Measuring and Interpreting Urban Fertility and Family Planning Indicators by Wealth in Two South Asian Countries

This study applies new approaches proposed by MEASURE Evaluation to classify wealth using nationally-representative surveys, such as the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS). These approaches are particularly important in cases where identifying and targeting of services to the urban poor are of interest.

Measuring and Interpreting Urban Fertility and Family Planning Indicators by Wealth in Two South Asian Countries

As the population of the world becomes increasingly urban, there is a need to examine the fertility and family planning needs of urban populations, particularly among the urban poor. While it is often assumed that urban residents are better off than their rural counterparts, the reality in many settings is that the urban poor are equally disadvantaged because of over-crowding, high demand for limited resources, increased cost of services in urban settings, and lack of access to clean water and sanitation. The definition and measurement of poverty in a population has become increasingly important as reduction of poverty is identified as the first Millennium Development Goal.

This study applies new approaches proposed by MEASURE Evaluation to classify wealth using nationally-representative surveys, such as the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS). These approaches are particularly important in cases where identifying and targeting of services to the urban poor are of interest.

Applying these new approaches to DHS data from Bangladesh and Pakistan, this paper demonstrates that the standard DHS wealth measures under-estimate the percent of the urban population that is poor and demonstrates that, using the re-classified wealth indices, women in the lowest quintiles remain worse off on fertility and family planning indicators.

Measuring and Interpreting Urban Fertility and Family Planning Indicators by Wealth in Two South Asian Counties (pdf, 274kb)