Spatiotemporal Variations and Determinants of Under-Five Stunting in Ethiopia




Bitew, Fikrewold H.
Sparks, Corey S.
Nyarko, Samuel H.
Apgar, Lauren

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SAGE Publications


Background: Stunting has been a major concern in sub-Saharan Africa. However, little evidence exists on the spatiotemporal variations in under-five stunting within a national context. Objective: This paper examines the spatiotemporal variations in under-five stunting and determinants using data from the Ethiopia Demographic and Health Surveys (2000-2016). Methods: Spatial autocorrelation and multilevel logistic regression models were used to conduct the analyses. Results: The stunting prevalence has decreased from 51% to 37%, while the prevalence of severe stunting has decreased by more than half (from 28% to 12%). Wide regional variations in stunting have been consistently observed over the years, which exhibited a higher level of stunting in Tigray (48%), Afar (42%), and Amhara (42%). The results show considerable local and regional variations in under-five stunting levels with diverse patterns of improvements in regional stunting levels over time. Stunting levels were associated with child-level factors such as the sex of a child, birth size, age of a child, birth order, preceding birth interval, and place of birth. Maternal educational attainment, nutritional status, household wealth, toilet facility type, and place of residence were linked to under-five stunting. The regional-level infant mortality rate was associated with under-five stunting. Conclusions: Specially tailored policies and interventions should be devised to address persistent spatial inequalities in stunting by focusing on higher risk populations.



spatial, temporal, under-five stunting, Ethiopia


Bitew, F. H., Sparks, C. S., Nyarko, S. H., & Apgar, L. Spatiotemporal Variations and Determinants of Under-Five Stunting in Ethiopia. Food and Nutrition Bulletin, 0(0), 03795721231158503. doi:10.1177/03795721231158503