DETERMINANTS OF FERTILITY RATE AMONG WOMEN AND THE IMPLICATIONS FOR POPULATION GROWTH- A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF NIGERIA AND GHANA
The paper examines the determinants of fertility in Nigeria and Ghana using the Ordinary Least square econometric model. The determinants of fertility that are subjected to empirical scrutiny include income of household, rural-urban concentration of population, age composition of women in the total population, education or literacy rate among women, and prevalence use of contraceptives among women in childbearing age. The result shows that the use of contraceptives, income, education attainment among Ghana women and rate of urbanization are significant determinants of fertility in Ghana; while age composition, income, education attainment and rate of urbanization are determinants of fertility in Nigeria. The paper also revealed that age composition and use of contraceptives are not associated with fertility in Ghana and Nigeria, respectively. Generally, the determinants of fertility in both countries are mixed. In Ghana, high fertility is associated with high income, while education attainment and composition of female population is associated with high fertility in Nigeria. On the other hand, education attainment, prevalence use of contraceptives, and rate of urbanization are responsible for decline in fertility in Ghana; while rate of urbanization and income are responsible for decline in fertility in Nigeria. Furthermore, the poor in Nigeria are more likely to have more children unlike in Ghana where affluence is associated with high fertility. On the strength of the findings, the study recommended that there is the need to increase the momentum in the sensitization of women on the use of family planning as means controlling fertility in Nigeria. Also, more sensitization about birth control should be focused and intensified in the rural area to reduce the fertility rate.