An Analysis of the Demographic and Socioeconomic Determinants of Modern Contraceptive Use in Indonesia

Sabrina Bonaparte, University of Washington

Three decades ago, Ronald Freedman (1981) heralded the widespread adoption of modern contraception in Indonesia as surprising, given the relatively low level of socioeconomic development. He found modest differentials in contraceptive use by socioeconomic status and region, but concluded that the major influence was the impact of a vigorous family planning program in a society motivated to reduce childbearing in the face of Malthusian population pressures. In this study, I replicate Freedman’s analysis and examine determinants of contraceptive use between the 1970s and the early 1990s (IFLS1). Use remains high across all strata; however, there are interesting declines for highly educated women and women in the highest SES category. Only a small fraction of rapid rise in contraceptive use can be explained by changing educational composition. I conclude that other societal factors, and Indonesia’s family planning program, in particular, is the primary reason for the rapid rise in contraceptive use.

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Presented in Poster Session 7