Ethnicity Versus Country Context in Shaping Fertility Preferences in West Africa: The Ideal Family Size of the Fulani and Yoruba of Benin and Nigeria

Alli Coritz , University of Southern California

Demographic literatures frequently debate the importance of ethnicity versus national context in shaping fertility preferences. I apply these two models to the African context, leveraging the colonial boundaries that randomly split ethnic groups into two distinct national contexts. Using data from the Beninese (2011-2012) and Nigerian (2013) Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS), I run OLS regressions to estimate the association of ethnicity and national context on ideal family size between the Fulani and Yoruba, who reside in both Benin and Nigeria. Holding constant ethnicity, I find evidence of cross-country variation, suggesting that national context is more salient than ethnicity in shaping fertility preferences.

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 Presented in Session 10. Fertility, Family Planning, Sexual Behavior & Reproductive Health 2