Determinants of fertility in Kenya: a comparative study of Nyanza and Central provinces
Yogo, Kennedy Obuya
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This project examines the determinants of fertility in Nyanza and Central provinces of Kenya. The study specifically examines the effects of demographic, socio-economic and socio-cultural factors on children ever born to answer the question: what are the determinants of fertility in Nyanza and Central provinces of Kenya? Data from the 2008-09 Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (2008-09 KDHS) of 1,318 and 973 women aged 15- 49 from Nyanza and Central provinces respectively were used. The study is premised on John Bongaarts' (1978) framework for analyzing proximate determinants of fertility. The main methods of analysis used include descriptive statistics, simple bivariate and multivariate linear regression analyses. The Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS 17 for windows) software was used to analyze the data. Results of multivariate analysis established that all the demographic/ intermediate variables included in the study are significant determinants of children ever born (CEB) in Nyanza province. In Central province, on the other hand, and to our surprise, ever use of contraceptive is not significantly related to children ever born when other variables are controlled for. With regard to the socio-economic factors, wealth index is the only statistically significant determinant of children ever born in Central province when the effects of all the other variables are held constant. However, in Nyanza province, education, wealth index and place of residence are significantly related to children ever born in Nyanza province when other variables are held constant. Women's work status as an indicator of socio-economic variable is not a significant determinant of children ever born in the two regions. Finally in the category of the socio-cultural factors, results show that type of marriage (the only socio-cultural factor studied) is a significant determinant of children ever born in Central province, whereas it is not a significant determinant of children ever born in Nyanza province. The study recommends that concerted efforts should be put on expanding family planning and child health programmes, specifically to reduce fertility as well as infant and maternal mortality and consequently maintain and enhance the overall well-being of the family. The study further recommends increased opportunities for girl child education.