Journal Article

Forced displacement, migration, and fertility in Burundi

The civil war in Burundi (1993–2005) led to the forced displacement of a large part of the population. This study aims to explore how that displacement affected fertility behavior. Using a nationally representative, retrospective survey on birth and residential histories of 4,523 Burundian women, we examine the impact of conflict‐induced displacement on fertility. These unique data enable us to distinguish between remaining‐in‐place, voluntary migration, and forced displacement, as well as to distinguish between periods spent “on the move” versus periods spent in residence in the new site. Adopting a semiparametric regression model, we analyze both the probability of the first pregnancy and the subsequent spacing of higher order pregnancies. We find that the risk of a first pregnancy was higher in the year in which a woman was forcibly displaced and lower in the year a woman migrated voluntarily. Residency in a new site increased the risk of pregnancy for both.

Published in a peer-reviewed journal of the Population Council.