Fertility decline in Bangladesh: an emerging family planning success story

Asia Pac Pop Policy. 1992 Mar;(20):1-4.


PIP: Bangladesh has a population of 115 million people, and the economic growth rate of 3.7% during the 1980s was undermined by rapid population growth. The annual population growth rate was 3% in the 1960s and early 1970s, 2.5% between 1981-91 decreasing to 2.3% in 1991. The average of number of children is 4.6/woman compared with 7 in the 1960s. Infant mortality dropped from 150/1000 births in 1976 to 118/1000 in 1991. Life expectancy rose from 47 to 54 years. The 1991 Contraceptive Prevalence Survey showed that 39.9% of married women under 50 use contraceptives in 1991 vs. 18.6% in 1981. The use of modern methods increased from 10.9% in 1981 to 31.2% in 1991, while traditional methods rose from 7.7% to 8.7%. Sterilization was most prevalent in 1981. 29,000 female family planning (FP) workers were aggressively engaged in dispensing FP services in 1990. The Social Marketing Company sells pills, condoms, and oral rehydration salts through 130,000 retail outlets. The 1989 Contraceptive Prevalence Survey showed that 40% of pill and condom users obtained them from this network, and 95.4% of women knew about 4 methods of contraception. In 1990 there were 120 private organizations providing contraceptive services. Some of the components of the government FP program include field worker distribution door-to-door of injectable contraceptives (50% injectable usage rate in the Matlab project); recordkeeping activities; a satellite clinic network with access to contraceptive services; and decentralization through the Upazila (subdistrict) approach. The logistics system of FP has improved the warehousing, transportation, and management information system. Foreign aid (mainly USAID) financing of contraceptives helped avert 14.4 million births between 1974-90. The increase of contraceptive prevalence to 50% by 1997 would avert another 21.9 million births during 1991-96 (replacement fertility requires 70% prevalence.

MeSH terms

  • Asia
  • Bangladesh
  • Birth Rate*
  • Contraception
  • Contraceptives, Oral*
  • Data Collection*
  • Delivery of Health Care*
  • Demography
  • Developing Countries
  • Family Planning Services
  • Fertility
  • Health
  • Health Personnel*
  • Health Planning*
  • Injections*
  • Organization and Administration*
  • Population
  • Population Dynamics
  • Sterilization, Reproductive*


  • Contraceptives, Oral