Religious variation in completed fertility in sub-Saharan Africa
Ivy A. Kodzi
Initiative in Population Research, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, United States

It is documented across various cultures that religious differences in values result in differences in fertility behaviour. This connection applies not only to historical fertility regimes, but also to contemporary regimes. For Africa, a pluralist society, religion is increasingly featuring as a salient factor in the transition to low fertility. Using multiple censuses from selected African countries, I examine whether religious differences persist in completed fertility; segmenting by Christian, Muslim, traditional/other and the unaffiliated. I find that while generally, differences exist in completed fertility, much of the differences are attributable to differences in socioeconomic characteristics of religious groups. A few countries (such as Ghana), however show religious differences net of socioeconomic characteristics. Furthermore, there is no consistent pattern of one religious group having higher completed fertility than others across countries; for example, Christians do not always have lower fertility than Muslims in the selected countries.

Keywords: Religion; Sub-Saharan Africa; Census; Completed fertility

Biography: Ivy Kodzi is a demographer who is currently a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Population Center in Ohio State University. Her main area of research work is in the demography of sub-Saharan Africa. She studies the link between popualtion, health and socio-economic wellbeing of Africans.