n Institute of African Studies Research Review - Nigeria's population policy and future fertility decline

Volume 18, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0855-4412



The government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, promulgated its first explicit population policy in 1988, in response to the soaring population growth rate that impedes developmental efforts. The policy document has stipulated a number of quantitative demographic targets. Paramount among these is the intention to reduce total fertility rate (TFR) to 4, raise the use of family planning methods to 80 per cent, and raise mean age at first marriage to 18 years, by the year 2000. However, a macrosimulation analysis of changes in the proximate determinants of fertility as enshrined in the policy document reveals that Nigeria's TFR will fall from about 6 to 2 instead of 4, which is far beyond the government's expectations. It is, therefore, needful to revisit the demographic targets of the population policy of Nigeria.

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