Migration and Fertility Behavior in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Case of Ghana*

By Gyimah, Stephen Obeng | Journal of Comparative Family Studies, Spring 2006 | Go to article overview

Migration and Fertility Behavior in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Case of Ghana*


Gyimah, Stephen Obeng, Journal of Comparative Family Studies


RESEARCH CONTEXT

While there are many individual studies on migration and fertility in sub-Saharan Africa, the systematic interaction between them have been less explored. This contrasts with the considerable research on fertility-childhood mortality nexus in the sub-Saharan African demographic literature (e.g., Gyimah and Rajulton, 2003; Kuate Defo, 1998; LeGrand, Koppenhaver, Mondain and Randall, 2003; Nyarko, Madise, and Diamond, 1999). To our knowledge, only a handful of studies have empirically examined the relationship between migration and fertility in sub-Saharan using national level data (e.g., Brockerhoff, 1995; Brockerhoff and Yang, 1994; Lee 1992; Lee and Pol, 1994), but even these were mostly based on data that may not capture recent trends. (1)

Previous research on migration in sub-Saharan Africa has primarily focused on motives, determinants and consequences (e.g., Adepoju, 1994; 2000; Bilsborrow, 1993; Erza and Kiros, 2001; Hakim and Hamid, 1982; Oberai, 1987; Oucho and Gould, 1993; Stark, 1991; Zacharia and Conde, 1981). Although studying migration per se brings attention to the spatiotemporal aspects of population redistribution, a better understanding of population dynamics in general may be gained if the links between migration and the other components of population change are examined in unison. Fertility and migration, for example, are generally thought to be affected by similar factors and as such, understanding their inter-connectedness may provide a setting for analyzing fertility response to social and economic change (Davis, 1963; Lindstrom, 2002)

Also, the bulk of previous migration-fertility research in the developing world has exclusively focused on rural-urban migrants. While such studies, particularly in Asia and Latin America, seem justified given the overarching volume of the rural-urban stream, the same cannot be said of sub-Saharan Africa where other migration streams (rural-rural, urban-rural, urban-urban) are equally important (Oucho and Gould, 1993). In the context of sub-Saharan Africa thus, the multi-dimensionality of the migration-fertility relationship may not be adequately captured if the other migrant streams are ignored. Perhaps the contradictory findings on the effect of migration on fertility in sub-Saharan Africa (see, Brockerhoff, 1995; Brockerhoff and Yang, 1994; Lee, 1992; Lee and Pol, 1994) may be due to this failure.

With the availability of data for much of sub-Saharan African through the United States Agency for International Development's funded Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) program, this study contributes to the discussion by exploring the impact of migration on individual women's fertility in Ghana. With an estimated population of 20.5 million (Population Reference Bureau, 2003), Ghana is among the few countries in the region currently undergoing fertility transition (Kirk and Pillet, 1998). Between 1988 and 1998, for example, its total fertility rate (TFR) declined from 6.4 to 4.5 children (Ghana Statistical Service and Macro International, 1999). Considerable rural and urban differentials were, however, noticeable. In 1998, the TFR for urban areas was 2.9 compared with 5.4 in rural areas. Considering the pattern of migratory trends in the country, understanding the fertility-migration link may provide insightful clues on future population trends.

THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK AND HYPOTHESES

Exploring the fertility behavior of migrants requires an understanding of the underlying theoretical mechanisms. This study is guided by competing but often complementary theses on migrant fertility, focusing on the processes of socialization, adaptation, selectivity, and disruption (Goldstein and Goldstein, 1983; Hervitz, 1985). These hypotheses have received varied empirical support in the developing world (see, e.g., Bacal, 1988; Brockerhoff and Yang, 1994; Campbell, 1989; Farber and Lee, 1984; Goldstein and Goldstein, 1983; Goldstein, White and Goldstein, 1997; Hervitz, 1985; Lee, 1992; Lee and Farber, 1985; Lee and Pol, 1993; Lindstrom, 2003; Stephen and Bean, 1992; Trovato, 1987; White, Moreno and Guo, 1995)

The socialization hypothesis is premised on the notion that fertility preferences are formed in childhood and deeply rooted in one's upbringing. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Migration and Fertility Behavior in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Case of Ghana*
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.