Internal Migration and Sexual Initiation among Never-Married Nigerian Youths

Blessing Mberu, African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC)

The high rates of youth migration to urban and economic centers, in the context of persistent poverty and devastating HIV/AIDS burden, raises intricate social policy questions in developing countries. This study examines patterns of internal migration and sexual initiation among Nigerian youths. Data on 2,602 youths aged 15-24 from the 2003 Nigeria DHS was analyzed using descriptive statistics and discrete-time hazard regression models. Migrants generally show stronger association than non-migrants, and urban-urban migrants show the strongest independent association to early sexual initiation. These outcomes underscore that loss of social capital and exposure to sexually lenient urban environment increases youth’s propensity to sexual involvement. Other significant covariates are age, gender, ethnic origin, education, living arrangement and formal employment. The findings highlight the complex contextual nuances within groups in one country and point to the need to address limited livelihood opportunities that fuel distress youth migration, particularly to urban destinations.

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Presented in Poster Session 6