Fertility Levels, Trends, and Differentials: National Demographic and Health Survey Part 1

***Seminar paper submitted by Marlon B. Raquel to Prof. Eliseo de Guzman in Demography 210 class, Population Institute, University of the Philippines.


INTRODUCTION

Since 1960s demographers have been closely monitoring the trend in fertility in the Philippines. Nationwide surveys have been undertaken to provide data on intercensal and postcensal demographic trends. The 1968 National Demographic Survey (NDS) was the first national survey conducted that included detailed measurement of reproductive behaviors and childbearing desires. The 1968 NDS was followed by the 1973 NDS, 1978 NDS, 1983 NDS, 1988 NDS, 1993 National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS), 1998 NDHS, and latest of these eight surveys is the 2003 NDHS. The 2003 National Demographic and Health Survey is the third national sample survey undertaken in the Philippines under the auspices of the Worldwide Demographic and Health Surveys program.

Although there is a rapid declines in mortality and the increasing number of women in the childbearing ages, the rate of population growth is not likely to fall faster unless the fertility rate drops drastically. The latest NDHS indicates that there has been a steady decline in fertility from 6.0 children per woman in 1970 to 3.5 children per woman in 2001. This was the result of the total active government support that can be traced back since 1969 when the Commission of Population was established by President Marcos through Executive Order 171. During 1990s, Philippine Population Management Program (PPMP) was developed to supplant the Philippine Population Program. The program adopted the population, resources, and environment (PRE) framework, which defines the connection between the population and sustainable development. To date, under the administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the PPMP Directional Plan was updated through the development of Strategic Operational Plan (SOP). The PPMP SOP will focus on addressing the unmet need for family planning among the poor couples, and the sexuality and fertility information needs of the adolescents and youth, especially among those who are poor.

The examination of fertility levels, trends and differentials constitutes an important input in relevant program formulation and implementation. The extent to which fertility has changed over the last two decades will be described in this paper. Such changes may have come about as a result of the modifications and adaptations which Filipinos have had undergo in the past centuries as well as to the above-mentioned population policy and measures.


FERTILITY LEVELS AND TRENDS

I. Crude Birth Rate (CBR)

The most recent estimate of the national crude birth rate (CBR) reflects the situation as of 2003 (Table 1). The birth rates were obtained by calculating the number of births that would occur to the population being considered if it were subject to the age-specific fertility rates for the relevant period, and then dividing the total number of births by the total population for the same period.

The national CBR fell from 28.9 births per 1,000 population in 1983 to 26.9 births per 1,000 population in 1990 showing a seven percent (7%) decrease. From 1990, CBR fell again to 24.0 births in 1995 (11 percent), to 23.1 births in 2000 (4 percent), and to 20.6 births in 2003 (11 percent). Overall, there was about 29% decrease in the national crude birth rate for the past two decades.

Table 1

National Crude Birth Rate (CBR): Philippines, 1983-2003

Year

CBR

Percent Change (%)

1983

28.9

-

1990

26.9

7.0

1995

24.0

11.0

2000

23.1

4.0

2003

20.6

11.


The crude birth rates from 1990 to 2003 for each of the 16 regions are listed in Table 2. The birth rates were obtained by calculating the number of births that would occur to the population being considered if it were subject to the age-specific fertility rates for the relevant period. Based on the data presented, the trend observed appears to be a declining one except that of Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao where the CBR increased to 5.0 in 2003 from 3.9 in 2000.


The estimates for the crude birth rate for the nation as a whole show that between 1990 and 2003, the birth rate declined by about 31 percent. In 1990 the national CBR fell from 26.9 births per 1,000 population to 23.1 births in 2000 which exhibited a decreased\by about 12 percent and to 20.6 percent in 2003 (12 percent). By 2003 crude birth rates are relatively high in the more developed regions of NCR (25.8 births per 1,000 population) and Central Visayas (25.3 births per 1,000 population) compared to the less developed regions of the country, for example, Bicol (22.8 births), Eastern Visayas (14.4 percent) and Mindanao areas. What is most striking here is that Eastern Visayas, considered as one of the poorest regions in the country, has the lowest crude birth rates from 1990 to 2003 with exception of the ARMM.

In general, the regional crude birth rates exhibited a monotonic decline of CBRs between 1990 and 2003. The decline in the CBRs in the Mindanao areas has been possibly affected by the reorganization with other regions and the influx of out-migrants to Metro Manila. National Capital Region has a very slow decline in CBR compared with other regions. This can be attributed in the increases in the fertility rates among women ages 15-29.


