Addressing the Myths: Social protection and fertility

Concerns around the fertility impacts of social protection programs have long been debated and often serve as an impediment to the expansion and scale up of cash transfers. These concerns are especially present in poorer countries where fertility levels are either high or in the midst of transition to lower levels. 

Key messages:

  • A common concern about cash transfers is that they will increase fertility rates.
  • The vast majority of studies show either no impact on fertility, reductions in fertility and/or changes in factors which can reduce fertility.
  • Evidence suggests that programme design that limits the size of transfers to larger families will not affect fertility but may have negative outcomes on children by reducing transfer size.