Rural-Urban Migration and Child Survival in Urban Bangladesh: Are the Urban Migrants and Poor Disadvantaged?
M. Mazharul Islam, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh
This paper analyses the child survival status in urban Bangladesh, and examines whether it is poorer among the urban poor and rural-urban migrants, using data from the 1999-2000 Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey. Urban-rural differentials in childhood mortality are diminishing in recent years, which may be related to rapid growth of rural-urban migration. Under-five mortality is 1.6 times higher among children born to urban migrants compared to lifelong urban natives. Two distinct child morality regimes have been identified, one for natives and one for migrants. The migrant-native mortality differentials fairly correspond to the socio-economic differentials. Like childhood mortality rates, rural-urban migrants seem to be moderately disadvantaged by economic status compared to their urban native counterparts. Within the urban areas, the child survival status is even worse among the migrant poor than the average urban poor, especially the recent migrants. The study underscores the importance of mother’s education, especially beyond secondary levels, to child survival in urban areas.