The Effect of Changing Proximate Determinants on Fertility Levels among Urban Poor Women in Kenya: Evidence from Nairobi’s Informal Settlements, 2000-2012

Marylene Wamukoya, Donatien Beguy, Kanyiva Muindi, Joyce Mumah, Blessing U. Mberu


Slum dwellers constitute an increasing share of urban populations in sub-Saharan Africa. This paper examines changes in proximate determinants of fertility in slums in Nairobi, Kenya between 2000 and 2012. We used data from the Nairobi Cross-sectional Slum Surveys (NCSS) conducted in in all Nairobi’s informal settlements, among 3,256 women aged 15-49 in 2000 and 4,240 aged 12-49 in 2012. We employed Stover’s revised proximate determinants of fertility framework to assess the relative contribution of contraception, marriage, sterility and postpartum insusceptibility to the fertility levels between 2000 and 2012. There has been a change in the influence of the proximate determinants in Nairobi’s slums. Marriage as measured by recent sexual activity had the largest inhibiting effect in 2000, whereas contraception had the largest effect in 2012. Findings suggest the need to sustain and/or strengthen FP/SRH initiatives that emphasize contraceptive use among women in urban slums in Kenya

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ISSN 2308-7854 (online); ISSN 0850-5780 (print)

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