PSC African Demography Working Paper Series

The African Demography Working Paper Series was published by the Population Studies Center (PSC) at the University of Pennsylvania between 1980-1989. In total there were 18 papers published in this series. The papers housed in this collection function as an archive of the work done by researchers affiliated with the PSC at the time of publication that were involved in research related to African Demography.

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Now showing 1 - 10 of 18
  • Publication
    Child mortality differentials in Sudan
    (1981-08-01) Farah, Adbul-Aziz; Preston, Samuel
    Sudan presents an excellent opportunity for studying mortality conditions in poor countries. It is one of the 25 "least developed" countries by U.N. designation, most of whom have very little information on mortality and general health conditions. As the largest African country in area, Sudan is also a land of rich ecological contrast, stretching from desert areas in the North through savannah areas to dense equatorial jungle in the South. The northern portions are Arabic and Islamic, the southern portions black African. The 1955/56 census enumerated 597 tribes speaking some 115 languages. Aridity in the North and swamps in the South have retarded the development of these areas and fostered nomadism, population concentration is greatest in the middle belt and particularly along the Nile and its tributaries. This paper has since been published as: "Child Mortality Differentials in Sudan," by Abdul-Aziz Farah; Samuel H. Preston in, Population and Development Review, Vol. 8, No. 2. (Jun., 1982), pp. 365-383.
  • Publication
    Patterns of low-income settlement and mobility in Nairobi, Kenya
    (1980-10-01) Muwonge, J. W.
    The author traces the development of low-incoming housing zones in the city of Nairobi (Kenya), which were initially shaped by the exclusive urban policies of the British Colonial Government, and further influenced by minimum standards codes established after Independence. Using a random sample of 1,480 heads of households, the author examines zones of entry into the city, with a view to identifying the residential patterns which low-income migrants establish in the process of becoming securely settled in the city. Three distinctive zones are identified, namely, the central, the intermediate, and the peripheral zones. The author offers several demographic.
  • Publication
    The level and age pattern of mortality in Bandafassi (Eastern Senegal): results from a small-scale and intensive multi-round survey
    (1984-06-01) Pison, Gilles; Langaney, Andre
    The data collected by the Bandafassi demographic study in Eastern Senegal, a small-scale intensive and experimental follow-up survey on a population of about 7,000 inhabitants in 1983, were analyzed to derive an estimation of the life table. The use of the multi-round survey technique, combined with anthropological methods to estimate the ages or collect genealogies, results in unusually reliable data. Taking into account the uncertainty of the estimates related to the small size of the population, the measures of mortality show a high mortality level, with life-expectancy at birth close to 31 years; a pattern of infant and child mortality close to what has been observed in other rural areas of Senegal; a seasonal pattern in child mortality with two high risk periods, the rainy season and the end of the dry season; an adult mortality pattern similar to what is described in model life tables for developed countries; no significant differences according to sex or ethnic group. The example of the Bandafassi population study and of a few similar studies, suggests that one possible way to improve demographic estimates in countries where vital registration systems are defective would be to set up a sample of population laboratories where intensive methods of data collection would continue for extended periods.
  • Publication
    Modernization and the fertility transition, Egypt, 1975
    (1980-06-01) Issa, Mahmoud S. Abdou
    This study investigates regional marital fertility differentials in Egypt and their relationship to the level of modernization of the region: defined as economic development and social and cultural change. The intermediate variables (Davis and Blake, 1965) underlying these regional levels and patterns of marital fertility are determined and their relation to the level of modernization of the region is also evaluated. In order to assess the nature of the recent decline in the crude birth rate in Egypt, the long term fertility and mortality levels are discussed. The prospects of a fertility transition in Egypt are assessed in terms of the current fertility level and pattern, the extent of deliberate fertility regulation, the urban-rural fertility differential and differentials by socioeconomic status. The study draws from Easterlin's model of social and economic determinants of marital fertility as a frame of reference. The model's basic social and economic intermediate variables (denoted Cn, Cd, and CR)are evaluated, and the model's interpretations of cross-sectional marital fertility differentials by socioeconomic status and the long term fertility trend are empirically verified.
  • Publication
    Response variability in African demographic survey data : a case study of a Nigerian village
    (1980) Andoh, Emmanuel Kenneth
    This paper is an excerpt from Ken Andoh's doctoral dissertation, "Response Variability in African Demographic Survey Data: A Case Study of a Nigerian Village," written at the Population Studies Center of the University of Pennsylvania. The sources of data for this study are surveys carried out in three villages in Southern Nigeria in December 1973 and Fall, 1974 by Dr. Frank L. Mott (under the auspices of the Human Resources Research Unit, University of Lagos, Nigeria, with the assistance of the Population Council. Vital registration, which is the source of accurate demographic information, is described as inadequate for all tropical Africa. Based on surveys conducted in a Southern Nigerian village in 1973 and 1974, this study seeks to estimate the prevalence and magnitude of misreporting vital events. Survey responses concerning age of respondents, age of children, marital status, duration of residence in the village, educational level, occupation, number of pregnancies, and number of children are presented, and are compared from one survey to the next, revealing great discrepancies between the responses. The degree of correspondence between the surveys was calculated. Certain groups of respondents and certain questions were subject to greater levels of inconsistency than others, with age, number of pregnancies and children, and period of residence exhibiting the highest inconsistency indices.
