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Rural-urban migration, poverty and child survival in urban Bangladesh

M. Mazharul Islam, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh
Kazi Md. Abul Kalam Azad, Independent University

This paper examines the impact of rural-urban migration and poverty on child survival chances in Bangladesh. The study identifies two distinct child mortality regimes in urban Bangladesh, one for urban natives and one for rural-urban migrants. Mortality before age five was found 1.6 times higher among children born to urban migrants compared to the children born to lifelong urban natives. Within the urban areas, the child survival status is even worse among the migrant poor than the average urban poor. The poorest-richest differential in childhood mortality is higher in urban areas than that in rural areas. Housing condition, access to safe drinking water and hygienic toilet facilities are the most critical determinants of child survival in urban areas. The underlying efforts to improve child health in urban Bangladesh, thus, is that of urban poor, particularly the urban migrants, who are growing more rapidly than the rural poor due to heavy rural-urban migration.

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Presented in Session 5: Urbanization, health and poverty