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Marital Status, Household Size and Poverty in Nigeria: Evidence from the 2009/2010 Survey Data

John Anyanwu

African Development Review, 2014, vol. 26, issue 1, 118-137

Abstract: type="main" xml:lang="en">

This paper examines the effect of marital status and household size, among other correlates, on poverty in Nigeria, using the Harmonized Nigeria Living Standard Survey (HNLSS) data of 2009/2010. Our logit results show that monogamous marriage, divorce/separation and widowhood are negatively and significantly correlated with the probability of being poor. However, monogamous marriage has the largest probability of reducing poverty in Nigeria. We also find that household size matters in determining poverty in the country: a one-person household negatively and significantly reduces poverty while addition of members to the household progressively increases the probability of being poor. In addition, our results show that there is a significant concave (inverted U-shaped) relationship between age and poverty. Other variables found to significantly reduce the probability of being poor include: being a male, completion of post-secondary education, being in paid household employment, and residence in the North Central and South East geopolitical zones. Variables that increase the probability of being poor in Nigeria include rural residence, possessing no education, being a self-employed farmer, and residence in the North West geopolitical zone of the country.

Date: 2014
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