Determinants and patterns of fertility in Zambia
Chola, Mumbi J
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Introduction: Zambia has continuously reported high fertility rates. While influence of both underlying and proximate determinants is well documented in various studies worldwide, there’s a lack of information on their influence on fertility in Zambia. Therefore, this study was aimed at examining the determinants of fertility in Zambia.Methodology: The analyses were based on 2007 Zambia Demographic and Health Survey (ZDHS) data. The ZDHS data is nationally representative data, comprised of information from face-to-face interviews and syphilis and HIV testing results. The survey sampled 8000 households across the country, collecting information on males aged 15-59 years and females aged 15-49 years. This thesis focused on the females only. Analysis was based on the Bongaarts Fertility Differentials and the Fertility Determinants Models. The Fertility Determinants model involved the use of bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses to examine the possible determinants for fertility. Results: Of the 7,146 females sampled in the survey, 44% resided in urban areas while 56% resided in the rural areas. About 22% of the respondents were aged below 20 years while 20% and 19% were aged between 20-24 and 25-29 years respectively. Pooled results show that majority of the respondents (44%) were aged between 25-39 years with 42% of the population aged between 15-24 years. Married women were almost 5 times more likely to experience child birth compared to those that had never been married. Women in urban areas were almost 7 times more likely to have a child than rural women.The Bongaarts Fertility Determinants Model revealed that 40% of fertility reduction from its biological maximum (18.83 children/mother) is due to the inhibiting effect of marriage with contraceptive use and duration of postpartum infecundability accounting for 8% and 33% respectively, to attain TFR of 6.2.The Fertility Determinants Model showed that the main predictors of fertility for women in Zambia were their age, their current marital status, whether they are currently abstaining or not, what they perceive as their ideal family size and their current contraceptive use. HIV status, however, was not a predictor of fertility.Conclusion: It was determined that the major predictors of fertility for women in Zambia are age, current marital status, sexual activity, ideal family size and current contraceptive use. It has also been shown that the determinants which contribute towards fertility reduction from its biological minimum were marriage, postpartum infecundity and contraception. The combined effect of these drivers and inhibitors of fertility will thus determine the fertility rates and the population growth rate. . Any measures aimed at maintaining fertility levels should take into consideration these drivers and inhibitors.
- Agricultural Sciences