Table 2

Crude Birth Rates by Region: Philippines, 1990, 2000 and 2003

Region

1990

2000

2003

Philippines

26.9

23.1

20.6

National Capital Region

35.5

30.6

25.8

Cordillera Administrative Region

25.4

24.2

21.5

I. Ilocos Region

27.6

24.1

22.4

II. Cagayan Valley

28.3

21.2

19.8

III. Central Luzon

28.9

24.9

23.4

IV. Southern Tagalog

27.5

25.4

21.4

V. Bicol Region

27.9

25.2

22.8

VI. Western Visayas

21.5

19.9

16.8

VII. Central Visayas

30.5

26.8

25.3

VIII. Eastern Visayas

18.9

17.1

14.4

IX. Western Mindanao

24.7

18.1

16.5

X. Northern Mindanao

45.5

21.7

18.6

XI. Southern Mindanao

30.0

20.0


XII. Central Mindanao

22.7

17.0


XIII. Caraga

-

18.9

14.5

Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao

-

3.9

5


Source: Health and Vital Statistics Division
Civil Registry Department
National Statistics Office
Manila, Philippines


Table 3 shows the crude birth rates of the 10 ASEAN nations from 1990 to 2004. The Philippines ranked third (32.9 births per 1,000 population) in 1990, fourth in 1999 (20 births) and third again in 2004 (25 births). Philippines lagged behind Malaysia in 1990 which has 31.9 births, 1995 (26 births) and in 2004 (22 births); by Indonesia in 1990 (31.9 births), 1999 (24 births) and in 2004 (21.4 births); by Vietnam in 1990 (30 births), and 20 births in 1999 and 2004; and by Thailand in 1990 (23.1 births), in 1999 (18 births) and in 2004 (16 births). Singapore registered the highest rate of decline between 1990 and 2004 which is 91 percent while Brunei has the lowest rate of decline by 20 percent. The Philippines, on the other hand, has a 31 percent rate od change of the same period.

Table 3

Estimates of the crude Birth Rates of ASEAN: 1990-2004

Country

Crude Birth Rate (Per 1,000)

1990

1999

2004

Laos

45.1

41.0

35.0

Cambodia

46.7

38.0

31.0

Philippines

32.8

29.0

25.0

Malaysia

31.9

26.0

22.0

Brunei

27.6

25.0

23.0

Indonesia

28.4

24.0

21.0

Myanmar

34.0

30.0

20.0

Viet Nam

30.0

20.0

20.0

Thailand

23.1

18.0

16.0

Singapore

17.2

15.0

9.0









Source: ASEAN Statistical Yearbook 2005


II. Age-Specific Fertility Rates and Total Fertility Rates

The average age-specific fertility rates (ASFRs) defined as the number of live births to women in a particular age group per 1,000 women in the same age group during the specified period and the total fertility rates (TFRs) defined as the sum of the ASFRs for all women aged 15-49 years for the period 1986 to 2003 are displayed in Table 4.

In general, the ASFRs exhibited a declining trend over time. The important exemptions were the increases experienced by the women aged 15-19 years in 1986-1993, aged 15-24 years in 1998-2003 and those aged 40-44 in 1998-2003. The average completed family size or total fertility rate estimated at 5.1 in 1986 to 3.5 in 2003, a decrease of about 31 percent.

The observed decline in fertility can be attributed to changes in family planning practices and programs. Over the past 20 years, the female mean age at first marriage has remained high and relatively stable, at around 22 years.

Table 4

Age-Specific Fertility Rates (ASFRs) Per Thousand Women and Total Fertility Rates (TRFs) Per Woman: Philippines, 1986-2003

