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Assessing Hindu–Muslim Fertility Differentials in West Bengal Insights from the National Family Health Survey-3 Data
Authors: Ismail Haque, and Priyank Pravin Patel
Source: Journal of Family History, 41(2): 192-224; doi: 10.1177/0363199016635216
Topic(s): Fertility
Religion
Country: Asia
  India
Published: MAR 2016
Abstract: Religion, class–caste factors, and sociocultural norms influence fertility rates, largely determining reproductive behavior. Hindu–Muslim fertility differentials in West Bengal, India, are examined through characteristics and interaction hypotheses tests using National Family Health Survey-3 data. Results reveal most Hindu women have at least two births while Muslim women are likely to have at least four births, before avoiding subsequent births. Multiple classification analysis implies prevalent socioeconomic characteristics cause this fertility differential. Fertility differences are also noticed between lesser- and better-educated women groups, implying a strong religion–women education level interaction effect. The same holds true for the religion – son preference interaction as well.