Determinants of Fertility Rate among Reproductive Age Women (15-49) in Gonji-Kollela District of the Amhara National Regional State, Ethiopia
Background: The low levels of education associated with low use of contraceptive methods are the major factors for high fertility rate in many developing countries including Ethiopia. Ample research works indicated that nearly two million people are added to the population of Ethiopia each year. The implication is that uncontrolled fertility rate affects the socio-economic, demographic and environmental situations of the country. The general objective of the study was to identify demographic and socio-economic determinants of fertility among reproductive-age women in Gonji-Kollela district of the Amhara Region.
Methods: The study employed survey research design of a quantitative approach. Multi-stage sampling techniques were employed to select the required sample for the study. The data were collected using structured questionnaire and presented with the help of frequencies, percentages, and tables. SPSS version 20 was employed for data analysis. Multiple linear regression model was applied to identify determinant factors affecting the number of children ever born in the study area.
Results: The total fertility rate (TFR) in the study area was 5.3 children per woman, which is higher than the TFR of the country (4.1 children per woman). The study pointed out that the total fertility rate of women with no education was 7.0 against 3.6 with secondary educational level. This means that respondents with no education have a large number of children ever born (CEB) than those who have some formal education. The marital status of the respondents revealed that 47% and 22.4% established marriage less than 15 years and 15-17 years of age, respectively. The study noted that fertility was the lowest among mothers who do not worry about sex preference. The results of the linear regression model also evidenced that sex preference, age at first birth, low educational levels of mothers and age at first sexual intercourse were the determinant factors for a high number of children ever born in the study area.
Conclusions: The study found out that early marriage, low level of formal and informal education, parents motive to have a large number of children and inaccessible in the use of contraceptive methods were the major factors for high fertility rate in the study area. Hence, continuous awareness creation about the negative consequences of early marriage has to be promoted by the district health offices, Regionâ€™s bureau of women affairs and other stakeholders. [Ethiop. J. Health Dev. 2018;32(3):144-155]
Keywords: Fertility determinants, contraceptive use, children ever born, sex preference, reproductive age, total fertility rate, Amhara Region