Spatial and temporal variations in women undernutrition in Ethiopia- A multilevel analysis.

Fikrewold Bitew, Samuel H Nyarko, Corey S Sparks


Background: Women’s undernutrition is a major concern in many sub-Saharan African countries including Ethiopia; however, little information exists on its spatial and temporal variation within a single national context. This paper examines spatial and temporal variations in women’s undernutrition and its determinants in Ethiopia between 2000 and 2016.

Data source and methods: We use data from the Ethiopia Demographic and Health Surveys from 2000 to 2016. We used multilevel logistic regression models with region-level random effects to estimate determinants of undernutrition.

Results: The results show substantial regional variations in women’s undernutrition in Ethiopia, which show mixed patterns over time. Also, the regional variations are significantly affected by age, education level, marital status, wealth, occupational status and type of residence as well as some aggregate factors. Undernutrition risks are considerably higher for teenage women, no education, never-married, unemployed, and rural women, as well as women from poor households than their counterparts. Additionally, in regions with lower levels of women’s education, the risk of undernutrition was higher.

Conclusions: Regional variations in women’s undernutrition in Ethiopia are significantly determined by individual sociodemographic, economic and community level characteristics. Policy decisions should focus on bridging the regional disparities in the country, especially in areas that have made little progress in reducing women’s undernutrition.


Spatial variations, women undernutrition, Ethiopia.

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