Period

15-19

20-24

25-29

30-34

35-39

40-44

45-49

TFR

1986

48

192

229

198

140

62

15

4.4

1993

50

190

217

181

120

51

8

4.1

1998

46

177

210

155

111

40

7

3.7

2003

53

178

191

142

195

43

5

3.5

Percentage Change

1986-1993

4

-1

-5

-9

-14

-21

-25

-14

1993-1998

-8

-7

-3

-14

-8

-22

-12

-10

1998-2003

15

1

-9

-8

-14

8

-2


Table 5 presents the age-specific rates and total fertility rates for the 16 regions of the Philippines from 1995 to 2005. The data used in the derivation of age-specific fertility rates were from the vital registration reports published by the National Statistics Office. However, the author acknowledges that there are underregistration in the vital statistics in the less developing regions, that is why the ASFRs in these regions appear to be lower than that of urbanized regions such as NCR and Central Visayas. The general pattern for the 1995-2002 period was that of decline in age-specific fertility rates. However, there is an increase in the age-specific fertility rate from 1995 to 2000 in age 15-19 years. Total fertility rate as a whole decline from 3.06 children per woman in 1995 to 2.96 children to 2000 and then 2.41 children in 2002. from 1995 to 2002, there was a decrease in total fertility rate by about 21 percent. Fertility rates in the early childbearing ages, especially in the 15-19 years, increased in all regions from 1995 to 2000 but declined in 2002. Mindanao areas exhibited a lower fertility rates than those with the regions in Luzon and Visayas areas but this is possibly due to the reorganization of Mindanao regions in the late 1990s. Declines in the total fertility rate of more than 10 percent over the 1995-2002 period were observed in National Capital Region (15 percent), Cordillera Administrative Region (17 percent), Ilocos Region (24 percent), Central Luzon (20 percent), Southern Tagalog (16 percent), Bicol Region (18 percent), Western Visayas (24 percent), Central Visayas (22 percent), Eastern Visayas (23 percent), Western Mindanao (29 percent), Northern Mindanao (43 percent), Southern Mindanao (24 percent), Central Mindanao (32 percent), Caraga Region (25 percent), and ARMM (29 percent).

Table 5

Age-Specific Fertility Rates Per 1,000 Women by Region and by Age Group: Philippines, 1995-2002

REGION/


Age Group

AGE GROUP

15-19

20-24

25-29

30-34

35-39

40-44

45-49

TFR










Philippines









1995

28

145

168

137

90

38

6

3.06

2000

31

139

163

132

86

36

6

2.96

2002

26

115

130

108

69

29

4

2.41

NCR









1995

35

144

176

142

83

26

3

3.04

2000

43

153

178

142

86

27

4

3.16

2002

38

128

142

1115

67

22

3

2.58

CAR









1995

26

135

166

162

94

43

7

3.16

2000

32

142

171

146

96

43

6

3.31

2002

27

118

141

122

78

35

5

2.63

I. Ilocos Region









1995

31

160

184

145

98

45

7

3.35

2000

34

155

176

140

90

40

6

3.20

2002

29

134

123

108

76

32

5

2.54

II. Cagayan Valley

1995

33

178

173

130

85

38

7

3.22

2000

34

149

156

118

74

32

7

2.85

2002

29

129

130

99

59

26

4

2.38

III. Central Luzon

1995

36

167

181

131

79

31

5

3.15

2000

38

157

173

128

77

29

4

3.03

2002

33

132

143

107

63

23

4

2.52

IV. Southern Tagalog

1995

32

138

180

140

89

37

6

3.11

2000

36

153

176

138

87

35

5

3.15

2002

31

129

145

113

71

27

4

2.60

V. Bicol









1995

24

170

208

174

128

60

10

3.87

2000

27

165

210

176

127

60

11

3.88

2002

23

135

171

144

106

48

8

3.17

VI. Western Visayas

1995

16

115

160

141

100

46

7

2.92

2000

19

110

154

138

98

44

8

2.86

2002

16

89

119

108

76

34

5

2.24

VII. Central Visayas

1995

38

176

202

169

115

52

8

3.80

2000

38

164

192

157

109

47

6

3.56

2002

36

138

156

134

87

38

5

2.97

VIII. Eastern Visayas

1995

23

118

142

120

85

37

6

2.65

2000

24

118

140

119

85

38

6

2.65

2002

19

89

108

95

66

29

4

2.05

IX. Western Mindanao

1995

23

128

142

125

87

37

6

2.74

2000

24

112

130

110

77

34

5

2.46

2002

18

86

101

91

60

27

4

1.94

X. Northern Mindanao

1995

39

225

256

214

101

48

9

4.46

2000

29

136

154

128

92

43

7

2.94

2002

24

107

121

103

71

31

5

2.31

XI. Southern Mindanao

1995

28

140

160

137

84

38

7

2.97

2000

30

122

138

112

76

34

6

2.59

2002

25

98

110

92

61

26

4

2.08

XII. Central Mindanao

1995

21

107

123

112

75

35

7

2.40

2000

23

101

117

102

75

35

7

2.30

2002

20

84

94

82

57

27

5

1.84

XIII. Caraga









1995

-

-

-

-

-

-

-


2000

21

117

153

131

94

36

7

2.80

2002

15

86

114

101

69

32

5

2.11

ARMM









1995

4

20

24

24

16

8

1

0.48

2000

4

20

27

27

14

6

2

0.50

2002

3

14

17

17

9

4

1

0.34

Source: Vital Registration Reports 1995, 2000, 2002
*Adjustments were not made on these data.

Table 6 displays the ratio of regional fertility rates to national fertility rates from 1995 to 2002. It can be noted that there are six regions that are consistently exceeded the national fertility rates for the period 1995 to 2002. These are the National Capital Region, Ilocos Region, Central Luzon, Southern Tagalog, Bicol Region and Central Visayas.

