The 2011 Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey (BDHS) is the sixth national Demographic and Health Survey designed to provide information on basic national indicators of social progress, including fertility, childhood mortality and causes of death, fertility preferences and fertility regulation, maternal and child health, nutritional status of mothers and children, awareness and attitudes towards HIV/AIDS, and prevalence of noncommunicable diseases.
The 2011 Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey (BDHS) is the sixth DHS undertaken in Bangladesh, following those implemented in 1993-94, 1996-97, 1999-2000, 2004, and 2007.
The main objectives of the 2011 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.
The specific objectives of the 2011 BDHS were as follows:
• To provide up-to-date data on demographic rates, particularly fertility and infant mortality rates, at the national and subnational level;
• To analyze the direct and indirect factors that determine the level of and trends in fertility and mortality;
• To measure the level of contraceptive use of currently married women;
• To provide data on knowledge and attitudes of women and men about sexually transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS;
• To assess the nutritional status of children (under age 5), women, and men by means of anthropometric measurements (weight and height), and to assess infant and child feeding practices;
• To provide data on maternal and child health, including antenatal care, assistance at delivery, breastfeeding, immunizations, and prevalence and treatment of diarrhea and other diseases among children under age 5;
• To measure biomarkers, such as hemoglobin level for women and children, and blood pressure, and blood glucose for women and men 35 years and older;
• To measure key education indicators, including school attendance ratios and primary school grade repetition and dropout rates;
• To provide information on the causes of death among children under age 5;
• To provide community-level data on accessibility and availability of health and family planning services;
• To measure food security.
The 2011 BDHS was conducted under the authority of the National Institute of 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. ICF International of Calverton, Maryland, USA, provided technical assistance to the project as part of its international Demographic and Health Surveys program (MEASURE DHS). Financial support was provided by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
Kind of Data
Sample survey data
Unit of Analysis
- Children under five years
- Women age 15-49
- Men age 15-54
The 2011 Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey covers the following topics:
- Anemia Questions
- Anemia Testing
- Birth Registration
- Blood Pressure (measure)
- Blood Pressure Questions
- Causes of Death
- Diabetes Questions
- Diabetes Testing
- HIV Behavior
- HIV Knowledge
- Iodine salt test
- Men's Survey
- Reproductive Calendar
- Service Availability
- Social Marketing
- Tobacco Use
- Verbal Autopsy
- Vitamin A Questions
- Women's Status
The 2011 BDHS covers the entire population residing in noninstitutional dwelling units in the country.
Producers and sponsors
National Institute for Population Research and Training (NIPORT)
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Bangladeshi
United State Agency for International Development, Bangladesh
The sample for the 2011 BDHS is nationally representative and covers the entire population residing in noninstitutional dwelling units in the country. The survey used as a sampling frame the list of enumeration areas (EAs) prepared for the 2011 Population and Housing Census, provided by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS). The primary sampling unit (PSU) for the survey is an EA that was created to have an average of about 120 households.
Bangladesh has seven administrative divisions: Barisal, Chittagong, Dhaka, Khulna, Rajshahi, Rangpur, and Sylhet. Each division is subdivided into zilas, and each zila into upazilas. Each urban area in an upazila is divided into wards, and into mohallas within a ward. A rural area in the upazila is divided into union parishads (UP) and mouzas within a UP. These divisions allow the country as a whole to be easily separated into rural and urban areas.
The survey is based on a two-stage stratified sample of households. In the first stage, 600 EAs were selected with probability proportional to the EA size, with 207 clusters in urban areas and 393 in rural areas. A complete household listing operation was then carried out in all the selected EAs to provide a sampling frame for the second-stage selection of households. In the second stage of sampling, a systematic sample of 30 households on average was selected per EA to provide statistically reliable estimates of key demographic and health variables for the country as a whole, for urban and rural areas separately, and for each of the seven divisions. With this design, the survey selected 18,000 residential households, which were expected to result in completed interviews with about 18,000 ever-married women. In addition, in a subsample of one-third of the households, all evermarried men age 15-54 were selected and interviewed for the male survey. In this subsample, a group of eligible members were selected to participate in testing of the biomarker component, including blood pressure measurements, anemia, blood glucose testing, and height and weight measurements.
