Determinants of fertility, levels in urban areas:A comparative case study of Mathare and Nairobi south
Population growth, has become a current issue in Kenya because it deters overall development planning. The problem manifests itself in a deficit in the provision for basic needs and low standards of living. A lot of research has been undertaken in this area with useful results but the policy implications thereof have as yet failed to curb the population growth. Therefore, further research in the area of population growth is required if effective policies are to be designed which will eventually control population growth. This study aims at throwing more light onsocioeconomic determinants of fertility levels in urban areas. Regression techniques were applied to cross-sectional data from two areas (Mathare and the Nairobi south area). The sample size was 434. Data was collected from the field by administering a questionna.ire . The study found that socio-economic status (measured by educational levels, occupational status, age of a woman, age of a woman at first marriage, infant mortality and family planning practice), is a major determinant of fertility levels in urban areas. People with low socioeconomic status have more children than those with higher socio-economic status. The findings imply that to achieve a decline in the population, the government must design policies to induce people of low status to reduce their family size. This could be done by way of increasing educational levels, increasing the marriage age, better medical facilities and a more intensified family planning campaign.