The Nigerian Demographic and Health Survey shared key findings on childbirth demographics across Nigerian states. The report highlighted that fertility varies with education and household wealth.
While women living in the poorest households have an average of 6.7 children; women living in the wealthiest households have an average of 3.8 children. Nigeria’s economic capital, Lagos State, has the lowest number of births at 3.4 children per woman. Conversely, Katsina State in the North-West has the highest birth rate at 7.3 births per woman.
The report states that the birth rate in urban areas is much lower than that of rural areas.
According to the survey, the total birth rate in Nigeria is 5.3 children per woman. The second lowest birth rate in Nigeria is Akwa-Ibom which is 3.6 births per woman followed by Cross River which is 3.7 births per woman.
Other states with high birth rates include Bauchi and Jigawa which have a birth rate of 7.2 and 7.1 respectively.
The troubled North-East states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe also have high birth rates at 6.1, 5.2 and 5.9 children per woman.
The report states in part, “Currently, women in Nigeria have an average of 5.3 children. Since 1990, fertility has decreased from 6.0 children per woman to the current level.
“Fertility varies by residence and state. Women in rural areas have an average of 5.9 children compared to 4.5 children among urban women. By state, fertility ranges from 3.4 children per woman in Lagos to 7.3 children per woman in Katsina.
Fertility also varies with education and household wealth. Women with no education have twice as many children as women with more than secondary education. Fertility decreases as the wealth of the respondent’s household increases.”
The report adds that women living in the poorest households have an average of 6.7 children, compared to 3.8 children among women living in the wealthiest households. The survey further shows that Lagos has the lowest rate of teenage pregnancy at just one per cent while Bauchi has the highest at 41 per cent.
It states that 44 per cent of teenage girls with no education have begun childbearing compared to one per cent of teenage girls with more than secondary education. The NDHS report was conducted by the National Population Commission in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Health.
Other partners involved in the survey which was launched in Abuja on Tuesday include- the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, World Health Organisation, United States Agency for International Development, Global Fund and UNFPA.