Family size preferences among women in a union in Nigeria and associated factors

  • Lorretta Favour Chizomam Ntoimo
Keywords: Fertility preferences, Ideal family size, Fertility, Women, Family size preferences


Nigeria’s population is currently estimated at 216million and the country will be the third most populous in the world in 2050. A major driver of the high population growth is persistent high fertility. This study examined women’s fertility preferences, which was measured with ideal family size (IFS) and the associated factors. Data were obtained from the 2018 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey. The analysis consisted of a weighted sample of 13, 673 women in union, aged 15–49 years whose first marriage took place within 10 years before the survey. Descriptive and multinomial logistic regression analyses were conducted. The proportion of respondents whose IFS was 5+ was 65%. Slightly above one-quarter had IFS of four children, and 11% had IFS of 0 – 3. IFS of 5+ was significantly associated with women resident in the Northern and Southeast regions, rural residents, Muslims, women who had no education, women working in agriculture, sales/service jobs, those who participated in one or two out of four household decisions, justified wife beating, have 5+ siblings, experienced child death, and married before age 20. Efforts to achieve the target reduction in total fertility rate in Nigeria should be multi-sectoral targeting these subpopulations of women.