The original version of this article, by Carl Haub, appeared on the Population Reference Bureau’s Behind the Numbers blog.
The Congo (Brazzaville) 2011-2012 Demographic and Health Survey
(DHS) is the second DHS taken in the country and the preliminary report has just been released. The survey interviewed 10,819 women ages 15-49 and 5,145 men ages 15-59 from September 2011 to February 2012. A major finding of the survey was that fertility has not declined in the country since the previous DHS in 2005. The total fertility rate (TFR) report in the recent DHS for the three year period before the survey was 5.1 children per woman, 4.5 in urban areas, and 6.5 in rural areas. This appears to represent an increase in the TFR since 2005 but the survey report cautions that there is likely to have been some understatement of the actual level of childbearing in the 2005 survey, particularly among women ages 25-29.
Rural women accounted for two-thirds of those interviewed in the most recent survey. The rather high TFR is reflected in the desire for large families. Among women with five living children, only 37.3 percent said they did not wish to have additional children. An additional 9.8 percent of that group said they were incapable of conceiving, however.
In the survey, 44.7 percent of currently married or in-union women said that they were using some form of family planning and 20 percent were using a modern method. The most common type of modern method was the male condom at 12.3 percent, a rather unusual pattern of contraceptive use in Africa. That was followed by the pill at 2.9 percent and injectables at 2.8 percent. This continues the often-observed preference in sub-Saharan Africa for methods to space births, not necessarily to limit them. The use of modern contraception was 24.6 percent in urban areas and 11.7 percent in rural areas. Modern contraception rose since the 2005 DHS when it was reported at 12.7 percent and the condom was also the most frequently used method at that time. The prevalence of HIV was reported in the 2009 AIDS Indicator Survey at 4.1 percent for women ages 15-49 and 2.1 percent of men of the same age group.
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Sources: MEASURE DHS.
Image Credit: Carl Haub/Population Reference Bureau.