Ahbab Mohammad Fazle Rabbi, Mohammed Kabir, Russell Kabir

What Went Wrong with the Achievement of Replacement Fertility in Bangladesh and Its Consequences on the Demographic Dividend: The Role of Proximate Determinants?

Ahbab Mohammad Fazle Rabbi, Mohammed Kabir, Russell Kabir

Article information

Volume: XII Issue: 1, Pages: 103-126
Ahbab Mohammad Fazle Rabbi, Mohammed Kabir, Russell Kabir
Department of Statistical Sciences, University of Padua, Italy, Department of Statistics, Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh, Department of Medical Science & Public Health, Anglia Ruskin University, UK


According to 2010 World Population Prospects (WPP), Bangladesh is passing the second phase of fertility transition. The recent fertility level (TFR) of Bangladesh is 2.3 births per woman. The Bangladesh Demographic & Health Survey (BDHS)-2014 data showed that fertility is stalled again since BDHS-2011 unexpectedly. This stagnation raises questions about the prospect of reaching replacement fertility which was supposed to be achieved in Bangladesh by 2015 but failed again. This also has implications on the demographic window and consequently on the demographic dividend. Using the data of BDHS-2014 and applying the Bongaarts framework of the proximate determinants of fertility, this study attempts to identify the factors responsible for not achieving replacement fertility yet. The results demonstrate that contraception still dominates the fertility reduction in Bangladesh, followed by lactational infecundability, marriage and induced abortion. The change in the level of the proximate determinants and other key factors showed that fertility did not change much since BDHS-2011 which possibly caused this stagnation. The important factor which may have contributed to this is the high proportion of adolescent marriage in Bangladesh. This factor still creates a higher value of index of marriage which in turn affects fertility rates. Simulation on proportion married at adolescent age group suggests policy implications for achieving replacement fertility in Bangladesh can be achieved. In addition, the role of abortion and its measurement problem are also discussed.

Keywords: Bangladesh, proximate determinants of fertility, nuptiality, fertility stagnation


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