Revising the proximate determinants of fertility framework: what have we learned in the past 20 years?

Stud Fam Plann. 1998 Sep;29(3):255-67.


The proximate determinants of fertility framework, developed in its current form by Bongaarts, has been used extensively by researchers for the past 20 years. Since the initial framework was developed, a wealth of new survey data on the proximate determinants has become available. This article reviews the new data and past experiences and suggests modifications to the framework that would take advantage of this experience. The major modifications suggested are (1) the use of sexual activity rather than marriage to indicate exposure to pregnancy; (2) a revision of the sterility index to measure infecundity from all causes; (3) a revised index of contraception that accounts for the fact that users of sterilization may become infecund before age 49; and (4) a revised definition and estimate of total fecundity.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Contraception / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Fertility*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infertility / epidemiology
  • Infertility / etiology
  • Male
  • Marriage / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Statistical
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Rate
  • Sexual Behavior