The Role of Ethnicity within Sub-Saharan African's Fertility Patterns

Jet Wildeman , Radboud University
Jeroen Smits, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
Sandor Schrijner, Radboud University Nijmegen

In this study, we first examine to what extent fertility patterns differ between ethnic groups in the sub-Saharan African (SSA) context and whether the differences between the groups have changed over time. In the second part, we try to explain the group differences on the basis of socioeconomic and cultural group characteristics. We expect that fertility patterns vary over ethnic groups and that these differences have become smaller in the last decades. Furthermore, we expect that ethnic groups who are wealthier, more educated, work in non-farm occupations, have higher percentage of elites, are larger, are more urbanized, and where women have a stronger position have lower fertility levels and preferences. To answer our research questions, a database was constructed by combining data from 88 Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS). The database consists of 43 SSA countries and 420 sub national areas, covering in total 320 different ethnic groups. Fertility patterns are measured by women’s preferred number of children, children ever born and age at first birth. The data will be analyzed using cross-classified multilevel regression models.

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 Presented in Session P1. Poster Session Fertility, Family and the Life Course