In a number of developing countries, especially in South Asia, there is a custom for a pregnant woman to go to her mother’s home for delivery and remain for some months afterwards. In this context, estimates of various fertility measures, based on data from a sample survey of resident women, will be seriously biased. Inclusion of data for visitors to the sample households does not fully compensate for this bias. The presence and magnitude of the bias is illustrated by the analysis of data from large-scale sample surveys conducted in the state of Orissa in India and by World Fertility Survey data from Bangladesh and Nepal.

The text of this article is only available as a PDF.


Hanenburg, R. 1980. Current Fertility. World Fertility Survey Comparative Studies, No. 11.
Potter, J. E. (
Problems in using birth history analysis to estimate trends in fertility
Population Studies
. 10.2307/2173921
Srinivasan, K., Kanitkar, T., Ahmed, V., & Sarangi, L. (
Report on Baseline Survey of Fertility, Mortality and Related Factors in Orissa
International Institute of Population Sciences
World Fertility Survey. 1977a. Modifications to the WFS Core Questionnaire and Related Documents. Basic Documentation No. 10.
World Fertility Survey. 1977b. First Country Report for Nepal.
World Fertility Survey. 1978. First Country Report for Bangladesh.
Major Findings and Implications
. (
Voorburg, Netherlands
International Statistical Institute