Modern contraceptive use among migrant and non-migrant women in Kenya

Rhoune Ochako, Ian Askew, Jerry Okal, John Oucho, Marleen Temmerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Manifest socio-economic differences are a trigger for internal migration in many sub-Saharan settings including Kenya. An interplay of the social, political and economic factors often lead to internal migration. Internal migration potentially has significant consequences on an individual's economic growth and on access to health services, however, there has been little research on these dynamics. In Kenya, where regional differentials in population growth and poverty reduction continue to be priorities in the post MDG development agenda, understanding the relationships between contraceptive use and internal migration is highly relevant. Methods: Using data from the 2008-09 Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (DHS), we analyze data from 5,905 women aged 15-49 years who reported being sexually active in the last 12 months prior to the survey. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regressions are fitted to predict correlates of contraceptive use in the presence of migration streams among other explanatory variables. Results: Modern contraceptive use was significantly higher among women in all migration streams (non-migrant urban (OR = 2.8, p < 0.001), urban-urban (OR = 2.0, p < 0.001), urban-rural (OR = 2.0, p < 0.001), rural-urban (OR = 2.6, p < 0.001), rural-rural (OR = 1.7, p < 0.001), than non-migrant rural women. Conclusion: Women who internally migrate within Kenya, whether from rural to urban or between urban centres, were more likely to use modern contraception than non-migrant rural women. This phenomenon appears to be due to selection, adaption and disruption effects which are likely to promote use of modern contraceptives. Programmatically, the differentials in modern contraceptive use by the different migration streams should be considered when designing family planning programmes among migrant and non-migrant women.

Original languageEnglish
Article number67
JournalReproductive Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Kenya
  • Migration
  • Migration streams
  • Modern contraceptive use


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