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Population Homeostasis in Sub-Saharan Africa

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  • David De la Croix
  • Paula Eugenia Gobbi

Abstract

Global population growth remains one of the major challenges of the twenty-first century. This is particularly true for African countries which have been undergoing their demographic transitions. To investigate whether predicted increasing population density and urbanization can help to stabilize African population, we construct a database for 84 georeferenced Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) samples including 947,191 individuals in sub-Saharan Africa and match each location with gridded population density from NASA. We apply a proportional hazard model to evaluate the quantitative impact of local population density on the transitions from childlessness to motherhood, and from celibacy to marriage. Moving from the 5th to the 95th percentile of population density increases the median age at first birth by 2.2 years. This roughly decreases completed fertility by half a child. The same increase in population density increases the median age at first marriage by 3.3 years. These findings contribute to the understanding of why fertility has not dropped in Africa as fast as expected. One part of the answer is that population density remains low. Yet the total effect of increased density on fertility remains limited and counting on it to stabilize the population would be unrealistic.

Suggested Citation

  • David De la Croix & Paula Eugenia Gobbi, 2021. "Population Homeostasis in Sub-Saharan Africa," Working Papers ECARES 2021-25, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:eca:wpaper:2013/334110
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    Keywords

    Fertility; Homeostasis; Africa; Population densityeconomie de;
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