Revisiting the causes of fertility decline in Bangladesh: the relative importance of female education and family planning programs

Bora, J., Saikia, N., Kebede, E.B., & Lutz, W. (2022). Revisiting the causes of fertility decline in Bangladesh: the relative importance of female education and family planning programs. Asian Population Studies 1-24. 10.1080/17441730.2022.2028253.

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Project: The Demography of Sustainable Human Wellbeing (EmpoweredLifeYears, H2020 741105)

Abstract

Bangladesh, one of the world’s poorest countries, has experienced a dramatic decline in fertility since 1985, with a decline in the total fertility rate from 5.5–2.1. International researchers have debated the reasons for this rapid decline, with some studies attributing it primarily to family planning programmes and others pointing at the simultaneous increase in the education of women and other socioeconomic factors. Using data from seven-rounds of the Bangladesh Demographic Health Survey (BDHS), we comprehensively review fertility trends by reconstructing cohort and period fertility indicators by educational attainment. Multilevel regression shows a robust negative association between fertility and educational attainment at the individual and community levels. Pathway’s analysis reveals that female education has a significant effect on declining fertility desires dominating all other effects. Increased women's education and the associated diffusion of smaller desired family size might be the primary factor driving the impressive fertility decline in Bangladesh.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Fertility; low-income countries; education; Bangladesh; family planning
Research Programs: Population and Just Societies (POPJUS)
Population and Just Societies (POPJUS) > Social Cohesion, Health, and Wellbeing (SHAW)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 21 Jan 2022 09:34
Last Modified: 21 Jan 2022 09:34
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/17761

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