The role of family networks and social capital on women's fertility intentions in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

Moussa Bougma, Institut Supérieur des Sciences de la Population (ISSP)
Clémentine Rossier, University of Geneva, Institute of demography and Socioeconomics

In Ouagadougou, transfers within family networks provide an omnipresent means for coping with life's difficulties, and the desired number of children remains high. The role of family networks in maintaining high fertility is rarely studied however for lack of data in conventional demographic surveys. This study uses original data and logistic regression methods to explore the role of the extended family's social capital in shaping women's desire for children in Ouagadougou. Results show that women belong to three types of family networks: 1) women who belong to large family networks on both her own and her husband's side and who maintain a moderate number of close relations with their own relatives; 2) women who belong to large family networks but who maintain a greater number of close relations with their own blood relatives; 3) unmarried women with relatives only on their side and numerous close relations with their family. Women in type 2 networks are more likely to want additional children compared to women in type 1 networks, after controlling for economic resources in networks. This result suggests that practical support provided by family members could play a role, on top of economic support, in encouraging high fertility in Ouagadougou.

Keywords: Urbanization and urban populations, Fertility and childbirth, Family planning and contraception, Demographic and social surveys

See extended abstract.

  Presented in Session 158. Urban Demography and Segregation