Fertility intentions: Are the undecided more like those who want more or want no more children?

Stan Becker, Santosh C. Sutradhar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


In fertility surveys often women (and sometimes men) are asked their fertility desires, i.e. whether they want a/nother birth or not. Some respond that they are undecided. This study examines whether these persons are more like those who say they want more births or like those who say they want no more births. Data on married men and women in 29 Demographic and Health Surveys with sample sizes ranging from 300 to 3000 are used. A logistic regression equation is estimated within each country for those with known desires and then used to classify each person who was undecided. In all sub-Saharan African countries (n=20) and for both sexes, 50% or more of the undecided persons are classified as wanting more children (with one exception of wives in Kenya). By contrast in all five Latin American countries for both sexes less than 50% of the undecided were classified in the 'want more' group (with an exception of husbands in the Dominican Republic). Generally, the undecided tend to be classified the same as the majority among those in the survey with stated desires.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-145
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biosocial Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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