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Working Paper

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An examination of fertility trends in countries with multiple DHS surveys found that in the 1990s fertility stalled in mid-transition in seven countries: Bangladesh, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ghana, Kenya, Peru, and Turkey. An analysis of trends in the determinants of fertility revealed a systematic pattern of leveling off or near leveling in a number of determinants, including contraceptive use, the demand for contraception, and wanted fertility. Findings suggest no major deterioration in contraceptive access during the stall, but levels of unmet need and unwanted fertility are relatively high and improvements in access to family planning methods would therefore be desirable. No significant link was found between the presence of a stall and trends in socioeconomic development, but at the onset of the stall the level of fertility was low relative to the level of development in all but one of the stalling countries.