Regional Differentials in Fertility Decline in Kenya: The Role of Proximate Determinants

Ekisa L Anyara, University of Southampton
Andrew Hinde, University of Southampton

Kenya’s total fertility of 7.9 children in 1978 has declined to a current level of 5. The decline has marked regional differentials. Previous studies were limited to the use of data collected until 1993 and did not seek for clues which might explain regional fertility differences. This paper shows the extent of regional variation in fertility decline in Kenya and determines the potential role of the proximate determinants in explaining regional patterns of fertility in view of recent work on the calculation of Bongaarts’s indices of the proximate determinants. Kenya Demographic and Health Survey data collected in 1989, 1993, 1998 and 2003, consistent regional boundaries across all surveys, and exact exposure to risk is used. The findings show that regions inhabited by pastoral communities experienced a fertility gain. The fertility inhibiting effect of postpartum infecundability is highest while that of the index of sterility due to all causes is notable.

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Presented in Poster Session 1: Fertility, Family Planning, Reproductive Health