Determinants of Income Poverty in Rural Africa: A Comparative Study of Kenya and Nigeria

Steven Onyeiwu and Jialu Liu, Allegheny College, USA

This paper uses panel and cross-sectional regressions, with socio-economic and demographic survey data collected from rural communities of Kenya and Nigeria, to explore the determinants of income and poverty in rural Africa. Results from the regressions reveal very intriguing insights. The value and size of land owned are both important for explaining differences in income amongst rural households. Ownership of non-durable assets such as livestock affects income levels, as is household size. The results also reveal evidence of the feminisation of poverty in rural Kenya and Nigeria, which implies that women should be a major focus of poverty alleviation efforts in Africa. Lastly, based on the surveys for this study, the level of inequality was found to be higher in rural Kenya and Nigeria than many other developing countries.

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