(Withdrawn) Cesarean birth rate in China: trends and patterns

Wei Chen, People's University of China
Jinju Liu, People's University of China

Cesarean birth rates are increasing in many developing countries. However, cesarean birth data were not available in China until recently. The 2006 fertility survey, for the first time in China, collected information on cesarean birth from a nationally representative survey. This paper analyzes trends and patterns of cesarean birth in China, aiming to answer two questions: What are the levels and trends of China’s cesarean birth rate over the last 20 years? And what factors are associated with the probability and number of cesarean birth occurred to women? Results show that cesarean birth rate has been rapidly rising in China over the last two decades. The 2006 fertility survey yielded a total fertility rate of 1.726 in 2005, which can be broken down into a total cesarean fertility rate of 0.521 and a total vaginal fertility rate of 1.205. Thus on average half a birth was cesarean and 1.2 births vaginal if Chinese women had lifetime fertility of 1.7 births. China’s national cesarean birth rate stood at 30% in 2005, with the urban rate nearly 50% while the rural rate about as half high. There are very large differences in cesarean birth rate between social demographic groups. For example, women with college education and over had cesarean birth rate of 56% while it is very low at only 6% for illiterate women. Multivariate regressions show that age, place of residence, education, occupation, Hukou status, migration status, time period and region are all significantly associate with incidence of cesarean birth. In China, like elsewhere in the world, modernization drives upward cesarean birth rate. However, there are other circumstances surrounding cesarean birth which are peculiar to China. China’s one-child policy and some elements of the traditional culture are among the more important factors behind the rising cesarean birth rate in China.

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Presented in Session 61: Reproductive health (Merged with Session 64)