The 1999-2000 Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey (BDHS) is a nationally representative sample survey designed to provide information on basic national indicators of social progress including fertility, contraceptive knowledge and use, fertility preference, childhood mortality, maternal and child health, nutritional status of mothers and children and awareness of AIDS.
The 1999-2000 BDHS provides a comprehensive look at levels and trends in key health and demographic parameters for policy makers and program managers. The fertility has declined from 6.3 children per women in 1975 to 3.3 in 1999-2000. The pace of fertility decline has slowed in the most recent period compared to the rapid decline during late 1980s and early 1990s. The BDHS 1999-2000 findings also show the increasing trend of contraceptive use, declining childhood mortality, and improving nutritional status.
The Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey (BDHS) is intended to serve as a source of population and health data for policymakers and the research community. In general, the objectives of the BDHS survey are to:
- Assess the overall demographic situation in Bangladesh
- Assist in the evaluation of the population and health programs in Bangladesh
- Advance survey methodology.
More specifically, the objective of the BDHS survey is to provide up-to-date information on fertility and childhood mortality levels; nuptiality; fertility preferences; awareness, approval, and use of family planning methods; breastfeeding practices; nutrition levels; and maternal and child health. This information is intended to assist policymakers and administrators in evaluating and designing programs and strategies for improving health and family planning services in the country.
The 1999-2000 BDHS survey was conducted under the authority of the National Institute for Population Research and Training (NIPORT) of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The survey was implemented by Mitra and Associates, a Bangladeshi research firm located in Dhaka. Macro International Inc. of Calverton, Maryland, provided technical assistance to the project as part of its international Demographic and Health Surveys program, and financial assistance was provided by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)/Bangladesh.
Kind of data
Sample survey data
Unit of analysis
- Children under five years
- Women age 10-49
- Men age 15-59
Producers and sponsors
Mitra and Associates/ National Institute of Population Research and Training (NIPORT)
United State Agency for International Development, Bangladesh, Dhaka
USAID - Dhaka
Bangladesh is divided into 6 administrative divisions, 64 districts (zillas), and 490 thanas. In rural areas, thanas are divided into unions and then mauzas, a land administrative unit. Urban areas are divided into wards and then mahallas. The 1999-2000 BDHS survey employed a nationally representative, two-stage sample that was selected from the master sample maintained by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics for the implementation of surveys before the next census (2001). The master sample consists of 500 primary sampling units (PSUs) with enough PSUs in each stratum except for the urban strata of the Barisal and Sylhet divisions. In the rural areas, the primary sampling unit was the mauza, while in urban areas, it was the mahalla. Because the primary sampling units in the master sample were selected with probability proportional to size from the 1991 census frame, the units for the BDHS survey were subselected from the master sample with equal probability to make the BDHS selection equivalent to selection with probability proportional to size. A total of 341 primary sampling units were used for the BDHS survey (99 in urban areas and 242 in rural areas).
Since one objective of the BDHS survey is to provide separate survey estimates for each division as well as for urban and rural areas separately, it was necessary to increase the sampling rate for the Barisal and Sylhet divisions and for urban areas relative to the other divisions. Thus, the BDHS sample is not self-weighting and weighting factors have been applied to the data in this report.
Mitra and Associates conducted a household listing operation in all the sample points from September to December 1999. A systematic sample of 10,268 households was then selected from these lists. Every third household was selected for the men's survey, meaning that in addition to interviewing all ever-married women age 10-49, interviewers also interviewed all currently married men age 15-59 in those selected households. It was expected that the sample would yield interviews with approximately 10,000 ever-married women age 10-49 and 3,000 currently married men age 15-59.
Note: See detailed in APPENDIX A of the survey report
A total of 10,268 households were selected for the sample, of which 9,854 were successfully interviewed. The shortfall is primarily due to dwellings that were vacant or in which the inhabitants had left for an extended period at the time they were visited by the interviewing teams. Of the 9,922 households occupied, 99 percent were successfully interviewed. In these households, 10,885 women were identified as eligible for the individual interview (i.e., ever-married and age 10-49) and interviews were completed for 10,544 or 97 percent of them. In the one-third of the households that were selected for inclusion in the men’s survey, 2,817 currently married men age 15-59 were identified, of which 2,556 or 91 percent were interviewed.
The principal reason for nonresponse among eligible women and men was the failure to find them at home despite repeated visits to the household. The nonresponse rate was low.
Note: See summarized response rates by residence (urban/rural) in Table 1.1 of the survey report.
