The 2007 Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey (BDHS) is part of the worldwide Demographic and Health Surveys program, which is designed to collect data on fertility, family planning, and maternal and child health.
The BDHS is a nationally representative sample survey designed to provide information on basic national indicators of social progress including fertility, childhood mortality, contraceptive knowledge and use, maternal and child health, nutritional status of mothers and children, awareness of AIDS, and domestic violence. This periodic survey is conducted every three to four years to serve as a source of population and health data for policymakers, program managers, and the research community.
In general, the aims of the BDHS are to:
- Provide information to meet the monitoring and evaluation needs of health and family planning programs, and
- Provide program managers and policy makers involved in these programs with the information they need to plan and implement future interventions.
More specifically, the objectives of the survey are 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; maternal and child health; awareness of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases; knowledge of tuberculosis; and domestic violence. Although improvements and additions have been made to each successive survey, the basic structure and design of the BDHS has been maintained over time in order to measure trends in health and family planning indicators.
The 2007 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., a private research firm located in Calverton, Maryland, USA, provided technical assistance to the survey as part of its international Demographic and Health Surveys program. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)/Bangladesh provided financial assistance.
Kind of data
Sample survey data
Unit of analysis
- Children under five years
- Women age 15-49
- Men age 15-54
The 2007 BDHS covers the entire population residing in private dwelling units in Bangladesh.
Producers and sponsors
Mitra and Associates/ National Institute for Population Research and Training (NIPORT)
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare
Macro International Inc.
United State Agency for International Development, Bangladesh
The 2007 BDHS employs a nationally representative sample that covers the entire population residing in private dwelling units in Bangladesh. The survey used the sampling frame provided by the list of census enumeration areas (EAs) with population and household information from the 2001 Population Census. Bangladesh is divided into six administrative divisions: Barisal, Chittagong, Dhaka, Khulna, Rajshahi, and Sylthet. In turn, each division is divided into zilas, and each zila into upazilas. Rural areas in an upazila are divided into union parishads (UPs), and UPs are further divided into mouzas. Urban areas in an upazila are divided into wards, and wards are subdivided into mahallas. These divisions allow the country as a whole to be easily divided into rural and urban areas. EAs from the census were used as the Primary Sampling Units (PSUs) for the survey, because they could be easily located with correct geographical boundaries and sketch maps were available for each one. An EA, which consists of about 100 households, on average, is equivalent to a mauza in rural areas and to a mohallah in urban areas.
The survey is based on a two-stage stratified sample of households. At the first stage of sampling, 361 PSUs were selected. Figure 1.1 shows the geographical distribution of the 361 clusters visited in the 2007 BDHS. The selection of PSUs was done independently for each stratum and with probability proportional to PSU size, in terms of number of households. The distribution of the sample over different parts of the country was not proportional, because that would have allocated the two smallest divisions, Barisal and Sylhet, too small a sample for statistical precision. Because only a small proportion of Bangladesh's population lives in urban areas, urban areas also had to be over-sampled to achieve statistical precision comparable to that of rural areas. Therefore, it was necessary to divide the country into strata, with different probabilities of selection calculated for the various strata. Stratification of the sample was achieved by separating the sample into divisions and, within divisions, into urban and rural areas. The urban areas of each division were further subdivided into three strata: statistical metropolitan areas (SMAs), municipality areas, and other urban areas. In all, the sample consisted of 22 strata, because Barisal and Sylhet do not have SMAs.
The 361 PSUs selected in the first stage of sampling included 227 rural PSUs and 134 urban PSUs. A household listing operation was carried out in all selected PSUs from January to March 2007. The resulting lists of households were used as the sampling frame for the selection of households in the second stage of sampling. On average, 30 households were selected from each PSU, using an equal probability systematic sampling technique. In this way, 10,819 households were selected for the sample. However, some of the PSUs were large and contained more than 300 households. Large PSUs were segmented, and only one segment was selected for the survey, with probability proportional to segment size. Households in the selected segments were then listed prior to their selection. Thus, a 2007 BDHS sample cluster is either an EA or a segment of an EA.
The survey was designed to obtain 11,485 completed interviews with ever-married women age 10-49. According to the sample design, 4,360 interviews were allocated to urban areas and 7,125 to rural areas. All ever-married women age 10-49 in selected households were eligible respondents for the women's questionnaire. In addition, ever-married men age 15-54 in every second household were eligible to be interviewed.
Note: See detailed in APPENDIX A of the survey report.
Deviations from sample design
The 2007 BDHS sampled all ever-married women age 10-49. The number of eligible women age 10-49 was 11,234, of whom 11,051 were interviewed for a response rate of 98.4 percent. However, there were very few ever-married women age 10-14 (55 unweighted cases or less than one percent). These women have been removed from the data set and weights recalculated for the 15-49 age group. The tables in the survey report discuss only women age 15-49.
