An Analysis of Poverty, Family Planning Practice and Fertility in the Bicol Region

by Randolf Se Sasota, Master of Arts in Demography (2007)

This study analyzes the relationships between high incidence of poverty, low contraceptive prevalence rate, and high fertility in the Bicol Region. It examines the impact of poverty along with other factors on family planning practice and the effect of these two main variables along with other factors on fertility of women in the Bicol Region using the latest available national survey in the Philippines, the 20003 National Demographic and Health Survey.

This study is anchored on Davis & Blake’s intermediate variables, Easterlin’s theory of fertility, and National Academy of Sciences (NAS) framework. Use or non-use of contraception has an immediate effect on fertility. The demand for children is affected by the ideal number of children a woman or couple would want, which has an effect on the use or non-use of contraception. The costs of fertility regulation are influenced by social (education)), economic (poverty status), and cultural factors of women.

Univariate, bivariate and multivariate analyses, as well as the relevant statistical tests, i.e. chi-square, ANOVA and t-tests for differentials, were utilized in this study. Binary logistic regression and multiple linear regression were used to examine the determinants.

The study confirms that, indeed, poverty along with other factors (i.e. work status, ideal number of children, and number of living children) affects family planning practice and fertility. Poor women are less likely to use a method and they are more likely to have high fertility than rich women. Practice of family planning, particularly duration of contraceptive use, is positively related to fertility. Women who have been using a method for more than 3 years have lower fertility than other women.