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Old age expectation as a factor influencing high demand for children: Does number of children influence old age support?

Adekunbi Omideyi, Obafemi Awolowo University

This study examined the extent of support expectation of the elderly from their children. This was investigated in view of the traditional African belief that high fertility guarantees a better future in old age as postulated by the net-intergenerational wealth flow proponents. In a study that covered 947 elderly respondents in South-Western Nigeria, we found that empowerment of a child rather than the number of children is more significant in securing the well-being of the elderly. Also, proximity of children to the elderly does not guarantee adequate financial support as a child may become a financial burden. Proximity of a child only significantly affects daily care and personal visitation. There is no significant relationship between the number of children and unmet need for support. The odds of those with six or more children is twice more than those with two or less in predicting high unmet need for improved status.

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Presented in Session 40: What is the impact of high fertility on family wellbeing?