Average family size has dropped to 4 in decade - Beaking Kenya News

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Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Average family size has dropped to 4 in decade

A happy family
The size of an average household in Kenya has shrunk from 5.1 ten years ago to 3.9 this year, official census shows, highlighting a dropping fertility rate.
The data, however, indicates that the number of households grew by about 3.3 million to hit 12.1 million.
A common Kenyan household consists of two parents and children, and past reports indicate that the decline in size of families is attributable to a higher literacy levels particularly among women, late marriages, and lifestyle change.
The latest data from Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) shows the relatively poor Mandera, Wajir and Turkana counties have the highest household sizes averaging 6.9, 6.1 and 5.6, respectively.
The richest county, Nairobi, had the smallest family size at 2.9, with Kiambu and Kirinyaga counties both averaging three.
The size of households found in special zones (Mau Forest, Aberdares Forest, Meru National Park and Mt. Kenya Forest) were the tiniest, averaging between 1.0 and 1.6.
CONTRACEPTIVES
In Mandera County, Kutulo and Mandera Central sub-counties had the highest family size at 7.6 and 7.4 respectively. In Turkana, Turkana East’s average was the highest at 7.7 while Turkana South and Kibish stood at 6.2 and 6.3 respectively. The size of a household at Wajir Country’s Buna Sub-county is also high at 7.4.
The trend in large household sizes corresponds to low contraceptive uptake in these areas.
Latest Performance Monitoring and Accountability (PMA 2020) by Ministry of Health (MoH) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) data indicates that Mandera and Wajir counties had the lowest contraceptive uptake at two percent, with Garissa at six percent, Turkana and Marsabit at 10 percent and West Pokot at 14 percent. Generally, the MoH data shows contraceptive use is least in North Eastern regions at three percent.
Nairobi’s Westlands, Kasarani and Makadara sub-counties had the lowest family unit sizes at 2.9, 2.8 and 2.7 respectively.
Kirinyaga’s Mwea East was at 2.8 while the rest of the sub-counties averaged three. The ministry’s statistics show that the two counties are among those where contraceptive use is above 60 percent.
FERTILITY RATE
Past reports indicate that Kenya’s fertility rate has declined drastically over the last few years.
Data published by UNFPA late last year shows that the country has the least fertility rate in East Africa, pointing to dropping demand for children as more families embrace modern family planning methods.
The report, dubbed The Power of Choice: Reproductive Rights and the Demographic Transition, shows that on average a Kenyan family has 3.65 children — the least when compared to that of other countries in the region.

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