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Fertility decline and increased proportions of nulliparous married women aged 30-44 years: Analysis of marital status, regional, and socioeconomic influences - Brazil, 2000-2010

17th June 2014 3pm, University of Southampton, 58/1007

Andre Junqueira Caetano, Catholic University of Minas GERAIS/Cedeplar - Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil

The decrease of parities higher than two children was the main feature of the Brazilian fertility decline until 2000, when its TFR reached 2.4. During the 2000s the decline followed unabated so that the TFR was below replacement level in 2010 (1.9). Nevertheless, terminating at higher-order parities was not an option anymore. In this scenario, the postponement of the first and second child as well as limitation at one or two children played the major role in the 2000-2010 period. As a consequence, the proportion of married women older than 30 years without children increased substantially. In this respect, there are wide variations in the reproductive behaviour according marital status (legally married women as compared to women in consensual unions), region, place of residence (metropolitan urban, other urban, and rural dwellers), and socioeconomic level. This piece analyses the increase in the proportion of married women 30-44 years old with no children in Brazil between 2000 and 2010 taking into account the reproductive heterogeneity across regions and socioeconomic levels as well as differentials between legally married and women in consensual unions. Human reproduction research has established that female biological fecundity declines gradually after the menarche, but more intensely after 32 years-old and dramatically after 37 years-old. Moreover, aging is regarded as the main determinant of female sub-fecundity, infecundity and even sterility before menopause. Thus nulliparous married women aged 30-44 is taken as a subfertile female population, which often serves as a proxy for the potential demand for Assisted Reproduction Technology (ART). There is neither public nor private health insurance that pays for ART in Brazil and as the country marches towards lower levels of fertility this is an issue that may become a problem.