Qatari women are delaying marriages and having fewer children as education and work gain significance

August 29, 2010
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Qatari women are delaying marriages and having fewer children as education and work gain significance, a Qatar Statistics Authority report indicates.

According to the Millennium Development Goals in Qatar 2010 (MDG Qatar 2010) report, the fertility rate of Qatari women has decreased from 5.7 children in 1999 to 3.8 children per woman during her productive life in 2009.

In 2004, total fertility was 4.2.

Total fertility rate states the total number of children an average woman would bear during her lifetime if she were to have children throughout her reproductive years.

According to a previous study, the average general fertility rate in 2005 was 87.90 per 1000, but decreased to 77.98 in 2008. The general fertility rate is the number of live births per 1,000 women of childbearing age.

Qatar does not seek to reduce the population growth of its citizens due to the small size of the national population and its limited proportion within the total population.

For Qataris, the average fertility rate was 111 in 2008, compared with 66.59 among non-Qataris. In 2004 the rate was 122.50 for Qataris and 71.60 among non-Qataris, Qatari daily The Peninsula said.

MDG Qatar 2010 attributed the fertility decline to changes in Qatari social attitudes particularly in delaying female marriages to late ages. This is done mainly to enable women to extend their education and support their decision to work.

This can be seen in the fact that the mean child-bearing age for a woman in Qatar had increased from 29.70 to 30.20 in four years.

Adolescent birth rate among Qatari women has also fallen due to increased proportion of women being enrolled in education.

The birth rate among Qatari women in the age group 15-19 reached 43 per 1,000 in 1986, but declined to 21 in 1997, 13 in 2004 and 12 in 2009.

The entry of women into the labour force in large numbers was also a crucial factor in reducing adolescent birth rate, according to MDG Qatar 2010

According to the report, maternal health has increased with 30 per cent of the doctors in the healthcare sector being dedicated to maternity care. This has enabled the country to achieve 100 percent follow-up during childbirth by skilled healthcare professionals.

 

         

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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Career
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
Education
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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