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The Fertility Transition in Kenya: A Comparison of Factors in the Timing of Second and Third Births Over the 1977-1989 and 1991-2003 Periods

David Ojakaa, Université de Montréal

A number of studies have examined the Kenyan fertility transition using period measures. Yet, despite research findings on the importance of contemporary socio-economic context in the spacing of births, few have addressed it from the birth-interval perspective. Using the Cox regression model, this study compares the effects of selected covariates of transition from the first to the second conception - and from the second to third - during two periods in the transition. Data from the 1988/89 and 2003 Kenya Demographic and Health Surveys focus on two comparison periods: 1977-1989 (falling fertility) and 1991-2003 (reduced pace of fertility decline). Results, which test a number of hypotheses including the effects of region of residence, period of first and second birth, and child survival, suggest an association between rising infant mortality since the 1990s with the slowing down and levelling off in the transition. New family planning and post-partum activities are recommended.

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Presented in Session 4: Emerging issues in the Demography of East Africa