Note: See Appendix A (in final survey report) for the details of the sample design.
Deviations from the 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.
From a total of 17,964 selected households, 17,511 were found to be occupied. Interviews were successfully completed in 17,141 households, or 98 percent of all the occupied households. A total of 18,222 evermarried women age 12-49 were identified in these households, and 17,842 were interviewed, yielding a response rate of 98 percent. In one-third of the households, ever-married men over age 15 were eligible for interview. Of the 4,343 eligible men, 3,997, or 92 percent, were successfully interviewed. The 2011 response rates were similar to those in the 2007 BDHS.
Note: See summarized response rates by residence (urban/rural) in Table 1.3 of the survey final report.
Due to the non-proportional allocation of sample to divisions and urban and rural areas, and the differences in response rates, sampling weights are required for any analysis using the 2011 BDHS data to ensure the representativeness of the survey results at national and domain levels. Because the 2011 BDHS sample is a two-stage stratified cluster sample, sampling weights were calculated based on sampling probabilities separately for each sampling stage and cluster.
Note: See Appendix A.4 (in final survey report) for the details of sampling weight calculation.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Data quality was ensured through four quality control teams, each comprised of one male and one female staff person. In addition, NIPORT monitored fieldwork by using extra quality control teams. Data quality was also monitored through field check tables generated concurrently with data processing. This was an advantage because the quality control teams were able to advise field teams of problems detected during data entry. In particular, tables were generated to check various data quality parameters. Fieldwork was also monitored through visits by representatives from USAID, ICF International, and NIPORT.
Data Collection Notes
Training and Fieldwork
Forty-seven people were trained to carry out the listing of households, to delineate Enumeration Areas (EAs), and to administer Community Questionnaires. They were also trained in the use of global positioning system (GPS) units, to obtain locational coordinates for each selected EA. The training lasted a total of seven days from May 11-21, 2011. A household listing operation was carried out in all selected EAs from May 22 to October 5, 2011 in four phases, each about three weeks in length. Initially, 19 teams of two persons each were deployed to carry out the listing of households and to administer the Community Questionnaires. The number of teams was reduced to 15 in the second and third phases and to 6 in the final phase. In addition, six supervisors were deployed to check and verify the work of the listing teams.
The Household, Woman’s and Man’s Questionnaires were pre-tested in March 2011. Four supervisors, 10 interviewers, and 4 biomarker staff were trained for the pretest. The questionnaires were pre-tested on 100 households, 100 women, and 70 men in one urban and one rural cluster in Comilla District and one urban and one rural cluster in Dhaka. Based on observations in the field and suggestions made by the pretest teams, revisions were made to the wording and translations of the questionnaires.
Training for the main survey was conducted for four weeks from June 6 to July 5, 2011. A total of 173 fieldworkers were recruited based on their educational level, prior experience with surveys, maturity, and willingness to spend up to six months on the project. Training included (1) lectures on how to conduct an interview and complete the questionnaires, (2) mock interviews by participants, and (3) field practice.
Fieldwork for the 2011 BDHS was carried out by 16 interviewing teams, each consisting of one supervisor, one field editor, five female interviewers, two male interviewers, and one logistics staff member. Data collection was implemented in five phases, starting on July 8, 2011 and ending on December 27, 2011. In addition, from January 2-19, 2012 there were re-visits to collect blood samples from respondents interviewed during Ramadan who had agreed to participate in blood testing, but declined to be tested during Ramadan.
Mitra and Associates
The 2011 BDHS used five types of questionnaires: a Household Questionnaire, a Woman’s Questionnaire, a Man’s Questionnaire, a Community Questionnaire, and two Verbal Autopsy Questionnaires to collect data on causes of death among children under age 5. The contents of the household and individual questionnaires 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 Working Group (TWG) that consisted of representatives from NIPORT, Mitra and Associates, International Centre for Diarrheal Diseases and Control, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B), USAID/Bangladesh, and MEASURE DHS. Draft questionnaires were then circulated to other interested groups and were reviewed by the 2011 BDHS Technical Review Committee. The questionnaires were developed in English and then translated and printed into 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 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 the individual interview. In addition, information was collected about the dwelling unit, such as the source of water, type of toilet facilities, materials used to construct the floors and walls, and ownership of various consumer goods.
