Socio-Economic Determinants of Fertility in Urban Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


Fertility, being a major study unit in population dynamics, should be analyzed from different perspectives as it plays a pivotal role in understanding the complex issues integral to population growth. The main objective of this study was therefore to understand what the micro level major socio – economic determinants of fertility are in the case of urban Ethiopia. These determinants of fertility were initially hypothesized to include education, income, age at first marriage, marital status, child mortality and participation of women in income generating activities. The direction of relationship between the variables and fertility was expected to be positive for martial status and child mortality while a negative relationship was speculated for the other variables. Count data models were used to estimate fertility, given by the number of children born by a woman, using two data sets: the Ethiopian Urban Socio-economic Surveys, a panel data conducted for five rounds comprising of 1,500 households, and the Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey (2005), a nationally representative cross sectional data. The main findings of the result supported the hypothesis that education, income, age at first marriage and participation of women in income generating activity are negatively related to fertility. The expected positive relationship between marriage and fertility was also validated by the study. Child mortality was, however, found to be insignificant in explaining fertility in urban areas. The findings of the study revealed that fertility decision is influenced by the analyzed socio-economic variables and achieving a low level of fertility rate requires an all rounded sustainable development process that could result in increased education, income, creation of employment opportunities and improved status of women in the society



Economic Policy Analysis, Economic Policy