Urban Women Bear Less Children in Their Lifetime Than Rural Women (Results from the 2011 Family Health Survey )

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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Women in urban areas have lesser children than those women residing in rural areas. This was among the findings revealed by the results of the 2011 Family health Survey (FHS).

The total fertility rate (TFR) of women in urban areas averages at 2.7 children per woman (Table 1). The figure was lower than the average of 3.6 children per woman for those in rural areas. TFR is interpreted as the number of births a woman could have, on the average, at the end of her reproductive year. At the national level, the TFR based on the 2011 FHS was 3.1.

The lowest TFR of 2.5 children per woman was recorded in the National Capital Region. On the contrary, women in MIMAROPA can bear the most number of children in their lifetime (average of 4.1 children per woman).

Moreover, the results of the 2011 FHS also disclosed that 9.5 percent of women in the Philippines, aged 15 to 19 years, have begun childbearing, wherein 7.4 percent are already mothers and 2.1 percent are pregnant with their first child. The proportion of young women who have begun childbearing range from about one percent among women aged 15 to about 24 percent among women age 19 (Table 2). Women who became mothers in their teens were less likely to pursue or finish their education. Most of these women either had no grade completed (20.3 percent) or had reached elementary level (21.4 percent) only.

The most number of teenage mothers was recorded in Caraga Region with 15.0 percent, while the least number of young mothers were from Region VI with 6.9 percent.

The 2011 FHS is a nationwide survey of 53,162 sample households. A total of 52,769 women of reproductive age (15-49 years old) were interviewed to collect data on fertility, family planning practice, maternal and child health, and maternal and child mortality. The survey was conducted by the National Statistics Office and funded mainly by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).