Socioeconomic and Demographic Determinants of Fertility in North Eastern Kenya
The key objective of this study is to analyze the socioeconomic and demographic factors influencing fertility of women in North Eastern Kenya. North Eastern region was selected because its Total Fertility Rate (TFR) of 6.4 in 2014 was the highest among all regions in the country and was much higher than the national average of 3.9. While TFR for other regions have been reducing over time, in the North Eastern region the fertility rate has been on the rise. This research uses data from the 2014 Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (KDHS) data and focuses on women aged 15 - 49. A Poisson count data model is employed. Variables studied include: total children ever born, educational level, residence, contraceptive use, age, work status, access to media, religion, age at first marriage and marital status. Among these, respondent’s age, age at first marriage, marital status, religion, access to media, ever use of contraceptives, higher education and work status were found to have a significant relationship with fertility. Age, marital status, use of contraception and religion positively influence fertility while age at first marriage, higher education, access to media and work status negatively influence fertility. Therefore, based on these study findings, increasing opportunities for higher education for women, engagement of Muslim religious leaders in population control activities, improving access to radio and use of radio programs for awareness and information are recommended.
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