Fertility preferences and behaviors among younger cohorts in Egypt: Trends, correlates, and prospects for change

After years of steady decline, Egypt experienced an increase in the total fertility rate (TFR) from 3.0 births per woman in 2008 to 3.5 in 2014, which was coupled with an increase in desired family size among young people. To better understand this increase in fertility as well as prospects for change, the Evidence Project/Population Council conducted secondary analyses of quantitative data from the Egypt Demographic and Health Survey (EDHS) and the Survey of Young People in Egypt (SYPE) and collected qualitative data from young people and key informants. The report (English) and brief (Arabic) examine the changes in fertility preferences and behaviors among young people aged 15–34, identify key drivers of the increase in fertility, assess prospects for change including challenges and opportunities, and propose recommendations for targeted and sustainable interventions addressing increased fertility among young people in Egypt.

Findings suggest that key drivers of increased fertility include decreased use of family planning (FP) among married women with two or more children, a shift towards use of short acting FP methods, and increased contraceptive discontinuation. These factors may be due in part to decreased exposure to FP messages, declines in quality of family planning counseling, and socioeconomic, political, and programmatic changes that Egypt went through between 2008 and 2014. These findings and additional insights presented in the report and brief will be useful to policymakers, program designers, and health care professionals in addressing increased fertility and delivering more effective voluntary FP services in Egypt.