Table 6

Ratio (Percent) of Regional to National Fertility Rates, 1983-2002

REGION

1995

2000

2002





Philippines

100

100

100





National Capital Region

100

107

107

Cordillera Administrative Region

70

112

109

I. Ilocos Region

110

108

105

II. Cagayan Valley

105

96

99

III. Central Luzon

103

102

105

IV. Southern Tagalog

102

106

108

V. Bicol Region

127

131

132

VI. Western Visayas

106

96

93

VII. Central Visayas

124

120

124

VIII. Eastern Visayas

87

89

85

IX. Western Mindanao

90

54

81

X. Northern Mindanao

146

99

96

XI. Southern Mindanao

97

101

86

XII. Central Mindanao

78

76

77

Caraga

-

94

88

ARMM

16

17

14

Source: For 1995-2002, computed from the Vital Registration Reports,

NSO. Manila, Philippines.

The 1990-2002 fertility rates specific for age and marital status (ASMFRs) and the resulting total marital fertility rates (TMFRs) defined in the same as the ASFRs and TFRs except that the women referred to in the denominators are married women, are recorded in Table 7. The table shows that there is a diminishing number of births of all age groups from 1990 to 2002 except for ages 15-19 years. This means that young married women were not limiting their childbearing activities. Instead, there was a 15 percent increase in the TFMR from 1990 to 2002. The largest decreases were apparent among married women, 20-29 and 40-49 years between 1990 and 1995 and 25-49 years between 1995 to 2002. This pattern was manifested in the TMFR for 1995 which dropped by almost six percent from 1990 and seven percent decline in 2002 from 1995. This trend shows that changes in marital fertility have played an important role in the decline of overall fertility, suggesting the positive response of married women to the family program of the government.

Table 7

Age-Specific Marital Fertility Rates Per Thousand Married Women and

Total Marital Fertility Rate Per Married Woman, Philippines: 1990, 1995 and 2002

Period

Births Per Thousand Married Women Aged

Total Marital Fertility Rate

15-19

20-24

25-29

30-34

35-39

40-44

45-49

Rate

1990

319

357

251

162

103

48

8

6.20

1995

368

297

221

151

95

39

7

5.97

2002

385

270

181

136

84

34

5

5.50

Change

1990-1995

Amount

+49

-60

-30

-11

-8

-9

-1

-0.3

Percentage

+15

-16

-12

-7

-8

-19

-12

-5.0

1995-2002


Amount

+17

-27

-40

-15

-11

-5

-2

-0.4

Percentage

+15

-9

-18

-10

-12

-13

-29

-7.0

Source: 1990, 1995 and 2002 Vital Registration Statistics Reports

Population Trends: Philippines. US Bureau of the Census. Issued February 1996

In Table 8, the author notes that the most recent projections by the United Nations Population Division – the 2000 Revision (United Nations, 2001) – show a replacement level fertility (TFR=2.1) attained in the period 2015-2020. It makes clear what must occur if the Philippines is to conform to the scenario described in the United Nations projections: the pace of decline must quicken in the next fifteen years.

Table 8

Total Fertility Rates: United Nations Estimates

Period

Total Fertility Rate

Percentage Change

2000-2005

3.24

-11

2005-2010

2.79

-13.9

2010-2015

2.33

-16.5

2015-2020

2.10

-9.9

2020-2025

2.10

0

Source: Costello, Marilou P. and John B. Casterline. Fertility Decline in the Philippines: Current

Status, Future Prospects (Table 1).

Although there is an apparent decline in fertility, the Philippines has fallen far behind its neighboring Southeast Asian countries in population growth reduction which may be attributed mainly to sluggish fertility decline and economic performance. Table 11 shows that in the year 2004, Philippines ranked third among the 10 Southeast Asian countries which has TFR of 3.1. Laos and Cambodia have 4.7 and 4.0 TFR, respectively. Malaysia has 2.8, Brunei Darussalam has 2.4 while Indonesia, Myanmar and Vietnam have the same TFR of 2.3. Thailand has 1.9 while Singapore has the lowest TFR in 2004 which is 1.3.

Table 9

Total Fertility Rates of ASEAN: 1990-2004

Country

Total Fertility Rate

1990

1999

2004

Laos

6.7

5.6

4.7

Cambodia

5.3

5.2

4.0

Philippines

4.3

3.7

3.1

Malaysia

4.0

3.2

2.8

Brunei

3.4

3.4

2.4

Indonesia

3.3

2.8

2.3

Myanmar

4.5

3.8

2.3

Viet Nam

3.8

2.3

2.3

Thailand

2.6

2.0

1.9

Singapore

1.7

1.6

1.3

Source: For the crude birth rate and total fertility rate in

2004, data were taken from the website of the

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) at

http://www.unicef.org. All others were taken from GSO P.48.



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