Compare and contrast the major fertility issues facing an LEDC and an MEDC

In this essay the LEDC will be the Dominican Republic and the MEDC shall be Switzerland. There should be a variety of contrasting factors because the Dominican Republic is a poor country and has to use the little money it has to help with problems that may occur in the country, where as Switzerland is a very rich country and thus has a lot more money to spend on the problems within the country. One of these problems is the fertility. There are three main issues, which are the social, political and economic implications.

Map of where Dominican Republic is: Map of where Switzerland is: The first part is the social trends within the two countries to do with fertility. Starting with the fact that in both LEDCs and MEDCs the age that people get married has increased a surprising amount between the 1970s to 1990s. In LEDCS men are now getting married at a median age of 27. 2 from 25. 4 and 22. 0 to 26. 1 years old for women. In MEDCs it has gone from the age of 25. 2 to 28. 8 for the men a four-year advance from women now getting married at a median of 26. 1 years old from 22.2

. This has created the fact that people are now spending less time of their life being married. The median amount of people aged 25-29 has dropped since 1970 as well. Women have gone from 85 per cent down to 76 per cent and for men 68 per cent down to just 56 per cent. There is a huge decrease in the developed countries. For women it has fallen 23 per cent from 85 per cent down to 62 per cent. In men it is even greater thou with a decrease of 31 per cent know only 43 per cent of men are married between 25-29 where as in 1970 the median was 74.

So far everything has been decreasing but the divorce rate has increased which may be because people have seen this slowly increasing and think that it is more “normal” to this. In 1970 the median divorce rate was the same for men and women, which was 13 divorces per 100, which increased to 24 per 100 for men, and a slightly higher 27 per 100 women by 1990. The numbers are lower in developing countries this may be because they have more respect and some religions are against it but they went from 7 up to 12 divorces per 100 for men and for women it started lower but has increased by a larger amount of 5 to 15 per 100 divorces.

This will mean in both cases that women will have fewer children, which corresponds to other data (seen later in the paper). The second part is the political issues. The largest part of the political issues is Family Planning. Family planning has helped fertility rates a lot in developing and developed countries. In Switzerland it has increased all sorts of contraception. The percentage of people using any sort of contraception has increased from 1980 having 71. 2 to 82. 0 in 1995. The increase of 64. 9 to 77. has occurred for percentage of people using modern contraceptive methods. And there has been an increase in use of condoms from 8. 4 per cent to 14. 2 per cent. And having an over all increase on contraception in developed countries from 1970 to 1990 of 38 per cent up to 52 per cent of woman. There is an increase in Dominican Republic overall percentage of people using contraception too; this is 31. 7 in 1975 per cent to 64. 7 per cent in 2000. There is also a increase of the percentage of people using modern contraceptive methods of 26. 0 to 62. 5.

But what differs from that of Switzerland is that the percentage of people using condoms has decreased since 1975 and gone from 1. 5 to 0. 9. There has been an decrease in the percentage childless women in the Dominican Republic, which could be because of the relatively new family planning, people have been made more aware of sexually transmitted diseases and there is less of it which means the women are now healthier and have a higher fertility where as it used to be lower and don’t have to use contraception to stop having children and passing on sexually transmitted diseases.

In 1970 there 15. 7 per cent of women were childless aged 40-44 and in 1999 was 2. 5 per cent of women. In Switzerland there is now a high percentage of childless women. This is because women can get contraception techniques a lot more easily and thus can choose if they want to have a family or not. Also a lot of women delay having children for too long and end up finding it hard to give birth in the end. They have gone from around 7 per cent of women being childless at the age of 40-44 and now having 21. 9 per cent of the women being childless.

Government policies had an important role in this also thou. This is because in 1976 52 per cent of all governments had no plans to intervene with the fertility levels but this changed by 2001 and the percent of governments that wanted the fertility levels to stay the same was a much smaller per cent of only 32. Due to this, governments have slowly been supporting family planning since the 1970s and have increased the support until there was a huge 92 per cent of all governments supporting it by 2001, and giving out contraceptives through different means.

Thirdly there are some economic issues. One of the main reason that people in LEDCs have children and in MEDCs they don’t is an economic issue. In LEDCs a reason for people to have more children is because they will bring an income into the house. And in Dominican Republic the annual number of births (thousands) in 1970 was 163. 0 and in 2000 is 189. 3. Where as in Switzerland women now days would rather work and have a career and leave children to later on in life. And the annual number of births (thousands) in 1970 were 99. 2 and in 2002 had decreased to 72. 0.

In the 1950s there was a “baby boom” this was due to the fact that so many people go killed in the 1940s in the world war. This is a problem because jobs that needed to be filled weren’t being filled or filled by less experienced employees. There was a reduction to in most developed countries a fertility less than 1. 3 children per women. Overall I think governments were not doing enough to help the fertility problem in MEDCs or LEDCs but now they are starting to realise they have to do something and have started helping the problem and that it will get better over time.