Mr. Tashi Dorjee
Mr. Tashi Dorjee

Tashi Dorjee, an alumnus (MA Demography) of the UP Population Institute has co-authored a journal article on Bhutan’s impressively swift drop in fertility from the 1980s to 2012.

Called “Fertility Transition in Bhutan: An Assessment, the article is published in the English edition of Population, a quarterly journal of the French Institute for Demographic Studies (INED). Dorjee’s co-author is Thomas Spoorenberg of the UN Population Division.

To estimate fertility, Dorjee and Spoorenberg drew from a variety of sources, namely the 1984 Demographic Survey (DS), the 1994, 2000, and 2012 National Health Surveys (NHS), the 2005 Population and Housing Census, the 2003, 2007, and 2012 Bhutan Living Standard Surveys (BLSS), and the 2010 Bhutan Multiple Indicator Survey (BMIS). Methods were direct estimation, cohort fertility, and reverse survival. Results show consistently falling fertility levels especially after the issuance of the Royal Decree on Population Planning in 1995 which intensified planning and reproductive efforts. From a fertility of 6 in the early 1980s, it continuously dipped to reach a near-replacement level of 2.2 in 2012.

According to the authors, the rate in which Bhutan achieved a low fertility level is astounding with very few comparisons internationally. Only Algeria, Iran, Mongolia, and Vietnam had achieved this steep fertility drop in a short period of time.

Dorjee is an Officiating Chief Statistical Officer and Head of the Population Housing and GIS Division in Bhutan’s National Statistics Bureau. Aside from an MA in Demography at the UPPI, he also holds a post-graduate diploma in Demographic Methods & Analysis at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands.