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Demographic and social determinants of stalled fertility among women in Ghana: evidence from Ghana demographic and health surveys 1998–2014

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Ghana was one of the first countries to be identified as experiencing a stall in fertility transition. The purpose of this study is to examine contextual demographic, social and proximate determinants of stalling fertility among women in Ghana. The study used data from the four rounds of the Ghana Demographic and Health Survey (1998–2014). The study found a stalled fertility level at 4 children per woman from 1998 to 2014. Women between the ages of 30–39 and 40–49 years, with primary education, dwelling in poor and middle-income households and women using contraception had a higher probability of experiencing stalls in their fertility levels. However, women with 1–4 children, with no formal education, currently and never married women, belonging to Christian, Islamic and traditional faith as well as sexually active and inactive women had a lower probability of experiencing stalling fertility. The determinants of stall in fertility transition can be attributed to demographic, social and proximate factors. These factors should be considered in achieving a continuous decline in fertility levels among women.

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The datasets used for this study are openly available and can be accessed via



Adjusted odds ratio


Confidence interval


Gross domestic product


Ghana demographic and health survey


Ghana statistical service


Population reference bureau


Total fertility rate


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We would like to thank the staff of the Ghana Statistical Service for making available the data for this study.


This study did not receive any specific financial support from any agency in the public, private or nonprofit sector.

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Authors and Affiliations



DK: conceptualised, designed the study, and obtained the data. DK: analysed and interpreted the data. The entire manuscript was drafted by DK. It was critically reviewed and revised by PA. All authors approved the final version of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Desmond Klu.

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None declared.

Ethical approval

The Informed Consent Form (ICF) Institutional Review Board (IRB) approved the protocol for the 1998, 2003, 2008 and 2014 GDHS. We obtained permission from the ICF for the use of the datasets, and the terms of use were strictly adhered to. Informed consent was obtained from respondents before interviews were conducted. Again, all methods used were carried out in accordance with relevant guidelines and procedures.

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Klu, D., Agyekum, P. Demographic and social determinants of stalled fertility among women in Ghana: evidence from Ghana demographic and health surveys 1998–2014. SN Soc Sci 3, 112 (2023).

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