Fertility change in Egypt: from second to third birth
Demographic Research, 15:18, 499–516 (2006)
This work focuses on Egypt, a country that notwithstanding its advanced stage of socio-demographic transition has shown near stagnation in the reduction of fertility levels in the last decade. The progression from second to third birth is a crucial component in fertility change, since the reduction especially of third and higher-order births maintains the fertility decline. For this reason, the study aims at analyzing the main determinants of the third-birth intensities of Egyptian two-child mothers, applying an event-history analysis to the 2000 Egyptian Demographic and Health Survey. The study’s results show that fertility differentials among the country’s social groups continue to persist. Moreover, the difficult change in the fertility of women with high educational standards seems to be responsible for the stalling fertility decline during recent years. The analysis, however, has demonstrated that within the framework of the ongoing process of modernization in the country, even the most laggard groups of women showed a decrease in third-birth intensity during the 1990s. The study also reveals that the preference for at least one son in the family on the progression to the third child is weakening among women who have completed secondary education.