Shah Md. Atiqul Haq, Khandaker Jafor Ahmed

Changes in Age at Marriage, Birth Order, and Fertility Preference: A Study on a Flood Prone Area in Bangladesh

Shah Md. Atiqul Haq, Khandaker Jafor Ahmed

Article information

Volume: XII Issue: 1, Pages: 71-102
Shah Md. Atiqul Haq, Khandaker Jafor Ahmed
DEMO- Centre de recherche en démographie, Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium, Department of Sociology, Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, Bangladesh


This study tried to understand the nexus between socio-cultural factors and fertility preference in a vulnerable (flood prone) area of Bangladesh. Socio-cultural factors influence age at first marriage of women and age at first birth of child. The factors also influence couples’ fertility preferences. This study used both quantitative and qualitative methods to explore the relationships between socio-cultural factors and fertility preference in a flood prone area. This study reveals that women and men with a few years of schooling got married at an earlier age compared to others. Couples prefer to have child as soon as possible after getting married and the time span between two births is also short in the vulnerable area. This study finds that age at first birth of women depends on their age at first marriage. This study also reveals that couples experience a longer birth interval after the first birth, if the child is a son. This indicates the existence of gender preference. But there is no statistically significant difference between men and women in the study area. This study also highlights that the socio-cultural factors such as education, contraceptive use, gender preference, social pressures and religion influence vulnerable people to prefer more children along with adverse impacts of flood events. This study suggests further studies by considering a large sample from vulnerable areas and doing a comparative study between vulnerable areas and non-vulnerable areas to disaster events.

Keywords: age at first marriage, age at first birth, birth order, socio-cultural factors, vulnerable area


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