpopo province.
- Humanities