Rising up: Fertility trends in Egypt before and after the revolution

Emma Radovich, Atef El-Shitany, Hania Sholkamy, Lenka Benova

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In 2014, Egypt's Demographic and Health Survey (EDHS) documented an increase in the total fertility rate (TFR) to 3.5, up from a low of 3.0 recorded by the 2008 EDHS. The increase has been anecdotally attributed to the social upheaval following Egypt's January 2011 revolution, but little is known about when fertility first began to increase and among which sub-groups of women. Using birth histories from seven rounds of EDHS (1992-2014), this study reconstructed fertility rates for single years from 1990-2013 and examined patterns of childbearing in five-year birth cohorts of women. We found that the decline in fertility reversed in 2007, earlier than postulated, plateaued and then increased again in 2013. The increase in TFR coincided with a convergence of fertility rates across education levels, and there is evidence of a shift toward childbearing at younger ages among more educated women, which may be inflating period measures of fertility.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0190148
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number1
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Fertility
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male


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