Assessment of the demographic and economic factors influencing household savings in western Uganda
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The aim of the study is to assess the economic and demographic factors influencing household savings in western Uganda. The economic factors considered include the household’s source of income, the highest level of education attained by the household head and the demographic factors considered include the place of residence, household size, marital status of the household head and gender of household head. The study population comprised of only households from Western Uganda that were included in the 2018/19 Uganda National Panel Survey (UNPS), hence a sample size of 742 households. This cross-sectional data was analyzed using the STATA version 15.0 software. Data was analyzed at the Univariate, bivariate and Multivariate level. The results of the study revealed that, 69.95 percent of the household heads were male whereby 70.23 percent save some their income for future use. Only 30.05 percent of household heads are female whereby 57.47 percent have embraced saving in their households. However, there was no a significant relationship (X2 =0.0561 P=0.813) reported between the gender of the household head and the household savings in western Uganda. In western Uganda, 36.25 percent of the households contain more than five members but less than ten members. Of these households, only 55.02 percent have savings and 44.98 percent do not. 31.27% of the households were found to have more than ten household members with only 53.45 percent of the households having savings. There was a significant (X2 =10.2152 P=0.02) relationship between the household size and the household savings in western Uganda. The study shows that 75.47 percent of the household heads are married whereby 58 percent were found to be saving. However, 24.53 percent of the household heads were unmarried and only 46.74 percent were found to be saving. Nevertheless, there was no significant relationship (X2 =0.1622 P=0.687) found between marital status of the household head and household savings. The study also showed that 76.95 percent of the household are in rural areas whereby 57.09 percent were found to be saving. However, 23.05 percent of the household are in rural areas and only 56.73 percent were found to be saving. But, there was no significant relationship (X2 =0.0173 P=0.895) found between place of residence and household savings. A significant relationship was recorded for both Household source of income (X2 =40.2152 P=0.020) and the education level of the household head (X2 =15.714 P=0.014). Majority (32.88%) of the households obtained their income from subsistence farming whereby 58.60 were saving. 38.68% of the household heads were not educated and 40.42 percent of these were saving. In conclusion, there is a statistically significant relationship between source of income of the household head, level of education of the household head, the household size and household savings. There is no statistically significant relationship between the gender of the household head, marital status of the household head, the place of residence and household savings. several recommendations emerged from the study. First, there's a pressing need to enhance access to quality education services, recognizing their potential positive influence on savings behavior and subsequent increases in household savings. The government should consider offering bursaries and expanding scholarships for children from economically disadvantaged households, a measure expected to boast household savings in the long term. Additionally, the government could play a role in initiating income-generating activities at the household level, thereby contributing to heightened savings rates.