Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-nmvwc Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-06-24T08:12:33.264Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

The fertility transition in Cuba and the Federal Republic of Korea: the impact of organised family planning

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 July 2008

Jeanne Noble
Center for Latin American Studies, California, USA
Malcolm Potts
School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, California, USA


South Korea and Cuba are dissimilar in religion, economy, culture and attitudes toward premarital sexual relations. In 1960, Korea instituted a national family planning programme to combat rapid population growth. Cuba explicitly rejected Malthusian policies, but made family planning universally available in 1974 in response to health needs. Both countries have undergone rapid fertility declines and today have less than replacement level fertility. Both countries have also used a similar mixture of methods, including a high prevalence of female sterilisation. Abortion has played a major role in the fertility decline of both countries, rising in the first half of the fertility transition and then falling, although remaining a significant variable in the second half. It is concluded that access to contraception, voluntary sterilisation, and safe abortion has a direct impact on fertility and has been associated with a rapid fall in family size in two very different countries.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1996

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Alvarez, L. (1987) Determinantes próximos de la fecundidad en Cuba. Modelo de Bongaarts. Rev. Cub. Adm. Salud. 13, 437.Google Scholar
Alvarez, L. (1988) Encuesta de Fecundidad y Prevalencia de Métodos Anticonceptivos. Las Tunas, 1985. Instituto de Desarrollo de la Salud, Havana.Google Scholar
Alvarez-Lajonchere, C. (1989) Commentary on abortion law and practice in Cuba. Int. J. Gynec. Obstet. 3, 93.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Catasús, S. et al. (1988) Cuban Women: Changing Roles and Population Trends. Women, Work and Development Series, 17. International Labour Organization, Geneva.Google Scholar
Cho, N-H. & Seo, M-H. (1992) Recent changes in the population control policy and its future directions in Korea. In: Fertility Control Experiences in the Republics of Korea and China, p. 17. Korean Institute of Health and Social Affairs, Seoul.Google Scholar
Cleland, J. (1993) Equity, security and fertility: a reaction to Thomas. Popul. Stud. 47, 345.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cleland, J. & Wilson, C. (1987) Demand theories of the fertility transition: an iconoclastic view. Popul. Stud. 41, 5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cuba (1991) Encuesta Nacional de Fecundidad 1987. Comité Estatal de Estadísticas, Instituto de Investigaciones Estadísticas, Havana.Google Scholar
Cuba (1994) Anuario Demográfico de Cuba. Comité Estatal de Estadísticas, Dirección de Demografia, Havana.Google Scholar
Díaz-Briquets, S. & Perez, L. (1981) Cuba: the demography of revolution. Popul. Bull. 36, 1.Google ScholarPubMed
Donaldson, P. J., Nichols, D. J. & Choe, H. C. (1978) Abortion and contraception in the Korean fertility transition. Popul. Stud. 36, 227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Haub, C. (1994) Population change in the former Soviet Republics. Popul. Bull. 49, 1.Google ScholarPubMed
Hollerbach, P. E. & Díaz-Briquets, S. (1983) Fertility Determinants in Cuba. Committee on Population and Demography, No. 26. National Academy Press, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
International Planned Parenthood Federation (1979) Family Planning in Cuba: A Profile of the Development of Policies and Programmes. IPPF, London.Google Scholar
Koh, K. S. & Smith, D. P. (1970) The Korean 1968 Fertility and Family Planning Survey. National Family Planning Centre, Seoul.Google Scholar
Korea (1980) 1979 Korea Contraceptive Prevalence Survey Report. Korean Institute for Family Planning and Westinghouse Health Systems, Seoul.Google Scholar
Pan American Health Organization (1993) Family Planning, Reproductive Health and Population. PAHO, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
Pritchett, L. (1994) Desired fertility and the impact of population policies. Popul. Dev. Rev. 20, 1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ross, J. A. (1992) Sterilization: past, present and future. Stud. Fam. Plann. 23, 190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Thomas, N. H. (1993) Economic security, culture and fertility: a reply to Cleland. Popul. Stud. 47, 353.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tinker, I. & Cho, H. (1981) Women's Participation in Community Development in Korea. Edited by Lee, M. G.. Institute of Saemaul Undong Studies, Seoul.Google Scholar
Young, P. R. (1971) Impact of Population Growth on the Korean Economy. Korea National Family Planning Centre, Seoul.Google Scholar