The Validity of Measuring Philippine Fertility Change Through Birth History Analysis

by Josefina V. Cabigon, Master of Arts in Demography (1976)

Developing countries are generally characterized by incomplete or unreliable registered vital events for measuring fertility. Hence, national demographic surveys that include questions designed to elicit full pregnancy histories of women included in the sample who are representative of the female population of childbearing age most often serve as the source of demographic information. This information is specifically known as birth history data. Using such data one can establish current and past levels of period and cohort fertility by tabulating the live births reported in the pregnancy histories by date of occurrence and the age of the woman at the time of birth. More specifically, one can make inferences about changes in period fertility in years preceding the survey. Since the survey recovers the experience of all respondents in the period five to ten years before the interview, the level of fertility and the pattern of fertility change in the population from which the sample was drawn can both be discerned from the period age-specific fertility rates corresponding to a period of ten years before the survey. This method of estimating fertility change is known as birth history analysis.