The relationship between resettlement and birth rates: The case of Gambella, Ethiopia
Background: This study aims to examine the possible impacts of resettlement on birth rates by using the length of stay variable in the 2000 Demographic and Health Survey (DHS).
Methods: Data in all three rounds of Gambella Administrative Region’s Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) are analyzed. The neighboring administrative region of Benishangul-Gumuz is used as a control. The multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) is applied with duration of residence as a categorical independent variable. The statistical software SAS is used.
Results: In a univariate analysis of Gambella’s DHS 2000, duration of residence has a significant effect on mothers’ age at first birth (p < 0.001), the number of children born within the five years of the survey (p<0.001), and the total number of children ever born (P<0.001). In the MANOVA analysis, the duration effect on all three is also statistically significant (p<0.001).
Discussion: Resettlement had a disruptive effect on birth rates among females who were just coming into marriageable ages in places of origin but were resettled to Gambella. Although the disruptive effects waned over time, the initial shortfall resulted in reduced overall lifetime births for settler women who were not past the midpoint of their reproductive years at arrival.
Conclusion: Based on the reproductive history of female settlers with different duration of residence in the resettlement schemes, we recommend the reinstatement of the length of residence question in future DHS surveys in Ethiopia to allow a longitudinal tracking of demographic trends among nonnative populations.