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Introduction

This report describes the present demographic situation in Kenya, focusing in particular on fertility and mortality, and the socioeconomic factors that are associated with these demographic phenomena. A study of Kenya was undertaken because of the growing evidence that rapid demographic change is occurring there and because of Kenya's success in achieving a high degree of economic and social development relative to other countries in the region. Kenya may very well be a forerunner for sub-Saharan Africa and thus merits special attention.

The report is not a comprehensive, detailed review of earlier research on these topics in Kenya. Nor does it attempt to trace rigorously long-term demographic trends in Kenya. Earlier studies and underlying trends are examined only to set the stage for a closer look at the present and the very recent past. Future trends are dealt with only in a general, probabilistic fashion. Nor are migration patterns analyzed; recent data are not available. The research strategy guiding our analysis is based on very conventional assumptions: namely, that socioeconomic characteristics such as education, material well-being, and the availability of certain public sector social services affect both fertility and mortality. When the vital rates can be shown to be changing, the explanation must be found in some combination of these nondemographic factors. Bongaarts's familiar ''proximate determinants'' model provides a convenient intermediate framework for analyzing these relationships to fertility and we have employed it. We have also employed multivariate analysis to relate contraceptive practice directly to a selected group of socioeconomic factors.



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Population Dynamics of Kenya 1 Introduction This report describes the present demographic situation in Kenya, focusing in particular on fertility and mortality, and the socioeconomic factors that are associated with these demographic phenomena. A study of Kenya was undertaken because of the growing evidence that rapid demographic change is occurring there and because of Kenya's success in achieving a high degree of economic and social development relative to other countries in the region. Kenya may very well be a forerunner for sub-Saharan Africa and thus merits special attention. The report is not a comprehensive, detailed review of earlier research on these topics in Kenya. Nor does it attempt to trace rigorously long-term demographic trends in Kenya. Earlier studies and underlying trends are examined only to set the stage for a closer look at the present and the very recent past. Future trends are dealt with only in a general, probabilistic fashion. Nor are migration patterns analyzed; recent data are not available. The research strategy guiding our analysis is based on very conventional assumptions: namely, that socioeconomic characteristics such as education, material well-being, and the availability of certain public sector social services affect both fertility and mortality. When the vital rates can be shown to be changing, the explanation must be found in some combination of these nondemographic factors. Bongaarts's familiar ''proximate determinants'' model provides a convenient intermediate framework for analyzing these relationships to fertility and we have employed it. We have also employed multivariate analysis to relate contraceptive practice directly to a selected group of socioeconomic factors.

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Population Dynamics of Kenya The report is based, for the most part, on well-known existing data sets, including the several major demographic surveys conducted in Kenya (the Kenya Fertility Survey or KFS in 1977–1978; the Kenya Contraceptive Prevalence Survey or KCPS in 1984; and the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey or KDHS in 1988–1989), the several decennial censuses (1969, 1979, 1989), and various other smaller-scale studies already completed. When the group began work on this report, it was assumed that at least preliminary age-sex breakdowns from the 1989 census would be provided before the work was completed. Regrettably, for various reasons beyond anyone's control, this proved not to be the case, and counts only by highly aggregate units (urban, rural, districts, provinces) were actually available at the time of this writing. This limitation was a setback to the analytical plans originally contemplated by the working group. Even with this major limitation, the report does say what can be said with any reasonable degree of certainty about the present demographic situation in Kenya and the likely direction and magnitude of future change. It is possible that at some later time, data analysis of the 1989 census data will lead to conclusions different from those reached in the present report, but the working group thinks this highly unlikely. Nor is it likely that another analytical approach would yield fundamentally different conclusions. The report is organized along straightforward lines. Chapter 2 presents a brief summary of the economic, social, and demographic history of modern Kenya. Chapter 3 examines trends in child and adult mortality in some detail beginning in about 1980. Chapter 4 examines recent fertility changes, also in some detail. Chapter 5 undertakes a proximate determinants analysis of these changes in fertility at the district and province levels, as well as for Kenya as a whole. Chapter 6 examines the policies and programs of the Kenyan government that are likely to have affected the observed changes in fertility and mortality. The public sector family planning program is one such intervention but by no means the only one. Chapter 7 explores the rather striking geographical variation that exists in Kenya in fertility and mortality trends, and attempts to link this variation to differences in socioeconomic characteristics and also to public sector service availability. These results are more illustrative than definitive but seem reasonable in terms of general theory. Chapter 8 outlines the working group's conclusions and takes a brief look at future possibilities. To repeat what was said at the outset, the working group thinks Kenya may well represent the "leading edge" of future sub-Saharan African demographic developments. Even in the early 1990s, many knowledgeable experts on Kenya argued that traditional, pronatalist cultural patterns were an insurmountable barrier to widespread adoption of contraception in Kenya, and hence to any prospect for declines in fertility. This proved to be wrong. It led to a pessimistic view of Kenya's demographic situation that was

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Population Dynamics of Kenya unjustified. The working group believes that fertility in Kenya is coming under human control and that, given a continuation of its past economic and social development trends, there is every reason for thinking that a completely viable economic and demographic future awaits Kenya. It also seems legitimate to infer from this cautious optimism for Kenya, equally optimistic if even more cautious, possible outcomes for other sub-Saharan African populations. A "demographic transition" for Africa not only is possible but may well be under way.