Fertility trends in five Arab countries of the eastern Mediterranean: following the path of Lebanon or writing their own story?

Alberto Veira, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid
Jesús Sánchez-Barricarte, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

The five Arab countries of Eastern Mediterranean region, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Syria have witnessed during the last decades substantial decreases in their infant mortality and fertility rates, thus, becoming closer to the end of the transition to a regime of low mortality and low fertility. However, important differences exist between them concerning variables considered by many demographers to be strong determinants of fertility such as female education, marriage patterns, celibacy, female labour force participation rates and urbanization. From the analysis of these differences emerges the notion that the importance of each factor has not been the same for each country, and that the stories behind the fall of fertility rates are therefore, different. Bearing this in mind is crucial to implement accurate forecast and predictions about the future trend of fertility rates in these countries.

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Presented in Session 3: Demographic and prospective transitions of the Arab world population