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Ethnicity, sex composition of living children, and unrealized fertility in Nigeria
Authors: Olufunke Fayehun, Olutobi Adekunle Sanuade, Anthony Idowu Ajayi, and Uche Isiugo-Abanihe
Source: Population Studies, Volume 74, 2020 - Issue 3; DOI:
Topic(s): Ethnicity
Country: Africa
Published: JUL 2020
Abstract: While studies in high-income countries have shown that failure to achieve fertility desires is significantly associated with unfavourable personal circumstances, there is barely any empirical evidence on the factors that influence the pattern of unrealized fertility in sub-Saharan Africa. Using data from the 2018 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey, this paper investigates the roles of ethnicity and the sex composition of living children on unrealized fertility in Nigeria. The results show that the odds of having unrealized fertility were higher among Hausa–Fulani women compared with women of other ethnic groups in Nigeria. Also, having daughters only (no sons) was associated with higher odds of unrealized fertility, after controlling for other important covariates. The findings suggest that cultural norms and pronatalism significantly influence the fertility desires of women in Nigeria, even at the end of their reproductive lifespan.