Family planning programs have the potential to slow fertility and population growth. In Rwanda, contraceptive use has been on the rise in recent years, while fertility rates have been rapidly declining. Between 2005 and 2010, Rwanda experienced one of the fastest declines observed in the history of the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS), at a rate of 25 percent. These changes may be attributed to the Rwandan government’s leadership, renewed commitment to family planning, and its ambitious goals for fertility decline and contraceptive use, as outlined in the 2008 Economic Development Poverty Reduction Strategy.
Rwanda’s national population policies of the 2000s also promoted employment and education, especially for girls. Among young women, increases in education, along with improved living standards within households, contributed to the fertility decline during the late 2000s.