Use of Modern Contraception and Fertility: Some Results about Krenak Indigenous People, Brazil


Indigenous populations living in villages in Brazil have presented high total fertility rates (TFR) that have increased over time, particularly in Amazon peoples. Virtually nothing is known on indigenous fertility levels in villages located in other regions of Brazil. The objective of this article is to examine the use of modern contraception and fertility among Krenak women, who reside in the state of Minas Gerais, Southeast Brazil. The data used in this work were produced from the survey “Spatial Distribution of Malnutrition of the Child Population and of the Prevalent Nosology for the 2000 to 2006 Period”. The description of the fertility of the Krenak women was performed by calculating the TFR for the period between 2003 and 2007 and of cohort, and the information about the use of contraceptives was also gathered directly through the questionnaire. The TFR for the period between 2003 and 2007, in the Krenak indigenous land, was 3.6 children per woman, whereas the TFR for cohort – for women aged 50 or more, was 7.5 children. The most common contraceptive method used among Krenak women is the birth control pill (55.6%). Taking into account evidences from Amazon peoples, our results show low level of fertility among Krenak women. Such a result can be partially explained by the relatively high prevalence of contraceptive use of modern methods. Furthermore, it is probable that other variables could explain such differences, such as education and health access.