245992 Does Rural-Urban Migration Reduce Desired Family Size Intentions? Demographic Responses to Population Pressure and Socio-cultural Change in Ethiopia

Monday, October 31, 2011: 4:30 PM

Charles Teller, PhD , Dept. Global Health and Institute Pop. Studies, George Washington University and Addis Ababa University, Washington, DC
Assefa Hailemariam, PhD , Institute of Population Studies, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
The purpose of this paper is to analyze whether rural-urban migration is an important process of socio-cultural change by delaying the transition to marriage and family formation, and thereby lower fertility in a high fertility country. This research is part of an overall study on the causes and consequences of youth migration to the capitol, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, carried out in late 2010-early 2011. The data come two quantitative samples: a targeted sample of 1100 rural origin, unskilled youth (aged 15-29) residing in Addis Ababa, and a stratified, random sample of 800 rural households in the two most important youth sending areas (in Gojjam and Wollayta); and two qualitative sources, teenage (male and female) focus groups and adult key informant interviews. Innovative methodological approaches included retrospective migration event histories and fertility and family planning histories, as well as prospective intentions on migration, life course aspirations, marriage and family formation. In-depth discussions on the agro-economic, environmental and socio-cultural contexts and drivers of migration, as well as short-term coping strategies and long term adaptation and consequences, are explored. We find that the youth from these two rural sending areas use their social networks and step-wise migration patterns in search of much wider opportunities to improve their life course aspirations. In the process, high school education, non-farm labor and urban residence combine to delay marriage and reduce their desired family size, and increase their perceived well-being. These have strong implications for the National Population Policy objectives of reducing rural fertility and population pressure.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related public policy
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Analyze the effect of socio-cultural processes such as migration on family formation and fertility.

Keywords: Population, Migrant Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I developed the proposal, solicited the funding, designed the research with colleagues, and carried out the data collection and analysis with co-authors
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.