Investigating the Internal Migration and Fertility Decline Relationship in West Africa

Jamaica Corker, University of Geneva

The dynamics of urbanization and urban growth in developing countries are not well understood, particularly the relationship between migration, urbanization and fertility. Here, I seek to determine if there is an “urban effect” on fertility (i.e. an association of urban residence and lower fertility exclusive of socio-demographic characteristics) discernible among internal migrants in West Africa. I then examine whether an urban effect is strongest among migrants to the largest urban areas (where fertility rates are lowest) and whether it is also apparent among migrants who move away from urban areas. I find that women who moved either to or from urban areas have lower annual odds of a birth compared to rural non-migrants and rural-to-rural migrants. Additionally, women who relocate to the largest cities have lower fertility than do migrants to smaller urban areas, suggesting that the association of urban residence on fertility is strongest where fertility rates are lowest.

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Presented in Session 25: Migration, Health, and Reproduction