Fertility as a Determinant of Household Poverty in Kenya: a Comparative Analysis of Central, Nyanza, Western, and Eastern Regions
The study used 2014 Kenya Demographic and Health Survey data to provide a detailed analysis of fertility and poverty rates in Kenya. Poverty rates were calculated using Multidimensional Poverty Index in order to compute groups of population who are poor and non poor as measured by deprivation rates. The overall objective of the study was to investigate the relationship between fertility and household poverty while the specific objectives of the study are; to investigate the effect of fertility on household poverty and probability of households with high fertility entering into poverty. These objectives were achieved through critical analysis of various indicators at the household level. Some parts of the country have recorded increase or stalled rates of poverty and it is important to understand regional poverty dynamics and its determinants. In regional comparison, multidimesional calculations of poverty showed that many households were still deprived of education, health and standards of living at different degree. In health deprivation, Central region was least deprived at 17%, followed by Western region at 20% and Nyanza region at 30%. Eastern region was mostly deprived at 33%. In education deprivation, Central region was least deprived at 4% while Eastern region was mostly deprived at 11%. Nyanza and Western regions had deprivations of 10% and 8% respectively. In standards of living deprivation, Central was least deprived while Eastern region had the highest deprivation levels. The result also showed that fertility is positively related with household deprivations whereby giving birth to one more child will increase the household deprivations in the three components. Households with high fertility are more likely to enter into poverty at 1.024%. From the analysis, the positive relationship of fertility and household poverty shows that many households still live in poverty; hence fertility is still a challenge to the country‟s economic development. Therefore argent intervention policies should be enhanced to reduce fertility. The study shows that majority of deprived households were in Nyanza, Eastern and Western regions, therefore intervention measures are required in these regions. The government should improve education system so that households can acquire quality education for economic development. The government should also enhance health provisions and strongly advocate for modern contraceptive use to reduce fertility.
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