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VARYING EFFECT OF FERTILITY DETERMINANTS AMONG MIGRANT AND INDIGENOUS FEMALES IN THE TRANSITIONAL AGRO-ECOLOGICAL ZONE OF GHANA

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Abstract:

ABSTRACT.

The transitional agro-ecological zone of Ghana, located between the richly endowed south and the impoverished north, has attracted seasonal and permanent farm migrants, mainly from northern Ghana, who now live side by side with the indigenous people. While migrants have higher numbers of Muslims, indigenous people are mainly Christians. Although the majority of the migrants live in migrant quarters with less favourable socio-economic conditions, they are more successful farmers and therefore wealthier. The objectives are to examine the varying effect of fertility determinants among migrants and indigenous females. This paper uses data collected in 2002 among 194 females aged 15 to 49 years. Multiple regression models are used to assess fertility determinants. Results show that although migrant households were wealthier, migrant females were more traditional. They had more children living in foster care, and a lower proportion of them approved of men participating in household activities. In addition, they were less well educated, recorded higher infant mortality, gave birth earlier and used less contraception. Furthermore, while a female's migration status is statistically significant so far as non-proximate determinants of fertility are concerned, the same variable is not significant with respect to proximate determinants. In addition, a married female migrant would on average have almost one more child compared to her indigenous counterpart, and migrant females who had experienced the loss of a child would on average have 2.5 more children compared to their indigenous counterparts. Finally, more affluent migrant females have 0.08 fewer children compared to their indigenous counterpart.

Keywords: Ghana; fertility determinants; indigenous people; migrants

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0467.2007.00237.x

Affiliations: Regional Institute for Population Studies University of Ghana P. O. Box LG 96 Legon, Accra Ghana, Email: scodjoe@ug.edu.com.

Publication date: March 1, 2007

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