The effect of education on female fertility behaviour in El Gebel El Akhder in Libya

  • Ambark Edris Hamd

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    Libya, one of less advanced countries, has experienced extensive demographic change in recent decades. Although, efforts have been made to collect descriptive statistics relating to population change (such as Censuses), there has been no serious explanations of demographic change by academics of the reasons behind population trends in Libya.This thesis sought to explore in a rigorous fashion the extent to which socio-economic circumstances, particularly increased levels of female education, has influenced female fertility behaviour. This hypothesis was examined for the population of El Gebel El Akhdar, Libya.The study was based on a sample of 600 married women categorised by location (urban and rural), age (below and above 45 years) education level and socio-economic status. Quantitative and qualitative techniques were used to understand fertility differentials for both the older and younger women included in the survey both in urban and rural areas. It was demonstrated that there were important changes in female fertility behaviour taking place both in relation to the intermediate variables (marriage, post-partum infecundability, contraception) as presented in Bongaarts? theory (1982, 1985) and in relation to socio-economic factors (education, occupation, income, age difference of partner, place of birth and residence). Female education was given special attention in the research following the general research framework of Jeffery and Basu theory (1996).Females with higher educational attainment, and thus higher employability, were characterised by relatively higher ages at first marriage, a smaller family size and a concurrently positive attitude towards approval and use of family planning and using contraceptive. They also engaged in a period of shorter breastfeeding. The inverse emerged as true for uneducated women.In addition to the effect of education on fertility, it emerged that change in female fertility behaviours and attitudes were also influenced by the interaction of many other socio-economic factors such as income, occupation, and partner age difference. On the contrary, the place of birth and place of residence did not help to explain fertility outcomes.
    Date of Award2011
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorAllan Findlay (Supervisor)


    • Education; Occupation; Income; Marriage; Family planning; Contraception; Fertility behaviour; Libya

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