Summary: Following a decade-and-a-half stall, fertility in Rwanda dropped sharply between 2005 and 2010. Using a hierarchical age-period-cohort model, this paper finds that the drop in fertility is largely driven by cohort effects, with younger cohorts having substantially fewer children than older cohorts observed at the same age. An Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition is applied on two successive rounds of the Demographic and Health Survey. The findings show that improved female education levels account for the largest part of the fertility decline, with improving household living standards and the progressive move toward non-agricultural employment being important secondary drivers. The drop in fertility has been particularly salient for the younger cohorts, for whom the fertility decline can be fully explained by changes in underlying determinants, most notably the large increase in educational attainment between 2005 and 2010.
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