Analysis of fertility estimates in Zimbabwe : A comparison of the census and DHS data

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

Analysis of census data is important to uncover new insights as well as highlight where improvements in future data collection are required. The study provides an assessment of the fertility estimates derived from census data in comparison to those derived from the Zimbabwe Demographic and Health Surveys. Robust methods are used to estimate fertility levels and to identify the trends in fertility in Zimbabwe. Fertility decline in Zimbabwe is observed to have started in the early 1980s. The greatest level of decline occurred between the 1980s and the mid-1990s. In more recent years fertility in Zimbabwe has stalled at roughly four children per woman. Using projected parity progression ratios fertility decline has been observed to be in part a result of parity limitation, as fewer women progress to higher parities. A comparison of the census and Zimbabwe Demographic and Health Survey fertility measures show that for the same cohort of women, the measures of fertility are strongly congruent. While there are problems with census data, it has been shown that using robust estimation the census fertility estimates are comparable to those from the Demographic and Health Surveys.

Includes bibliographical references.