IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Poverty Demography Trap in Third World Countries: Empirical Evidence from Tanzania


  • Asmerom Kidane


This study suggests that reducing fertility should be a primary policy variable used in concert with macroeconomic policies and poverty reduction strategies. It empirically verifies the existence of a poverty demography trap by analyzing survey data from two regions in northern Tanzania. It first summarizes the macro and microeconomic issues of the relationship between GDP and population growth, highlighting poverty and demographic variables in Africa and in Tanzania. The number of children ever born (CEB) and household size in the study area indicate a high rate of population growth. Non-nuclear household members are about 23 percent, indicating heavy population pressure on household resources. The demographic variables were classified with selected poverty indicators (undernutrition and malnutrition; monetary expenditure; and access to land, clean water, sanitary facilities, and energy sources). The results showed moderate undernutrition and acute malnutrition associated with CEB and household size. Large households tend to spend much less on food, compared to smaller households. The mean weekly expenditure among households with six members is a meager US$5. As much as 50 percent of farming households do not own land and depend on wood for energy needs. Access to clean water, modern toilet facilities, and electricity is very poor, especially among large households. Getting out of the poverty trap implies reducing fertility and vice versa.

Suggested Citation

  • Asmerom Kidane, 2010. "The Poverty Demography Trap in Third World Countries: Empirical Evidence from Tanzania," Discussion Papers dp-10-08-efd, Resources For the Future.
  • Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-10-08-efd

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    poverty; demography; household size;

    JEL classification:

    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy


    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:rff:dpaper:dp-10-08-efd. 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: (Webmaster). 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.