IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Écarts d'âge entre conjoints et pratique contraceptive en Afrique sub-saharienne


  • Magali Barbieri
  • Véronique Hertrich


Sub-Saharan Africa is characterized by record levels of fertility. The region also exhibits the largest age difference between spouses, a proxy for conjugal distance and gender inequalities. The present article investigates the possible relationship between both phenomena: are the high levels of fertility related to large age differences between spouses? Does the relationship vary with individual characteristics? Is its strength related to the stage of the demographic transition reached by the country or by mating patterns? The data used for the study is a body of recent Demographic and Health Surveys in eighteen countries of mainland sub-Saharan Africa. The statistical relationship between age differences between spouses and contraceptive practice is tested using logistic regression models controlling for both individual and contextual variables. The main finding is that the largest age differences between spouses (15 years and over) are associated with low contraceptive use, probably because a large difference reflects women?s reduced decision-making power and a weak marital bond. Other results show the significant impact of community characteristics on the relationship.

Suggested Citation

  • Magali Barbieri & Véronique Hertrich, 2005. "Écarts d'âge entre conjoints et pratique contraceptive en Afrique sub-saharienne," Population (french edition), Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED), vol. 60(5), pages 725-764.
  • Handle: RePEc:cai:popine:popu_505_0725

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: free

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: free


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Georges Reniers & Rania Tfaily, 2012. "Polygyny, Partnership Concurrency, and HIV Transmission in Sub-Saharan Africa," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 49(3), pages 1075-1101, August.
    2. Jean-François Mignot, 2010. "Der Altersunterschied zwischen Ehepartnern
      [Age gaps between spouses or intimate partners]
      ," Post-Print halshs-01326705, HAL.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cai:popine:popu_505_0725. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jean-Baptiste de Vathaire). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.