How Does the Perceived Risk of Infant/Child Mortality Influence Fertility Preference? a Comparative Study in Bangladesh

Shah Md Atiqul Haq, DEMO- Centre de recherche en démographie Université catholique de Louvain IACS - Place Montesquieu 1 bte L2.08.03 à 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve
Khandaker Jafor Ahmed, Centre for Climate Change & Environmental Research (C3ER) BRAC University, 3rd Floor, University Building 6 49 Mohakhali, Dhaka-1212

This study addresses how the perceived risk of infant/child mortality influences fertility preference in Bangladesh. We used proportionate stratified random sampling and judgment sampling. We surveyed 759 ever-married women and did in-depth interview from 25 ever married women. For a comparative reason we included two study areas, one is vulnerable to extreme weather events and the other one is not. Findings reveal that those who consider a high risk of infant/child mortality and had previous experiences with infant/child mortality are more likely to prefer additional children in the areas prone to extreme events. This study also shows that a higher male child mortality in extreme weather events area. Qualitative information reveal that people in extreme weather event prone areas think to having a child as a replacement with their died one and they consider it as a security against the future loss of children. However both fertility and mortality has remarkably declined in Bangladesh but this study shows a positive link between the perceived risk of infant/child mortality and fertility preference. It suggests attention from government, NGOs and academics to address the issue better and further studies to explore more insights.

Presented in Poster Session 3