Demographic and Health Survey 1986

The Liberia Demographic and Health Survey (LDHS) was a national-level survey conducted
from February to July 1986, covering a sample of 5,239 women aged 15 to 49. The purpose of the
survey was to provide planners and policymakers with data regarding fertility, family planning,
and matemal and child health. A secondary objective was to collect baseline information for the
Southeast Region Primary Health Care Project.
Survey data indicate that fertility is high in Liberia, with women having an average of about
six and one-half births by the time they reach the end of their childbearing years. This level of fertility is found both from data on the mean number of children ever born to older women, as well
as from the recent total fertility rate. Furthermore, it appears that fertility has been more or less
constant in the recent past, and may be increasing slightly. Women in urban areas and in Montserrado County have somewhat fewer children than women in other areas. The most significant difference in fertility rates is by educational level, where women with secondary or higher education
average fewer than 5 births per woman, as compared with 7 births for women with primary education. Childbearing in Liberia begins at an early age; over half of Liberian women have their first
birth before they reach age 20.