Fertility and infant mortality in Costa Rica
Capítulo de libro
Rosero Bixby, Luis
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Costa Rica is a small country, geographically situated in the Central American isthmus, with 2.2 million inhabitants. Although its exports are mainly of an agricultural nature, the country has reached a level of welfare somewhat higher than the Latin American average. The per capita income is approximately US $ 1700, the illiteracy rate is less than 10 per cent and in 1978 the infant mortality rate was 22 per 1000 births. Since 1960, there has been a dramatic drop in Costa Rican fertility. The total fertility rate (TFR), which was 7.3 children in 1960, practically halved in only 15 years, reaching a value of 3.7 children per woman in 1976. During the months of July to November 1976, the General Statistics and Census Bureau conducted a national fertility survey, as part of the World Fertility Survey (WFS). There were 3935 women interviewed, ranging from 20 to 49 years of age; their maternity histories provide valuable information regarding nearly 13000 live births, most of which took place during the last three decades. This paper briefly examines the accuracy of the data contained in the maternity histories, or more precisely, their coherence with national vital statistics, which in Costa Rica are reasonably good. Furthermore, based on the maternity histories, a description is made of the level and change of the country's fertility, some of its relationships with nuptiality, the timing of births and the parity progression ratios, and finally, a brief view is offered regarding the biological and social factors associated with fertility and infant mortality.
"The chapters in this book began as papers presented at a meeting organized by the IUSSP Committee on the Comparative Analysis of Fertility chaired by Henri Leridon and co-sponsored by the Centre for Population Studies of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and by the World Fertility Survey"--cubierta