Dates of collection
Mode of data collection
Four types of questionnaires were used for the BDHS survey: a Household Questionnaire, a Women’s Questionnaire, a Men’s Questionnaire, and a set of questionnaires for the Service Provision Assessment (SPA) (community, health facilities, fieldworkers). The contents of these questionnaires were based on the MEASURE DHS+ Model A Questionnaire, which is designed for use in countries with relatively high levels of contraceptive use. These model questionnaires were adapted for use in Bangladesh during a series of meetings with a small Technical Task Force (TTF) that consisted of representatives from NIPORT; Mitra and Associates; USAID/Dhaka; the International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B); Dhaka University; and Macro International Inc. (see Appendix A for a list of members). Draft questionnaires were then circulated to other interested groups and were reviewed by the BDHS Technical Review Committee. The questionnaires were developed in English and then translated in to and printed in Bangla.
The Household Questionnaire was used to list all the usual members and visitors in the selected households. Some basic information was collected on the characteristics of each person listed, including his/her age, sex, education, and relationship to the head of the household. The main purpose of the Household Questionnaire was to identify women and men who were eligible for individual interview. In addition, information was collected about the dwelling itself, such as the source of water, type of toilet facilities, materials used to construct the house, and ownership of various consumer goods.
The Women’s Questionnaire was used to collect information from ever-married women age 10-49. These women were asked questions on the following topics:
· Background characteristics (age, education, religion, etc.)
· Reproductive history
· Knowledge and use of family planning methods
· Antenatal and delivery care
· Breastfeeding and weaning practices
· Vaccinations and health of children under age five
· Fertility preferences
· Husband’s background and respondent’s work
· Height and weight of children under age five and of their mother
· HIV and AIDS.
The Men’s Questionnaire was similar to that for women except that it omitted the sections on reproductive history, antenatal and delivery care, breastfeeding, vaccinations, and height and weight. The questionnaire for the Service Provision Assessment was completed for each sample point and included questions about the existence in the community of income-generating activities and other development organizations and the availability and accessibility of health and family planning services. Detailed analysis of the SPA data will be presented in a separate report.
All questionnaires for the BDHS survey were returned to Dhaka for data processing at Mitra and Associates. The processing operation consisted of office editing, coding of open-ended questions, data entry, and editing inconsistencies found by the computer programs. The data were processed on six microcomputers working in double shifts and carried out by ten data entry operators and two data entry supervisors. The BDHS data entry and editing programs were written in ISSA (Integrated System for Survey Analysis). Data processing commenced in mid-December 1999 and was completed by end of April 2000.
The estimates from a sample survey are affected by two types of errors: (1) nonsampling errors, and (2) sampling errors. Nonsampling errors are the results of mistakes made in implementing data collection and data processing, such as failure to locate and interview the correct household, misunderstanding of the questions on the part of either the interviewer or the respondent, and data entry errors. Although numerous efforts were made during the implementation of the 1999-2000 Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey (BDHS) to minimize this type of error, nonsampling errors are impossible to avoid and difficult to evaluate statistically.
Sampling errors, on the other hand, can be evaluated statistically. The sample of respondents selected in the BDHS is only one of many samples that could have been selected from the same population, using the same design and expected size. Each of these samples would yield results that differ somewhat from the results of the actual sample selected. Sampling errors are a measure of the variability between all possible samples. Although the degree of variability is not known exactly, it can be estimated from the survey results.
A sampling error is usually measured in terms of the standard error for a particular statistic (mean, percentage, etc.), which is the square root of the variance. The standard error can be used to calculate confidence intervals within which the true value for the population can reasonably be assumed to fall. For example, for any given statistic calculated from a sample survey, the value of that statistic will fall within a range of plus or minus two times the standard error of that statistic in 95 percent of all possible samples of identical size and design.
If the sample of respondents had been selected as a simple random sample, it would have been possible to use straightforward formulas for calculating sampling errors. However, the BDHS sample is the result of a two-stage stratified design, and, consequently, it was necessary to use more complex formulae. The computer software used to calculate sampling errors for the BDHS is the ISSA Sampling Error Module (SAMPERR). This module used the Taylor linearisation method of variance estimation for survey estimates that are means or proportions. The Jackknife repeated replication method is used for variance estimation of more complex statistics such as fertility and mortality rates.
Note: See detailed estimate of sampling error calculation in APPENDIX B of the survey report.
Other forms of data appraisal
Data Quality Tables
- Household age distribution
- Age distribution of eligible and interviewed women
- Completeness of reporting
- Births by calendar years since birth
- Reporting of age at death in days
- Reporting of age at death in months
Note: See detailed tables in APPENDIX C of the survey report.
Use of the dataset must be acknowledged using a citation which would include:
- the Identification of the Primary Investigator
- the title of the survey (including acronym and year of implementation)
- the survey reference number
- the source and date of download
Bangladesh National Institute of Population Research and Training (NIPORT), Mitra and Associates, and ORC Macro. Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) 1999-00. Dataset downloaded from www.measuredhs.com on [date].
Disclaimer and copyrights
The user of the data acknowledges that the original collector of the data, the authorized distributor of the data, and the relevant funding agency bear no responsibility for use of the data or for interpretations or inferences based upon such uses.