City Research Online

Estimation of adult mortality from widowhood

Ahmed, F. (1989). Estimation of adult mortality from widowhood. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)


An attempt has been made in this study to provide some indirect estimates on mortality based on widowhood information to alleviate the problem of lack of recent and reliable indices of mortality in Bangladesh. In the virtual absence of an adequate vital registration system, mortality levels have so far been obtained from data collected in population census and in specially designed sample surveys. Because of the shortcomings of such data, there has been considerable uncertainty about recent levels and trends in mortality. The estimates from the data which are being collected by the Cholera Research Laboratory in Matlab, a rural area of Bangladesh since 1966, are considered reliable but not representative for the country as a whole. Recently the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics has implemented a sample vital registration system to generate reliable and nationally representative estimates of annual demographic indices. But the results obtained from this data appear to be suspiciously low in comparison to many other available estimates.

In this situation, the indirect estimation methods are extremely useful. The underlying assumption of the methodology has been that mortality changes in the past can be neglected. But empirical evidence from the countries where these indirect methods have been used has demonstated that mortality has been declining in the recent past in many developing countries. Under the changing conditions, these techniques yield survivorship probabilities which do not, strictly speaking, relate to specific time periods, but they refer to different periods in the past. However, the time reference of the estimates can only be obtained when mortality in population has been changing regularly. In reality these sort of assumptions may not hold true. If, however, information on widowhood are available from censuses and surveys conducted at two points in time, survivorship probabilities applicable to the intervening period can be estimated from the constructed proportions on widowhood for a hypothetical cohort of respondents.

The application of the generalised stable population relations which have been used to derive hypothetical set of proportions on widowhood, requires two sets of information from a census or a survey conducted at two points in time. But in Bangladesh, only one such information is available. However, another set of data has been generated through a special technique, and the procedure has been described in detail.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Departments: Bayes Business School > Actuarial Science & Insurance > Statistical Research Reports
Bayes Business School > Bayes Business School Doctoral Theses
Doctoral Theses
[thumbnail of Ahmed thesis 1989 PDF-A.pdf]
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