The Population Impact of Preventing Child Marriage and Delaying the Start of Childbearing

Vladimira Kantorova, United Nations Population Division
Ann E. Biddlecom, United Nations Population Division

We examine the population impact of delaying childbearing in the context of efforts to eliminate child marriage, invest in the human capital of girls and expand access to sexual and reproductive health information and services. In the future, these efforts would likely lead to a reduction of fertility rates in the youngest age groups. For the period up to 2040, we simulate a postponement of childbearing and use a cohort component population projection method for two types of countries where marriage at young ages is common: one where total fertility is currently high (Ethiopia and Nigeria) and one where total fertility is already approaching replacement level (Bangladesh and Nepal). Delayed childbearing has an impact on population growth net of the projected fertility decline, and the impact is an 8 to 10 per cent reduction in the population below age 20 by 2040 compared to the projection with no postponement.

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Presented in Session 144: Timing of Fertility