Recent trends in pre-marital fertility across sub-Saharan Africa

The rising age of first marriage across sub-Saharan Africa over the past 25 years has led many scholars to predict a concurrent increase in pre-marital childbearing. We examine whether this anticipated increase has materialized using data from 27 countries. Our results reveal considerable heterogeneity. Although levels of pre-marital fertility have risen by up to 13% in recent years in some African countries, other countries have experienced a 7% decline.

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