Fertility Transition in Kenya: Why Has the Stall Persisted?

Anne Khasakhala, University of Nairobi

This paper examines the contribution of socio-economic status (proxied by wealth quintiles) in explaining fertility stall in Kenya. Data for the analysis is drawn from the Kenya Demographic and Health Surveys (KDHS, 1998, 2003 and 2008/9). Proximate determinants analyses are employed to establish their effect on fertility-inhibition by wealth quintiles. The results indicate that the lowest and second quintiles have the highest levels of fertility. The indices of postpartum insusceptibility (PPI) and marriage had the greatest fertility inhibiting effect for the lowest quintile, while marriage and PPI for the second quintile. The effect of contraception is observed for the middle, fourth and highest quintiles, which also have lower levels of fertility. This is applicable across all the surveys analyzed. Socio-economic status as proxied by wealth quintiles may offer an alternative explanation for the stall in fertility in Kenya. Programmatic interventions should focus on women in the lowest and second quintiles.

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 Presented in Session P3. Fertility Intentions and Behaviors