Joe Bish, Population Media Center: The following article was published in the Daily Star newspaper of Bangladesh, and reports out on a new analysis of the 2014 Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) for that country. The analysis was performed by the Bangladesh Health Ministry. If you would like to directly access the 2014 DHS, simply click here (PDF).
The headline is that the Ministry has calculated nearly 1 million of the roughly 3 million births that take place every year in Bangladesh can be accurately described as unwanted. “Here unwanted birth means either the parents didn’t want the child in that time or never,” said Karar Zunaid Ahsan, senior monitoring and evaluation adviser at the Ministry.
This troubling statistic is followed by several more: the country’s fertility decline has been stalled since 2011 at 2.3; the countrywide unwanted fertility rate is 0.7 children per woman, with regional variations; and, only 25% of Bangladesh’s public facilities purportedly offering family planning services are ready to actually provide them. It is worth noting that the fertility rate of 2.3 coincides with the U.N.’s high variant population projection for the country. That would mean, if these trends continue, that Bangladesh will cross the 200 million population mark by 2033 — not in 2050, as indicated in the article. Setting aside for a moment social and economic ramifications, what will happen to the remaining 100 Sundarbans’ forest tigers in this human population growth scenario? Country sees 10 lakh unwanted births a year.