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Preferred number of children

Codes and Frequencies

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PREFERKIDNUM is an IPUMS-constructed variable that combines two original PMA variables recording whether the respondent had a preferred number of children and if so, how many. Women who have ever given birth, and who have a surviving child and women who have never given birth were asked: if they could choose exactly how many children to have, how many they would prefer. Women responded with either a preferred 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.


PREFERKIDNUM in IPUMS-PMA is similar to the variable IDEALKID in IPUMS-DHS. The universes differ in that PREFERKIDNUM only includes women who have ever given birth and who have a surviving child, and women who have never given birth, 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, have children who live in their home, have children who do not live with them, or who have not given birth.


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