Table of Contents
International Journal of Population Research
Volume 2016, Article ID 5236351, 7 pages
Research Article

Proximate Determinants of Fertility in Zambia: Analysis of the 2007 Zambia Demographic and Health Survey

Department of Public Health, University of Zambia School of Medicine, P.O. Box 50110, 10101 Lusaka, Zambia

Received 25 August 2015; Revised 18 March 2016; Accepted 23 March 2016

Academic Editor: Jonathan Haughton

Copyright © 2016 Mumbi Chola and Charles Michelo. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The role of proximate determinants in influencing fertility has been well documented worldwide. Bongaarts’ aggregate model of the proximate determinants (which focuses on marriage, contraception, abortion, and sterility) has been widely used to analyse the influence of proximate determinants on fertility. In Zambia, however, there is limited understanding of their effects. Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine the effect of proximate determinants of fertility in Zambia using Bongaarts’ model. This was a cross-sectional analysis of women’s data from the 2007 Zambia Demographic and Health Survey (ZDHS). A total of 7,146 women aged 15 to 49 years participated in the ZDHS. Bongaarts’ model was employed in the data analysis. Results showed that, overall, mean age was 27.8 years and rural-urban distribution was 56% and 44%, respectively. Marriage (40%) and postpartum infecundity (22%) accounted for the largest inhibiting effect on natural fertility from its biological maximum of 19.10. Contraception use accounted for only 3%. Therefore, in order to manage fertility in Zambia, policies and programmes should consider the effects of marriage, postpartum infecundity, and contraception on fertility. Without such targeted interventions, managing and maintaining population growth will remain a challenge in Zambia.