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Fertility transition in Nigeria: Exploring the role of desired number of children

Latifat Ibisomi, African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC)
Clifford O. Odimegwu, University of the Witwatersrand

Fertility transition is on in Nigeria. Speculations are rife as to the factors driving the observed fertility changes. This study investigates if and how ‘desired number of children’ influences the observed fertility changes. The study utilized information collected from twenty-four focus group discussion sessions across the country to achieve the study objective. Results show that although people are revising the number of children they are having downward, the desired number of children is high. This is promoted by religion and culture while changing socio-economic factors limit the actual number of children people have. The number of children desired is high and does not play any reducing role in the observed fertility changes. This is a challenge for policies and programmes aimed at lowering the desired number of children for sustainable and continued fertility decline in Nigeria.

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Presented in Session 48: Determinants of fertility change in Africa