The associations between household demographic variables and mortality of children aged less than five years were investigated using data from the 1998 Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, Western Africa. Of the total of 1992 children born to women included in the study population during the 5-year period preceding the survey, 260 (13%) had died and 1732 (87%) were alive at the time of the survey. Logistic regression analyses used to compare biosocial variables between the deceased and living children showed that the sex of the child, birth interval and mother’s occupation were associated with child’s survival status. After adjusting for their effects, household demographic variables (i.e. number of household members, number of household members under 5 years [HM−5Y], number of household members 5 years or older [HM+5Y], the proportion of HM−5Y among all household members, and the ratio of HM−5Y to HM+5Y) were shown to be associated with the child’s survival status. This study provided insight into the effects of intra-household competition among children and availability of care-givers as potential determinants of child survival. The results indicate that improvement of the childcare environment and reproductive intervention are necessary to reduce child mortality in West African countries.