Fertility and Household Economic Outcomes among Poor Urban Households in Nairobi Informal Settlements, Kenya

Blessing Mberu, African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC)
James Ciera, African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC)
Patricia Elungata, African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC)
Alex C. Ezeh, African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC)

Building on the context of persistent high fertility and poor understanding of the household context, time dynamics and short- and long-term consequences of high fertility on household economic welfare in SSA, complicated by lack of appropriate data with detailed economic welfare measures, we use longitudinal data of 6,635 households from the Nairobi Urban Health and Demographic Surveillance System, and a multidimensional poverty index to examine the effects of fertility on the dynamics of household poverty in Nairobi slums between 2006 and 2009. Our preliminary analysis shows more households falling into than moving out of poverty, with households that experienced at least a birth over the period being more likely to remain in chronic poverty or fall into poverty, if they were non-poor at the beginning of 2006. These findings point to the continued need for anti-poverty interventions around fertility reduction and smaller family size norms among the urban poor.

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Presented in Session 48: Implications of Fertility on Socioeconomic and Health Outcomes in Africa