Back to browse results
Explaining fertility transition of a developing country: an analysis of quantum and tempo effect
Authors: Ahbab Mohammad Fazle Rabbi, and Mohammad Kabir
Source: Fertility Research and Practice, 1:4; doi:10.1186/2054-7099-1-4
Topic(s): Fertility
Country: Asia
Published: APR 2015
Abstract: Background The Total Fertility Rate (TFR) is defined as the average number of births a woman would have if she were to live throughout the reproductive span and bear children at each age at the rates observed in a particular year or period. The current demographic explanation for decline in TFR is primarily attributed to an increase in postponement in pregnancy. Being cross-sectional, fertility measures can be confounded by changes in the timing of births across women’s lifetimes (tempo) and by changes in the numbers of children that they have by the time they end their childbearing (quantum). After a sharp fall in the last two decades, TFR of Bangladesh is now 2.3; whereas the TFR was greater than 3 in the last decade. However, mean age at childbearing showed decreasing trend in the last decade. Methods This is a secondary analysis of data from the three consecutive Bangladesh Demographic Health Surveys; BDHS-2004, 2007 and 2011. The method of Bongaarts and Feeney has been applied to estimate the tempo of fertility. Life Table analyses were applied on birth intervals to explain the tempo effect. Results There was a sustained decline of the fertility quantum (the number of births per woman) as estimated by the conventional TFR; due to tempo effects during the last three BDHS surveys. Mean age at childbearing also showed decreasing trend in the last decade. Conclusions The current study shows the presence of a significant tempo effect with variability of timing in having first or higher order births. If this trend continues, Bangladesh will be able to achieve below replacement level of fertility soon. Keywords: Fertility transition; Quantum and Tempo effect, Bangladesh