Religious Affiliation, Religious Milieu, and Contraceptive Use in Nigeria

Victor Agadjanian, Arizona State University
Scott T. Yabiku, Arizona State University

Critically engaging existing theoretical perspectives on the association between religion and reproduction, we analyze Muslim-Christian differentials in modern contraceptive use in Nigeria. These differentials are seen through the prism of historical religious tensions and are examined at both the individual and community levels. We use the 1999 Nigeria DHS data and employ multi-level logistic regression to predict the likelihood of current use from individual religious affiliation and percent of Muslims in the community, controlling for other individual and community characteristics. Preliminary results demonstrate that at the individual level Christians are more likely to use contraception and that the share of Muslims has an independent effect on the probability of contraceptive use. The analysis also shows that this community-level effect differs both in shape and magnitude between Christians and Muslims. We interpret our results in light of Nigeria’s politico-religious landscape and reflect on their implications for Nigeria’s fertility transition and social stability.

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Presented in Session 170: Measuring Religious Influence