Of the 10,819 households selected for the survey, 10,461 were found to be occupied. Interviews were successfully completed in 10,400 households, or 99.4 percent of households. A total of 11,178 eligible women age 15-49 were identified in these households and 10,996 were interviewed, for a response rate of 98.4 percent.
Eligible men in every second household were selected to yield 4,074 potential male respondents, of whom 92.6 percent or 3,771 were successfully interviewed. The principal reason for non-response among eligible women and men was their absence from home despite repeated visits to the household. The household and eligible women’s response rates were similar to the response rates in the 2004 BDHS. However, the male response rate was lower than in the last survey.
Note: See summarized response rates by residence (urban/rural) in Table 1.1 of the survey report.
Dates of collection
Mode of data collection
Data collection supervision
Four quality control teams ensured data quality; each team included one male and one female data quality control worker. In addition, NIPORT monitored fieldwork with another set of quality control teams. Data quality was also monitored through field check tables generated concurrently with data processing. This permitted the quality control teams to advise field teams about problems detected during data entry. Tables were specifically generated to check various data quality parameters. Fieldwork was also monitored through visits by representatives from USAID, Macro International, and NIPORT. Fieldwork was implemented in five phases and carried out from March 24 to August 11, 2007.
The 2007 BDHS used five questionnaires: a Household Questionnaire, a Women’s Questionnaire, a Men’s Questionnaire, a Community Questionnaire, and a Facility Questionnaire. Their contents were based on the MEASURE DHS Model Questionnaires. These model questionnaires were adapted for use in Bangladesh during a series of meetings with a Technical Task Force (TTF) that included representatives from NIPORT, Mitra and Associates, ICDDRB: Knowledge for Global Lifesaving Solutions, the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC), USAID/Dhaka, and Macro International. Draft questionnaires were then circulated to other interested groups and reviewed by the BDHS Technical Review Committee. The questionnaires were developed in English and then translated and printed in Bangla.
The Household Questionnaire was used to list all the usual members of and visitors to selected households. Some basic information was collected on the characteristics of each person listed, including 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 interviews. In addition, the questionnaire collected information about the dwelling unit, such as the source of water, type of toilet facilities, flooring and roofing materials, and ownership of various consumer goods. The Household Questionnaire was also used to record height and weight measurements of all women age 10-49 and all children below six years of age.
The Women’s Questionnaire was used to collect information from ever-married women age 10-49. Women were asked questions on the following topics:
- Background characteristics, including age, residential history, education, religion, and media exposure,
- Reproductive history,
- Knowledge and use of family planning methods,
- Antenatal, delivery, postnatal, and newborn care,
- Breastfeeding and infant feeding practices,
- Vaccinations and childhood illnesses,
- Fertility preferences,
- Husband’s background and respondent’s work,
- Awareness of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases,
- Knowledge of tuberculosis, and
- Domestic violence.
The Men’s Questionnaire was used to collect information from ever-married men age 15-54. Men were asked questions on the following topics:
- Background characteristics, including respondent’s work,
- Fertility preferences,
- Participation in reproductive health care,
- Awareness of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases,
- Knowledge of tuberculosis, injuries, and tobacco consumption, and
- Domestic violence
Questions on domestic violence (which were included in both the Women’s and Men’s Questionnaires) were administered to only one eligible respondent per household, whether female or male. In households with two or more eligible respondents, special procedures were followed to ensure that the selection of the woman or man was random and that these questions were administered in private.
The Community and Facility Questionnaires were administered in each selected cluster during listing. These questionnaires collected information about the existence of development organizations in the community and the availability and accessibility of health services and other facilities. This information was also used to verify information gathered in the Women’s and Men’s Questionnaires on the type of facilities respondents accessed and the health service personnel they saw.
All questionnaires for the BDHS were periodically returned to Dhaka for data processing at Mitra and Associates. The processing of data collected in the field began shortly after fieldwork commenced. Data processing consisted of office editing, coding of open-ended questions, data entry, and editing inconsistencies found by the computer program. The data were processed by 10 data entry operators and two data entry supervisors working in double shifts using six microcomputers. Data processing commenced on April 16 and ended on August 31, 2007. Data processing was carried out using CSPro, a joint software product of the U.S. Census Bureau, Macro International, and Serpro S.A.
The estimates from a sample survey are affected by two types of errors: nonsampling errors and 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 2007 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 2007 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 2007 BDHS sample is the result of a multi-stage stratified design, and, consequently, it was necessary to use more complex formulae. The computer software used to calculate sampling errors for the 2007 BDHS is a Macro SAS procedure. This module used the Taylor linearization 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
- Age distribution of eligible and interviewed men
- Completeness of reporting
- Births by calendar years
- Reporting of age at death in days
- Reporting of age at death in months
Note: See detailed tables in APPENDIX C of the report which is presented in this documentation.
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 Macro International. Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) 2007. 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.