Urbanisation and fertility

The city as an accelerator of demographic transition: Urbanisation is a powerful force for lowering fertility. It promotes the education of girls and facilitates access to healthcare; it offers more employment opportunities for women; access to information and dissemination of ideas and attitudes happens faster than in rural areas; and housing is more expensive and is, therefore, less spacious. This phenomenon is proven in West Africa, with variances from one country to another and from one period to another. The continuation of the urban transition should accelerate decreases in fertility and facilitate the downward population trend. Population policies should seize the opportunity to expand on these declines (see slide 8, “Birth and death rates in West Africa”).

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