The Educational Gradient of Low Fertility in Latin America

Eduardo L. G. Rios-Neto, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG)
Raquel Guimaraes, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG)

This paper evaluates fertility changes, controlling for education, in six Latin American countries that have completed or are in the later stages of demographic transition. This study aims to assess the chances that some countries in the region will reach low or lowest-low fertility levels in the near future. The authors performed two decomposition exercises. First, a retrospective decomposition exercise evaluated the impact of changes in women’s educational composition and in the age-specific fertility rates (ASFR) on the observed decline in total fertility rates (TFR) between 2000 and 2010. Next, a prospective decomposition projects future educational composition and evaluated the expected decline in TFR if the series of ASFR are kept constant at the 2010 level. These exercises were applied to Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay, and Colombia using IPUMS microdata (Minnesota Population Center 2012).

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Presented in Session 23: Fertility Transitions