Background: A large proportion of women in the northern region of Nigeria do not utilise antenatal care (ANC) services. As a result, the region has the worst maternal and child health indicators. This study aims to identify the socio-demographic determinants of the non-utilisation of ANC services by pregnant women to provide evidence for policymakers to base decisions towards addressing the problem.

Methods: Data from the 2018 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey was used with a sample of 14,421 women with a pregnancy history. Descriptive, bivariate, and hierarchical regression analyses were applied to the data using STATA software version 15.

Results: It was found that 32% of women in the northern region of Nigeria did not utilise ANC services during their most recent pregnancies. Factors at the individual (age, education, religion, ethnicity, parity, pregnancy intention, history of pregnancy termination, and media exposure), household (wealth index, husband’s education, and autonomy in healthcare decision), and community (place and state of residence) levels were significant determinants of non-utilisation of ANC services by pregnant women in the region.

Conclusion: Policymakers should aim to develop programmes that target Muslim women, those from Hausa and Fulani ethnic groups, and those who reside in rural areas, to increase the uptake of ANC services.

Keywords: ANC services, Determinants, Non-utilisation, Northern region, Nigeria


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