Why do birth rates fail to drop in Sub-Saharan Africa? This question has preoccupied demographers and population planners for decades. The expectation of fertility decline is based on the demographic transition model which still dominates demographic thinking, and which assumes a universal development towards low mortality and fertility levels following modernisation. This book argues that population dynamics can only be understood when viewed in their particular context. It provides both a critique of demographic methods and theorizing, and a detailed analysis of fertility issues in the rapidly changing urban environment of Bamako, capital city of Mali. A new light is shed on the population debate through the conceptualization of the meso-level, illuminating a part of the social world which usually remains obscure.