Malaysian Women Are Having Fewer Children Than They’d Like

Generally, the desire for children among married women is high. (Based on the MPFS-5 survey, only 8.4% of married women aged between 15—49 were childless in 2014). Breaking down the age groups of married women, the desire for the number of children ranges between 3 to 4 children, which is well above the replacement level of 2.1. However, the actual number of children given birth is about 2 to 3 per women at the end of her fertile lifetime. (In 2014, married women in Malaysia desire, on average, 3.9 children, but have only 2.8 children on average). Despite high desire for children, families are facing challenges in fulfilling their desire in reality.

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