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What matters for fertility in Bangladesh: natural disasters or mortality differentials, or both?

Shah Md Atiqul Haq, Shahjalal University of Science and Technology
Muhammad Abdul Baker Chowdhury, University of Florida College of Medicine
Khandaker Ahmed, The University Of Adelaide, Australia
Md Jamal Uddin, Shahjalal University of Science and Technology

This study aims to examine whether disasters, differences in mortality rates, or both have influenced the total fertility rate (TFR) in the context of an increase in the number of disasters (floods and storms) in recent decades in Bangladesh. The study uses secondary data from available sources (EMDAT, World Bank, and others) for the number and type of disasters, mortality rates (neonatal, infant, male infant, and under-five mortality), and TFR. Regression analysis shows that the total number of disasters and individual disasters (extreme temperatures, floods, and storms) have a negative impact on TFR. For example, an increase in the number of floods leads to a decrease in average TFR. In terms of mortality indicators, under-five mortality, infant mortality, and male infant mortality have a significant positive impact on the TFR. However, an increase in contraceptive use has an impact on decreasing TFR. This result suggests that disasters have an inverse effect on TFR, but that children under age 5 who are more vulnerable in disaster-prone areas suffer more, leading to increased mortality, and will have an effect on TFR in the future due to an increase in the number of disasters.

Keywords: Population size and growth/decline, Environmental studies, Health and morbidity, Population geography

See paper.

  Presented in Session 204. Multidimensional Links: Environmental Conditions, Fertility, and Reproductive and Maternal Health