Desired versus actual number of children in Nigeria: the contradiction

Latifat Ibisomi, African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC)

For various reasons, peoples’ desired family size cannot be precisely attained and as such, it is often different from actual family size. Yet, the dynamics of these differences are not well understood. This paper intends to examine the patterns and determinants of the difference between desired number of children and actual number of children in Nigeria using the 2003 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) data sets of women aged 15-49 years who wanted no more children. Three levels of analysis were used including multinomial logistic regression modeling. Results show that women that desired less number of children than they actually had were more likely to have some education, be married and be current users of contraception while the direction of these factors somewhat differ for women that had less number of children than they desired. Policy, programme and research implications of the findings are discussed.

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Presented in Poster Session 2: Fertility, family and children