Socio-Economic Factors Influencing Number of Children Ever Born in Uganda
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The 2016 UDHS revealed that the TFR of Uganda is 5.4 children per woman. This means that a woman in Uganda on average produces 5 or more children during her reproductive lifespan and this has serious health implications for both the mother and the children she bears. This increases the risks of maternal and child mortality. The main objective of the study was to analyse the socio-economic factors influencing the number of children ever born in Uganda. The study used 2016 UDHS female data set for women aged 15-49 years and the sample size was 18506 women being respondents. The explanatory variables were: age of respondents at first birth, place of residence, education level, wealth status, religion, occupation, region while the dependent variable was number of children ever born. The study found out that number of children ever born had a statistically significant association with age of respondents at first birth, place of residence, education level, wealth status, region and occupation. Majority of the women begin child bearing at an early age (1519) and they were found to be having at least three children. Those residing in the rural areas had more number of children compared to those in the urban areas, women with no education (72.4%) were found having four children and above compared to those with higher levels, the poor had the highest number of children ever born and majority were Catholics. The study concluded that women who enter marriage early are more likely to have more children compared to their counterparts who enter into marriage at later age. Women who are educated tend to have fewer children than their counterparts the uneducated women. The findings of the study suggest that efforts to reduce fertility need to target measures that aim at educating women beyond the secondary level to increase their median age at first marriage. This can be embraced by all stakeholders, including donors, parents, community leaders and local government authorities.