Ethnicity and demographic behaviour of Muslims in the Indian sub-continent

Mehtab Karim, Aga Khan University

The Indian Sub-continent (Pakistan, India and Bangladesh) has the highest concentration of Muslims where their combined population is about 435 million or about 30% of the Muslim population in the world. Since Muslims in the Sub-continent live in three independent countries, and are ethnically very diversified, their demographic behaviour could be shaped by a multiple of factors rather than their just being Muslims. This paper takes the view that demographic behaviour of Muslim women in the Indian sub-continent is reflective of local customs and practices as well as their socioeconomic status. We utilize data collected under the auspices of Demographic & Health Surveys and National Family Health Survey during 2006-07 in Bangladesh, Pakistan and India. We first identify the differentials in reproductive behaviour of Muslim women by their ethnicity (language and area of residence) and with the help of multivariate analysis explain the effects of socioeconomic background on these differentials.

Presented in Poster Session 5: Contexts