  • Publication
    The study of mortality in the African context
    (1980-02-01) van de Walle, Etienne; Heisler, Douglas
    The demographic study of mortality in Subsaharan Africa is dominated by two paradoxes. The first has to do with the recognition awarded to the topic. The persistence of high mortality levels--higher probably than in any other large world region--makes it a potentially burning social issue. The people of the area are concerned about access to modern medicine and the eradication of diseases. If a field calls for the development of accurate statistics, this is it. We know little about mortality levels and their distribution over space; we know even less on trends, and virtually nothing about mortality differentials by social and economic circumstances. There are no major breakthroughs in morbidity and cause of death statistics. Africa is still far from the stage reached in Europe 150 years ago in the study of mortality. When William Farr organized the collection of vital statistics in England and Wales his concern and that of his contemporaries was with the fight against disease. Farr, a mere Compiler of Abstracts at the Registrar General's Office, was hailed as the foremost medical statistician of his time; it was said that after him "pestilence no longer walketh in the dark." The use of the data he helped to collect was decisive in the conquest of the major scourge of the time, cholera. He provided information on the location of the most unsanitary sections of the country and identified the most dangerous occupations. We doubt that the demographic statistics that are collected today in Africa are used very much in the same way, to identify areas of infection and classes of the population specially vulnerable to specific diseases. Despite the importance of these issues, and despite the universal desire to prolong life and to eliminate the human wastage of early death, little effort goes into the collection of demographic data on morta1ity. This becomes more apparent if we compare research on mortality to the much more active interest in fertility, although the latter topic is not widely recognized in the area itself as a burning issue. Out aim is certainly not to suggest that less research should be directed towards fertility and its determinants. Rather, we find it paradoxical that mortality research does not elicit more attention.
  • Publication
    Prevalence and determinants of child fosterage in West Africa: relevance to demography
    (1984-11-01) Isiugo-Abanihe, Uche C.
    Ethnographic studies in West Africa show that the practice of sending children away to be raised by relatives and nonrelatives is widespread among many ethnic groups. This paper is an attempt to explore the demographic relevance of the practice. The fostering information is obtained from two sources: the responses given by women to the question on children away from home, and by linking all children to their mothers with the unmatched children being treated as fosters. The characteristics of these children, their surrogate mothers, and those of the biological mothers are explored, and the determinants of child fostering are discussed as correlates of these attributes. The results are indicative of high incidence of child fosterage in Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria. Child fostering enhances female labor force participation, and may affect the fertility decisions of both natural and foster parents, mainly because it serves to reallocate the resources available for raising children within the society. It may also have consequences on child survival, depending partly on how the culture treats children outside of their maternal homes.
  • Publication
    The age pattern of infant and child mortality in Ngayokheme (rural West Africa)
    (1981-10-01) Garenne, Michel
    The paper presents and discusses the age pattern of mortality observed in Ngayokheme (Sine Saloum, Senegal). It is compared to data of other developing areas and to model life tables. Mortality at ages 1 to 4 is shown to be much higher than anywhere else where data are available. Reasons for this pattern are investigated. Emphasis is given to the epidemiological pattern, especially to diarrheal diseases and malaria and to the seasonality of mortality.
  • Publication
    Mechanisms affecting the link between nuptiality and fertility: Tanzania, 1973
    (1981-07-01) Sekatawa, Emmanuel K.
    The analytical framework proposed by Davis and Blake (1956) divides the process of reproduction into three elements: (i) exposure to the risk of pregnancy, (ii) the ability to conceive and (iii) successful gestation. This paper is concerned with the first element. Data from the 1973 National Demographic Survey of Tanzania (NDS) are used to investigate the role of marriage behavior in determining fertility levels. Coale's parameters of the age pattern of first marriage ao, k and C are translated into Im-type measures. A system of indices is developed to represent the effects of the prevalence and age patterns of first marriage, marital disruption and remarriage on fertility. Techniques for obtaining detailed information on the process of marital dissolution and subsequent remarriage are presented. The potential effects of changes in nuptia1ity patterns on fertility are discussed.
  • Publication
    Regional marriage patterns and trends in Northern Sudan
    (1989-08-01) Abdelrahman, Abdelrahman Ibrahim
    Marriage is an important institution for both individuals and society as a whole. It is a significant event in the life cycle of individuals; for society at large it represents the creation of a new unit of production, consumption, distribution and exchange of goods and services. In most comparative studies of nuptiality it has been usual to characterize sub-Saharan pattern of marriage as “early and universal”. Early and virtually continuous marriage throughout a woman's reproductive years is also maintained by several related marriage customs including polygyny, levirate marriage, and bride wealth or bride price (van de Walle, 1968;Goldman and Pebley, 1986).