Fertility Heterogeneity in Turkey: Fertility Trajectory Clusters Through Birth Cohorts
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The decline in fertility, rapid urbanization and the increase in women's education levels in Turkey are simultaneous transformations. The coexistence and mutual interaction of these transformations is the focal point for the interpretation of fertility trajectories in Turkey. This thesis explores Turkey's heterogeneous fertility structure by examining the fertility trajectories of women between 1944 and 1978 cohorts. Using six waves (1993, 1998, 2003, 2008, 2013, 2018) of the Turkey Demographic and Health Survey data, sequence analysis was employed to calculate fertility trajectories and form clusters from these trajectories. The background similarities of women in the same fertility trajectory cluster were investigated with distance analysis, calculated predicted probabilities of cluster membership from multinomial logistic regression results. Results show that the total time spent with 5 or more children decreased significantly, the time spent childless in the reproductive zone has been extended and spacing has increased, particularly between second and third births. Over time, types of fertility trajectory clusters remained similar (and named with respect to their tempo and quantum of fertility as; "one child-norm", "two children-norm", "three children-norm", "four children-norm" and "five or more children-norm"). The emergence of the same heterogeneous fertility trajectories for each cohort confirmed that fertility is heterogeneous in Turkey. The heterogeneous structure of one child-norm cluster in the younger cohorts indicates an absence of a transition to childlessness from this cluster. The two children-norm dominates the fertility behavior. For three children-norm cluster, the fact that a subgroup that spent a longer time with two children in the most recent period can be an indication of the evolution of this fertility behavior into two children-norm. Women in one child-norm and two children-norm clusters were found to be highly similar to each other compared to their cohort. Greater spacing between births or even stopping after the first child became a preferred option among educated women who grew up in cities. For women who grew up in rural areas and uneducated women, the transition to lower fertility behaviors continues.