Correlates of age at first birth in Nigeria: does ethnicity matter?

Elizabeth O. Njoku, Obafemi Awolowo University
Olusina Bamiwuye, Obafemi Awolowo University
Sunday A. Adedini, Obafemi Awolowo University and University of the Witwatersrand

Nigeria’s current high-fertility-levels of 5.5 lies approximately middle-levels across the ECOWAS nations TFR. Age-at-first-birth consistently remained a key predictor. This paper examines the associated factors with differentials in the age-at-first-birth across major ethnic groups in Nigeria. Data was obtained from the 2013 NDHS on a weighted sample of 27,614 women with at-least-a-child in the last 5years preceding the survey. Uni-variate result showed that 39.5% are Hausa/Fulani, 12% Igbo, 13.5% Yoruba and 35% other ethnic-groups. At the bi-variate analysis level, overall median age-at-first-birth by ethnicity are: 17 among Hausa/Fulani, 21 among Igbo and Yoruba respectively and 19 among other ethnic-groups. Education, religion, place of residence and wealth-status are significant predictors of age-at-first-birth. At multivariate analysis levels, the adjusted and the unadjusted IRRs revealed that ethnicity is significantly a predictor of age-at-first-birth. Fertility regulation policies and programmes in Nigeria must be group specific in order to achieve the desired results.

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Presented in Poster Session 2