Backup mandate Research Council: The stalled fertility transition in sub-Saharan Africa: a case study of Congolese women A mixed methods approach of fertility among Congolese women in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Belgium since the 1960s

Project Details


Similar to many sub-Saharan African countries, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has known high fertility rates for years and seems to demonstrate a slowing or stalling fertility transition due to decades of continuous political instability, insecurity, violence and external exploitation. High fertility combined with decreasing mortality results in rapid population growth, which creates an array of social, economic and environmental challenges. This project addresses the stalled fertility transition in DRC by means of a mixed-methods approach. The overarching aim is to provide an exhaustive picture of fertility and its transition in DRC. Three specific research objectives are tackled: (1) obtaining a complete image of the past and current fertility trends and determinants in DRC; (2) discovering the fertility disparities between women in DRC and Congolese migrants in Belgium; and (3) gaining more insight into the mechanisms, motives and social and cultural aspects underlying fertility behaviour of Congolese women. Not only will the results provide new insights in the stalled fertility transition in DRC and SSA, this research will also contribute to the migrant fertility knowledge in Belgium as it is unknown how the high Congolese fertility rates translate to a Belgian environment.
Effective start/end date1/11/2131/10/22

Flemish discipline codes

  • Family and household studies
  • Fertility
  • Migration
  • Population trends and policies


  • Fertility trends
  • fertility determinants
  • sub-saharan african fertility transition
  • migrant fertility