Understanding women’s desire to have more children is critical for planning towards future reproductive health behaviour. We examined the association between socio-economic and demographic factors and fertility preferences among women of reproductive age in Ghana.
This study used data from the 2014 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey. The sample consisted of 5389 women of reproductive age. We fitted Binary logistic regression models to assess the association between socio-economic status and fertility preferences, whiles controlling for demographic factors. The results were presented as crude odds ratios (cORs) and adjusted odds ratios (aORs) together with their corresponding 95% confidence intervals.
Approximately 60% of women of reproductive age in Ghana desired for more children. Women with no formal education were more likely to desire for more children compared to those with higher level of education (aOR = 2.16, 95% CI 1.29–3.48). The odds of desire for more children was higher among women who lived in rural areas compared to those who lived in urban areas (aOR = 1.24, 95% CI 1.01–1.53). With region, women who lived in the Northern region were more likely to desire for more children compared to those who lived in the Ashanti region (aOR = 4.03, 95% CI 2.69–6.04). Similarly, women who belonged to other ethnic groups were more likely to desire for more children compared to Akans (aOR = 1.78, 95% CI 1.35–2.35). The desire for more children was higher among women with 0–3 births compared to those with four or more births (aOR = 7.15, 95% CI 5.97–8.58). In terms of religion, Muslim women were more likely to desire for more children compared to Christians (aOR = 1.87, 95% CI 1.49–2.34).
This study concludes that women in high-socio economic status are less likely to desire more children. On the other hand, women in the Northern, Upper East and those belonging to the Islamic religious sect tend to desire more children. To aid in fertility control programmes designing and strengthening of existing ones, these factors ought to be critically considered.
Bibliographical noteThe authors thank the MEASURE DHS project for their support and for free access to the original data.
- Desire for children