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Social contexts of fertility desire among non-childbearing young men and women aged 15–24 years in Nigeria
Authors: Joshua O. Akinyemi and Clifford O. Odimegwu
Source: Reproductive Health, Volume 18, Article number: 186; DOI:
Topic(s): Education
Fertility preferences
Race and ethnicity
Wealth Index
Country: Africa
Published: SEP 2021
Abstract: Background: Reduction in ideal number of children has been suggested as a necessary precursor for fertility decline especially in high fertility countries of Western and Central Africa. In this study, we explored the social contexts of fertility desires by documenting the effects of individual, household as well as contextual characteristics among young men and women in Nigeria. Methods: Data source was the male and female recode file of 2018 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey. Analytical sample comprised 2674 males and 9637 females aged 15–24 years. The main outcome variable was desire for large family size (DLFS) defined as ideal number of children greater than four. Analysis involved use of descriptive statistics and random-effect logit models fitted in four stages. Results: DLFS was 71% among young men and 53% in women. Individual-level factors associated with DLFS among men includes Islam religion (OR = 3.95, CI 2.68–5.83), household size (OR = 1.05) and richer (OR = 0.47, CI 0.29–0.75) or richest wealth index (OR = 0.28, CI 0.16–0.75). Geo-political region and high level of negative attitude to family planning (OR = 1.72, CI 1.23–2.40) were the main contextual factors associated with DLFS. For women, individual-level correlates were education, religion, ethnicity, marital status, household size, and wealth index. Contextual factors include geo-political region, community education (OR = 0.68, CI 0.52–0.89), child mortality experience (OR = 1.29, CI 1.11–1.51) and negative attitude to family planning (OR = 1.36, CI 1.13–1.65). The influence of religion, household wealth and attitude to family planning differ between young men and women. Conclusion: Active communication and programmatic interventions are needed so that desire for large family size by young men and women do not become a clog for fertility transition in Nigeria.