Analyzing fertility factors
Since high fertility rates may be explained by access to contraception to limit
or space pregnancies, by social desires for more children, or both,
we analyzed the 2010
2014/2015 Demographic and Health Surveys
in an attempt to tease apart patterns
that contribute to steady TFR rates.
Why are married Protestant women less likely than Catholics to report using modern contraception?
Comparing modern contraception use among major religious groups, the data suggest that Protestant married women report much lower use.
To account for other factors that may explain this difference, we turned to logistic regressions.
After taking into account factors such as age, education, wealth, and geography, we found:
- Protestant married women are less likely than Catholic women to use modern contraception.
- Protestant married women are more likely than Catholic women to want larger families.
- In 2014/2015, Protestant married women had more children than Catholic women.
What are the consequences a lower modern contraception use rate in Protestants?
Even though the difference in use between Protestants and Catholics
seems small, there appear to be dramatic consequences
of lower use.
According to the official
the overall share of Protestants
has changed dramatically over the past decade,
rising from 27% in 2002 to 38%
This change in proportion
translates into a near doubling of the Protestant population.
The Protestant population is growing 4.5 times faster than Catholics
Though the population of the country
grew from about 8 million people in 2002 to 10.5 million in
2012, most of the growth came from the expansion of Protestants.
Comparing Catholics to Protestants in 2012,
we see a near doubling of the Protestant population, and only a slight increase in the Catholic one.
Are there differences between the age profiles of the two groups?
Aging Catholic population, growing Protestant youth base
Breaking the total population into age cohorts, the
Protestants have a large share of their population under 10.
Conversely, Catholics have an aging population, relative to the Protestants.
What does this mean for mission investments?
If spatial patterns exist among different religious populations,
then engagement of faith-based organizations may be better guided by understanding where in
Rwanda such patterns exist. Moreover, spatial patterns may also translate into differential
access rates for family planning resources.
Analyzing the 2012 census at the sector level, a higher proportion
of the Catholic population is located in the central portion of the country, while the Protestants are
concentrated in the east and west.
Is there unequal access to healthcare and family planning resources, particularly in the southwest? We are investigating this further.
How do these population dynamics relate to spatial patterns of modern contraception use?
One of the densest populated regions of the country, the Northwest,
experienced dramatic shifts in modern contraception use between 2010 and 2014/2015.
In the Protestant-concentrated Southwest, contraception use still lags behind the rest of the country.
View the 2010 data
View the 2014/2015 data
The Northwest Volcanic region fundamentally changed its modern contraception use
Are there other factors which may explain this shift in contraception use in the Northwest?
Regression results suggest that women in the
Northwest Volcanic Irish Potato region were less likely to use modern contraception,
compared to similar households in the Central Plateau Coffee and Cassava zone in 2010.
However, this relationship shifted in 2014/2015, where women in the Northwest
were more likely to use modern contraception than similar women in the Central Plateau —
even after accounting for differences in age, wealth, and education.
What other factors influence modern contraception use?
In addition to the differences we noticed in religious groups
we explored whether other demographic factors might influence family size using regression tests.
Women with more education than their counterparts were more likely to use modern contraception and less likely to want more children.
Interestingly, we did not observe a detectable difference between different wealth quintiles in use or family size, suggesting that modern
contraception use does not significantly vary across the wealth spectrum. Indeed, women from more asset-rich households were more likely to want more children, all other factors equal.
Explore modern contraception use in different populations
To further look into how modern contraception use varies across different populations of Rwandan women, we broke use down by religion, wealth index, geography, age, and women's education level.
Click the tabs on the top to select different groups.