Factors influencing desired number of children among Ethiopian women: Application of count regression models
The number of children wanted in one’s lifetime is one of the major factors influencing population dynamics. Knowing the factors influencing the desired family size is crucial in regulating the population growth of a nation. This study assesses the desired number of children and its determinants among Ethiopian women. The study used the 2016 Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey (EDHS) data where samples were selected using two stage stratified random sampling. A total of 13,941 women with complete information on the study variables were considered in the study. Generalized linear model was used to identify determinant factors for the desired number of children among women in Ethiopia. The average number of children desired per women was 4.9. The random intercept negative binomial regression model was found to best fit the data. The model identified that women’s age, household head, contraception, wealth index, women’s education, religion, marital status, husband’s work, family size and age at first marriage were significantly associated with women’s desire for children (p < 0.05). Women who had attained a higher level of education preferred a smaller family size compared to women with no formal education. Desire for more children was high among mothers from rural areas, women in the poorest economic level and women having no work. Educating women and engaging them in income generating activities should be among the priority policy agendas.