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PLoS One. 2015 Aug 10;10(8):e0135172. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0135172. eCollection 2015.

State variations in women's socioeconomic status and use of modern contraceptives in Nigeria.

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Department of Sociology, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio, United States of America.



According to the 2014 World Population Data Sheet, Nigeria has one of the highest fertility and lowest contraceptive prevalence rates around the world. However, research suggests that national contraceptive prevalence rate overshadows enormous spatial variations in reproductive behavior in the country.


I examined the variations in women's socioeconomic status and modern contraceptive use across states in Nigeria.


Using the 2013 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey data (n = 18,910), I estimated the odds of modern contraceptive use among sexually active married and cohabiting women in a series of multilevel logistic regression models.


The share of sexually active, married and cohabiting women using modern contraceptives widely varied, from less than one percent in Kano, Yobe, and Jigawa states, to 40 percent in Osun state. Most of the states with low contraceptive prevalence rates also ranked low on women's socioeconomic attributes. Results of multilevel logistic regression analyses showed that women residing in states with greater shares of women with secondary or higher education, higher female labor force participation rates, and more women with health care decision-making power, had significantly higher odds of using modern contraceptives. Differences in women's participation in health care decisions across states remained significantly associated with modern contraceptive use, net of individual-level socioeconomic status and other covariates of modern contraceptive use.


Understanding of state variations in contraceptive use is crucial to the design and implementation of family planning programs. The findings reinforce the need for state-specific family planning programs in Nigeria.

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