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Ideal number of children

Codes and Frequencies

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IDEALKIDNUM is an IPUMS-constructed variable that combines two original PMA variables indicating whether the respondent had an ideal number of children and if so, how many. Women who have ever given birth, and who have a surviving child in or outside their home, were asked: if they could go back in time before they had any children, how many children they would ideally like to have. Women responded with either an ideal number of children, or by saying that the number of children they should have is up to God, and therefore not for the respondent to answer.

The question associated with this variable was included in the female questionnaire.


IDEALKIDNUM in IPUMS-PMA is similar to the variable IDEALKID in IPUMS-DHS. The universes differ in that IDEALKIDNUM only includes women who have ever given birth and who have a surviving child, while IDEALKID includes either all women ages 15-49 or all ever-married women ages 15-49, dependent on the sample. There may be additional differences in questionnaire text or the variable's universe; see the Survey Text and Universe tab of the IPUMS-DHS variable for more information.


  • Women age 15-49 who have given birth and who have children who live in their home or do not live with them.


  • Burkina Faso: 2016-2018
  • Congo (Democratic Republic): 2017-2018
  • Cote d'Ivoire: 2017
  • Indonesia: 2016