Pakistan Institute of Development Economics



An Estimate of the Birth Rate in East and West Pakistan

This paper presents the results of an attempt at estimating the current birth rates in East and West Pakistan. In the absence of an adequate registration system, estimates of vital rates are dependent on alternative sources of data and various techniques of estimation. In the case of Pakistan, where registration systems are extremely defective, the two major alternative sources of data are the Population Growth Estimation (PGE) experiment and the (1951 and 1961) decennial censuses of population. The PGE is an attempt to acquire knowledge of the level of birth and death rates in Pakistan by matching information obtained, for a sample of the population, from periodic surveys and continuous registration of events as they occur [3, pp.37-65]. Preliminary findings from data collected in 1962 indicate, for total Pakistan, a birth rate of 56 and a death rate of 18, resulting in a growth rate of 38 [11]. A subsequent report based on slightly modified data, and presenting results for both sections of the country, indicates a birth rate of 58 and a death rate of 21 for East Pakistan, with a birth rate of 55 and a death rate of 22 for West Pakistani 12].There is reason to believe that the birth rate estimated by the PGE for total Pakistan is a reasonably close approximation of the actual birth rate but that the estimated death rate is too low (and consequently, that the indicated rate of growth is too high)

Masihur Rahman Khan, Melvin Zelnik

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