Drop in fertility behind decrease of demographic growth in Morocco (census)
Morocco, Local, 12/24/2004
The annual average of demographic growth in Morocco has dropped from 2.1pc in 1982 to 1.4pc currently, notably due the decrease in fertility, according to figures released by the High Commissioner for Planning that estimated the Moroccan legal population at nearly 30 million inhabitants.
According to the general census conducted from 2 to 20 September, the population in Morocco has reached 29.891.708, including 29.840.273 Moroccans and 51.435 foreigners. The third of this population is concentrated in three regions: region of Casablanca (3.6 millions inhabitants), Souss-Massa-Draa (south-west) with 3.1 millions and Marrakech-Tensift-Al Haouz (south) with 3.1 millions.
The High Commissioner for Planning, Ahmed Lahlimi, who announced Wednesday at a press conference the results of the Census of Population and Housing, explained that the "decrease of demographic growth is the result of the drop in fertility during the latest decade."
According to Lahlimi, the average of child birth per woman decreased from 3.3 in 1994 to 2.5 in 2002. This tendency, he said, is prevailing both in urban and rural areas. Some regions have experienced negative growth compared to 1994, as it is the case with eastern Morocco (-0.8pc).
The Moroccan official also ascribed low fertility to the marriage age for women that rose from an average of 25.8 years in 1994 to 27.4 in 2000.
Another factor lies in the increase of women's use of contraceptive methods from 41.5pc to 63pc from 1992 to 2003.
Lahlimi said the phenomenon of immigration also contributed to this reality. Urban population, he explained, grew by 2.1pc annually while rural population, despite a bigger fertility rate, rose only by 0.6pc because of rural exodus.
Urbanization rate rose from 51.4pc in 1994 to 55.1pc in 2004, he pointed out.
According to Lahlimi, the total cost of the general census is estimated at 416.211.308 DH (around US $46.2 million), that is a 15pc decrease compared to 1994.
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