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Mammo, Abate & Morgan, S. Philip (1986). Childlessness in Rural Ethiopia. Population and Development Review, 12(3), 533-546.


Infertility strongly affects levels of natural fertility in parts of Africa. To document levels, trends, and differentials in infertility for Ethiopia, this note examines a nationally representative sample drawn from 12 rural provinces. High levels of childlessness, sharp variations in childlessness by province, and declines over time are found. The patterns are consistent with an explanation stressing the role of sexually transmitted diseases, such as gonorrhea. The authors, however, are hesitant to attribute all of the excess primary infertility to this cause. Diseases like gonorrhea take time to produce infertility, and the number of sexual partners--the primary determinant of levels of such diseases--should be low in the Ethiopian cultural context.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Population and Development Review


Mammo, Abate
Morgan, S. Philip