Determinants of Fertility among Young Couples in Misau, Bauchi state, Nigeria
In Sub-Sahara Africa the level of fertility rate is very high compared to other regions across the globe. Culture, economic, social, health, environmental factors and birth control methods are key determinants that directly affect fertility. These factors which have manifested themselves in different socio-economic and cultural situations, localities, demographics among others, ultimately determine the fertility of the population in space and time. High fertility if not controlled leads to high population that eventually put pressure on government to provide adequate socio-economic developments. Population in Nigeria and Misau has been sharply growing in the recent past. Since, population and fertility are directly linked, this study investigated the determinants of fertility among young couples in Misau, Bauchi state Nigeria. The research objectives were: To investigate the demographic factors that influence young couple‘s fertility, to examine the socio-cultural factors that influence young couples‘ fertility and, to assess the strategic measures of controlling fertility among young couples in Misau, Bauchi State, Nigeria. The study was guided by the theory of Intergenerational Wealth Flows postulated by John Caldwell. The study adopted mixed methods that involved interpreting, analysing, collecting, and corroborating with qualitative and quantitative information. Out of a target population of 2800, 338 respondents were sampled using Krejcie and Morgan's formula and 137 respondents were sampled using Mugenda and Mugenda sample size formula. Both purposive and simple random sampling techniques was used in choosing respondents. Quantitative field data was cleaned and inputted into SPSS where frequency distribution, percentages and Multiple Linear Regression was analysed while Qualitative data was analysed by using thematic content analysis. Analysed quantitative results was presented in tables while qualitative results were captured in key voices or verbatim reporting. Research findings revealed that education was found to have a great influence on the family size. It also established that use of birth control methods affects fertility. The culture of all tribes explored allows husband make decision on anything concerning family affairs thus, affecting family size. It was established that only a few couples use modern family control methods implying that fertility rate in Misau is high because most religions do not restrict child bearing. The regression analysis results show that demographic factors, socio-cultural factors and measures of controlling fertility influenced positively young couples fertility by 71.5% (R2= 0.715).The regression analysis showed that demographic factors influenced young couples fertility rate by 19.1%(R2=0.715), socio-cultural factors influenced fertility rate among young couples by 78.3% (R2=0.783) while strategic measures for controlling fertility influenced fertility rate among young couples by 53.4% (R2= 0.534). The study concludes there is high fertility rate in Misau and that it is caused by factors such as competition among wives, preference of male child, child mortality, and the age of the couples. The study further concludes that religion contributes to high fertility because it encourages couples to bear many children because it allows polygamy and it does not advocate for family planning. The study concludes that many couples in Misau are not applying contraceptive measures because they are patriarchal. The main recommendation of this study was that the government should enlighten the young couples particularly in the rural areas to adopt modern methods of fertility control to regulate the level of high fertility. It should also implement a policy that will reduce high fertility rate.