Wanted and Unwanted Fertility in Bolivia: Does Ethnicity Matter?

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    CONTEXT: In Bolivia, the total fertility rate (TFR) among indigenous populations is higher than that among the nonindigenous population. It is important to investigate whether this difference is attributable to ethnic differences in wanted or unwanted fertility.
    METHODS: Data from the 2003 Bolivian Demographic and Health Survey were used to estimate women's wanted and unwanted TFRs. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine whether women's, men's and couples' characteristics were associated with use of any contraceptive method and modern methods.
    RESULTS: The TFRs for indigenous and nonindigenous women were 1.5 and 1.7, [corrected] respectively. The wanted fertility rate for indigenous women was nearly the same as that for nonindigenous women (2.8 and 1.4, [corrected] respectively); virtually all of the ethnic difference in the TFRs was attributable to the ethnic difference in unwanted fertility. The proportion of women in need of contraception was greater among indigenous women than among nonindigenous women (26% vs. 19%). In logistic regression analyses, male fertility preferences explained only a small part of the ethnic difference in contraceptive use.
    CONCLUSION: Women's, men's and couples' preferences contribute only marginally to unwanted fertility, suggesting that structural factors act as obstacles to preventing unwanted fertility.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)166-75
    JournalInternational Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010


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