The Household Questionnaire was also used to record for eligible individuals:
• Height and weight measurements
• Anemia test results
• Measurements of blood pressure and blood glucose
The Woman’s Questionnaire was used to collect information from ever-married women age 12-49. Women were asked questions on the following topics:
• Background characteristics (e.g., age, education, religion, and media exposure)
• Reproductive history
• Use and source of family planning methods
• Antenatal, delivery, postnatal, and newborn care
• Breastfeeding and infant feeding practices
• Child immunizations and childhood illnesses
• Fertility preferences
• Husband’s background and respondent’s work
• Awareness of AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections
• Food security
The Man’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 infections
The Community Questionnaire was administered in each selected cluster during the household listing operation. Data were collected by administering the Community Questionnaire to a group of four to six community leaders who were knowledgeable about socioeconomic conditions and the availability of health and family planning services/facilities, in or near the sample area (cluster). Community leaders included such persons as government officials, social workers, teachers, religious leaders, traditional healers, and health care providers.
The Community Questionnaire collected information about the existence of development organizations in the community and the availability and accessibility of health services and other facilities.
During the household listing operation, the geographic coordinates and altitude of each cluster were also recorded. The information obtained in these questionnaires was also used to verify information gathered in the Woman’s and Man’s Questionnaires on the types of facilities accessed and health services personnel seen.
The Verbal Autopsy Questionnaires were developed based on the work done by an expert group led by the WHO, consisting of researchers, data users, and other stakeholders under the sponsorship of the Health Metrics Network (HMN). The verbal autopsy tools are intended to serve the various needs of the users of mortality information. Two questionnaires were used to collect information related to the causes of death among young children; the first questionnaire collected data on neonatal deaths (deaths at 0-28 days), and the second questionnaire collected data on deaths between four weeks and five years. These questionnaires were administered to mothers who reported the death of a child under age 5 in the five-year period prior to the 2011 BDHS survey or care taker who were knowledgeable about the symptoms and treatment preceding the death. The questionnaires contained both structured (pre-coded) questions and nonstructured (open-ended) questions.
The following topics were covered in the Verbal Autopsy Questionnaires:
• Identification including detailed address of respondent
• Informed consent
• Detailed age description of deceased child
• Respondent’s account of illness/events leading to death
• Maternal history, including questions on prenatal care, labor and delivery, and obstetrical complications
• Information about accidental deaths
• Detailed signs and symptoms preceding death
• Mother’s health and contextual factors
• Information on treatment module and information on direct, underlying contributing causes of death from the death certificate, if available.
The completed 2011 BDHS questionnaires were periodically returned to Dhaka for data processing at Mitra and Associates offices. The data processing began shortly after the start of fieldwork. Data processing consisted of office editing, coding of open-ended questions, data entry, and editing of inconsistencies found by the computer program. The data were processed by 16 data entry operators and two data entry supervisors. Data processing commenced on July 23, 2011 and ended on January 15, 2012. Data processing was carried out using the Census and Survey Processing System (CSPro), a joint software product of the U.S. Census Bureau, ICF International, and Serpro S.A.
Estimates of Sampling Error
See Appendix B (in final survey report) for the details of estimates of sampling errors.
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 Appendix C (in final survey report) for the details of data quality tables.
Data and Data Related Resources
MEASURE DHS is authorized to distribute, at no cost, unrestricted survey data files for legitimate academic research. Registration is required for access to data.
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Dataset Access Approval Process
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GPS/HIV Datasets/Other Biomarkers
Use of the dataset must be acknowledged using a citation which would include:
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- 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 ICF International. Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey (BDHS) 2011. Ref. BGD_2011_DHS_v01_M. Dataset downloaded from http://www.measuredhs.com on [date].
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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.
DDI Document ID
World Bank, Development Economics Data Group
Documentation of the study
Date of Metadata Production
DDI Document version
Version 1.1: (March 2013)