Explaining regional fertility variations in the Philippines

Publication Date: January 1996

Publisher: East-West Center

Author(s): Sidney B. Westley; James A. Palmore; Robert D. Retherford

Research Area: Population and demographics

Type: Brief

Coverage: Philippines


The recent National Demographic Survey (NDS) in the Philippines revealed wide variations in total fertility rates (TFR) for individual regions--from a low TFR of 2.8 in Manila to a high of 5.9 in Bicol. A detailed analysis of survey results showed that several factors other than contraceptive prevalence influenced levels of fertility. These included age at first marriage, infecundity, and the use of relatively ineffective contraceptive methods. To design effective family planning programs, policymakers need to understand the relative importance of all the factors that contribute to high fertility and how these factors vary at the regional and local levels.