Pakistan Institute of Development Economics



An Indirect View of the Fertility Changes in Pakistan

An effort has been made in this paper to arrive at some indirect assessment of the levels of birth rates from the same survey data sources. The basis for this approach is the internal consistency of the relevant data.! Ideally, in a series of repeated surveys the variations ih the estimated yearly rates should be only due to the sampling and non-sampling errors and not due to changes in the numerator or the denominator resulting from variations in the procedures of measurement. In other words, such changes if any, should not result in any erratic variations between the estimates of one series to the other, otherwise they may lead to some erroneous inference about the levels and trends. Let us now have a look at the crude birth and death rates for Pakistan, as reported from different surveys. From Table 1 it is clearly evident that the crude birth rate as reported from yearly repeated surveys (pGE, PGS and PDS series), show erratic up and down movements over the years 1962-65 through 1988, with the level of the rate remaining over 40 [Farooqui and Farooq (1971); Government of Pakistan (1973, 1973a, 1974, 1974a, 1981, 1983, 1983a, 1984, 1984a, 1990)]. The corresponding crude death rates also show year to year variations but in their case a net decline of 4.1 is evident over the same period. Table 1 also shows that the estimates of Crude Birth Rate (CBR) reported by 1975 Pakistan Fertility Survey (PFS), 1984-85 Pakistan Contraceptive Prevalence Survey (PCPS) and 1990-91 Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey (PDHS) show a declining trend [Government of Pakistan (1976, 1986); NIPS (1992»). Moreover the levels of CBR given by these types of one-time surveys are reported to be lower than the rates reported for the nearest years by the series of yearly repeated surveys. Conducted by Pakistan Federal Bureau of Statistics.

M. Framurz Khan Kayani, Mohammad Afzal, Ali Mohammad

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