Educational Attainment and the Timing of First Birth in Amhara Region, Ethiopia

Eunice Muthengi, University of California, Los Angeles
Annabel S. Erulkar, Population Council

The timing of marriage and childbearing can have far-reaching consequences for the health and economic capabilities of young women in Africa. This study examines the relationship between educational attainment and the timing of first birth, using a sample of 1,365 adolescent girls in a rural region of Ethiopia. Data were analyzed by estimating life tables and Cox proportional hazards models. The results show that educational attainment has a strong positive association with the age of first birth after adjusting for family background indicators and the timing of marriage. A one year increase in educational attainment two years prior to the period of risk is associated with a 44% lower hazard of having a first birth, net of other covariates (95% CI: 0.45 to 0.68). Findings from this study provide evidence to support the expansion of educational opportunities for girls in this region, including married adolescents.

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Presented in Poster Session 4