Demographic and socio-economic factors associated with fertility among women of reproductive ages (15-49) in Luapula province, Zambia: analysis of the 1992-2018 Zambia demographic and health survey.

Thumbnail Image
Zulu, Robert
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
The University of Zambia
The levels of fertility in Luapula province have remained relatively high compared to other provinces of the country. It is for this reason that this study sought to investigate the demographic and socio-economic factors associated with fertility (CEB) of women of reproductive ages (15-49) in Luapula province. This study was undertaken to help fill the gap in knowledge of how the demographic and socio-economic factors have influenced fertility levels in Luapula province. Further, to the lesser extent the factors identified as having contributed more significantly to high fertility levels would help in coming up with policies and other measures of fertility reduction. The study used a non-intervention research design; based on secondary data from the Zambia Demographic and Health Surveys (ZDHS) conducted in 1992, 1996, 2001-2, 2007, 2013-14 and 2018. The sample included women residing both in rural and urban areas who reported at least with one live birth. Analysis of data in this study was done using the statistical software Stata 14.0 and it was done at three stages namely descriptive analysis; bivariate and multivariate analysis using Poisson regression, producing Incidence Rate Ratios of CEB among women associated with demographic and socio-economic factors by ZDHS year. The findings of this study show that the age of a mother is associated with the number of Children Ever Born. This is similar with education level, employment status, marital status, contraceptive use, and age at birth of first child. Results from bivariate and multivariate analysis show that women aged 25-34 and 35-49 years had significantly relatively more children for instance 1996 (IRR = 2.386, 95% CI 2.060-2.764) and (IRR = 3.937, 95% CI 3.521-4.401) compared to women aged 15-24. Women of rural areas have statistically significant more children than women from urban areas of Luapula province. The association of CEB and age of a woman at first birth, women who had their first birth/child at ages 15 years and above (15-19 and at 20+) had significantly fewer children for instance 2018 (IRR =0.798, 95% CI 0.681-0.936) and (IRR = 0.682, 95% CI 0.565-0.824) than women who had their first child before age of 15 years. Women who reported to have used contraceptives regardless of the method and type had relatively more children for instance 2018 (IRR = 1.088, 95% CI 1.023-1.158) than women who reported not using any of the contraceptive methods. In nutshell, the study found that fertility in Luapula province is associated with several different socio-demographic factors such as age of a mother, Education levels, marital status, as well as age at first birth. The study recommends provision of an aiding atmosphere for the attainment of higher education by women. Qualitative studies should be conducted to investigate the reasons why women are using the different contraceptive methods, Government should also revisit (by increasing) the legal age for marriage under statutory law, which is 18 years for women, this will contribute to the reduction in the levels of fertility because marital status highly contributes to high fertility levels.
Housing--Zambia--Statistics. , Fertility, Human--Zambia. , Zambia--Statistics, Vital.