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REPORT: Nairobi has the lowest fertility index

Counties from arid and semi-arid Lands (ASALs) have the highest fertility rate, a government survey has revealed.

The Demographic and Health survey 2022 released by Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) indicates Mandera has the highest fertility rate at 7.7 percent, followed by West Pokot with 6.9 percent.

Wajir is third with 6.8 percent and Marsabit fourth at 6.3 percent.

“Nairobi still has the lowest fertility rates, currently at 2.6 percent from 2.7 per cent in 2014.

It is followed by Nyamira with 2.7 percent, Machakos with 2.8 percent and Kiambu with 2.9 percent,” the report states.

The high fertility rate in this ASAL areas could be contributed illiteracy on the use of modern contraceptives, family planning among married women aged between 15 and 49.

The decline has been attributed to increase on level of education, wealth, residence and level of education.

The survey, which was released on Monday showed that many women are now choosing to have about three children, a slash by half from 1989, when women were having between six and seven children.

The fertility rates sharply declined then, and in 1998, women started having between four and five children, before slightly increasing by 2003. The figures then dropped by 2008 and 2009, till date.

And even though rural women on average have one more child than urban counterparts, their fertility rates have also dropped from seven in 1989 to three in 2022. Those in urban areas reduced their numbers from between four and five children to having between two and three, during the same period.

“Total fertility rate declines with increase in level of education, from 6.3 children for women with no education to 2.8 children for women with more than secondary education. Total fertility rate declines with increase in wealth quintile, from 5.3 children for women in the lowest wealth quintile to 2.7 children for women in the highest wealth quintile,” says the survey.

It adds: “On average, rural women aged between 40 and 49 have given birth to 4.8 children, as compared to 3.4 among their urban counterparts. The mean number of children ever born to women age 40–49 declines with level of education from 6.5 for women with no education to 2.8 for women with more than secondary education.”

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