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  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2022

Fertility Transition in the Developing World

  • This book is open access and thus freely available online

  • Presents an overview of one of the most consequential population trends

  • Discusses the reproductive behaviour transition since 1950

  • Shows determinants, consequences and related policy and political issues

Part of the book series: SpringerBriefs in Population Studies (BRIEFSPOPULAT)

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Table of contents (9 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xi
  2. Fertility Trends in the Developing World, 1950–2020

    • John Bongaarts, Dennis Hodgson
    Pages 1-14Open Access
  3. Country Fertility Transition Patterns

    • John Bongaarts, Dennis Hodgson
    Pages 15-27Open Access
  4. Transitions in Individual Reproductive Behavior and Preferences

    • John Bongaarts, Dennis Hodgson
    Pages 29-49Open Access
  5. Socio-Economic Determinants of Fertility

    • John Bongaarts, Dennis Hodgson
    Pages 51-62Open Access
  6. Controversies Surrounding Fertility Policies

    • John Bongaarts, Dennis Hodgson
    Pages 63-83Open Access
  7. Does Fertility Decline Stimulate Development?

    • John Bongaarts, Dennis Hodgson
    Pages 85-95Open Access
  8. The Developing World’s Fertility Transition: 2000–2020

    • John Bongaarts, Dennis Hodgson
    Pages 123-139Open Access
  9. Conclusion

    • John Bongaarts, Dennis Hodgson
    Pages 141-144Open Access

About this book

This open access book provides an overview and analysis of the causes and consequences of the massive and highly consequential transition in reproductive behaviour that occurred in Asia, Latin America, and Africa since the mid-20th century. In the 1950s contraceptive use was rare and women typically spend most of their reproductive years bearing and rearing children. By 2020 fertility and contraceptive use in Asia and Latin America reached levels commonly observed in the developed world. Africa’s fertility is still high, but transitions have started in all countries. This monograph is the first to provide a comprehensive analysis of these trends and their determinants, covering changes in reproductive behaviour (e.g., use of contraception and abortion), preferences (e.g., desire to limit and space births) and the role of socioeconomic development (e.g., education). The role of government policies and in particular family planning programs is discussed in depth. Particular attention is given to provide a balanced assessment of several political and scientific controversies that have beset the field. As such this book provides an interesting read for a wide audience of undergraduate and graduate students, researchers, and public health policy makers.


  • Open Access
  • Fertility transition
  • Developing world
  • Determinants of fertility
  • Family planning programs
  • Population policies
  • Fertility policies
  • Fertility trends
  • Fertility decline
  • Fertility preferences
  • Socio-economic determinants in fertility decline
  • Demographic transition
  • Impact of population policies
  • Political controversy over population policy
  • Reproductive behaviour transition

Authors and Affiliations

  • The Population Council, New York, USA

    John Bongaarts

  • Department of Socio & Anthro, Fairfield University, Fairfield, USA

    Dennis Hodgson

About the authors

John Bongaarts is a Distinguished Scholar of the Population Council where he has been employed since 1973. He holds a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Illinois and was a Post-Doctoral Fellow in Population Dynamics at the John’s Hopkins School of Public Health. Bongaarts’ research has focused on a range of population and public health issues, including population projections, determinants of fertility and mortality, the impact of family planning programs and population policy options in both the developed and developing world. He has published over 250 papers, chapters and books. Honors include the Robert J. Lapham Award and the Mindel Sheps Award from the Population Association of America, and the Research Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health.  He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences and is a Laureate of the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population.

Dennis Hodgson is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Fairfield University where he taught from 1976 until 2014. He has been on the editorial committee of Population and Development Review from 2010 through 2021. He holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from Cornell University where he was a student in its International Population Program from 1969 until 1976.  Hodgson’s research has focused on understanding the relationship of population trends to the development of population theory and policy.  He has published a number of articles analysing the post-WWII period when most demographers came to see the rapid growth of population in the developing world as a crisis in need of policy intervention.  He has also published articles on the role that population concerns have played at various times in US history, from the 18th century through the early 20th century.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Fertility Transition in the Developing World

  • Authors: John Bongaarts, Dennis Hodgson

  • Series Title: SpringerBriefs in Population Studies

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

  • eBook Packages: Social Sciences, Social Sciences (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Author(s) 2022

  • License: CC BY

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-031-11839-5Published: 02 September 2022

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-031-11840-1Published: 01 September 2022

  • Series ISSN: 2211-3215

  • Series E-ISSN: 2211-3223

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XI, 144

  • Number of Illustrations: 6 b/w illustrations, 39 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Demography, Population Economics, Public Health

Buy it now

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 37.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Other ways to access