Religious Minorities and their Reproductive Health in India and Bangladesh

Biswamitra Sahu, University of Groningen
Inge Hutter, University of Groningen
Leo van Wissen, University of Groningen and Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI)
Alinda Bosch, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI)

This paper is a cross-country comparison to understand the differentials in reproductive health among religious minorities in India and Bangladesh. It is a departure from the erstwhile studies on religion based fertility differentials issues and goes further to explore infant and child mortality differentials as well. There is relatively higher Muslim fertility in both the countries but in India the infant mortality is low among Muslims (religious minority) and the same among Hindus (religious minority) in Bangladesh. We use data of National Family Health Survey (NFHS) 1998-99 from India and Bangladesh Demographic Health Survey (BDHS) 1999-2000. Firstly we explore the differentials in fertility, infant and child mortality among Muslims in India and Hindus in Bangladesh. Secondly we seek reasons for the differentials. Thirdly we test the characteristic hypothesis.

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Presented in Poster Session 1: Fertility, Family Planning, Reproductive Health