Socioeconomic status and fertility in rural Bangladesh
Using a unique set of birth registration data from the Demographic Surveillance System of the International Center for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh, for the period 1974-77, and socioeconomic information collected in the 1974 census, fertility was studied in relation to occupation, size of dwelling, number of cows and number of boats owned. The total fertility rate was found to vary between 6 and 6.5 except in the famine year of 1975. There was no consistent relationship between fertility and education of women. The age-specific fertility rates by religion show that Muslims had higher fertility at all ages in 1974 and 1977 and at older ages in 1975 and 1976. Overall, however, fertility of Hindus is consistently lower than that of Muslims, but the relative differences are under 10%. Fertility differentials by occupation showed that the household heads who were farm laborers had relatively lower fertility compared to other occupational groups, except for the year 1977 where the families of service holders were found to have relatively lower fertility. Women in households whose heads were businessmen or farmers (owning their land) had above average fertility. In 1974, households in the business occupational groups had, on average, 1 birth more than other households. Women in households with fishermen as heads had below average fertility in 1974 and 1975, but very high fertility in 1976 and 1977. Fertility levels differed according to the type of household in which the family resided. Nuclear families had below average fertility up to the age of 35 and above average fertility at the end of the reproductive age. In the 15-19 age group, augmented families had higher fertility each year examined. The association between dwelling place and fertility is positive each year, the relative differences in fertility between the groups being largest in 1974. Positive relations were found between economic status and fertility.
J Biosoc Sci 1985 Jan;17(1):81-9