Factors that affect family sizes in kenya

by James Ndetto  - August 18, 2022

Soacial economic factors in Kenya greatly contribute to the desired choice of the number of children that a typical Kenyan couple can have. Most parents would prefer to have a family which is easy to provide for their needs without staining them because of the increased cost of living among Kenyans which has led to increase in prizes of basic family requirements. These factors include;

The peoples culture

Culture is a way of life of a people and it influences the practices carried out among the members of the society. Some Kenyan cultures promote the idea of couples having a very big family which is also a sign of a person’s wealth. Example is the luhya culture which had men believe that having many children is a show of might and leadership ability.


Religion also greatly affects the choice of a family size. For instance, some religions support the teachings in genesis where people were told to multiply and fill the earth. The followers thereby try to achieve the teaching literally. Some denominations and religions do not also advocate for the use of modern methods of contraception such as the Catholic Church which does not advocate for use of condoms.

Marriage age

The age at which Kenyan women get married also contributes to the number of children that they can bear before they reach menopause. Due to women empowerment and education, most women get married late and this only allows them to have a few children before they stop bearing anymore. Areas in the country where teenage pregnancies are high have a high number of children in a family.

Health policy and facilities

The Kenyan government has of late been providing free maternal health care, however the facilities to facilitate this program are limited and hence the services are not convenient. Infant mortality has decreased meaning that the number of children a woman can bear is guaranteed unlike previously where infant deaths were high. With proper health care, Kenyans can now choose the size of the family which they need to have.

It is therefore evident that the said socio economic factors play an important role in determining the size of families in Kenyan households.


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