Asia-Pacific Population Research Reports (1995-1998)

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Asia-Pacific Population Research Reports provided an informative discussion of research on important population issues facing the Asia-Pacific region. They were intended for social and health scientists, policymakers, program managers, and the interested public. Each Research Report was accompanied by an Asia-Pacific Population Research Abstract. Funding for this series was provided by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

No. 12. The changing demographic and social profile of youth in Asia: Research Report by Peter Xenos and Midea Kabamalan. October 1998. 24 pp.

Data on recent demographic and social changes in Asia indicate how a permanent demographic transition from high to low fertility gives rise to a transitional, temporary, but quite predictable youth bulge. The 15- 24-year-old age group grows from about 16-18 percent of the total population to about 20-24 percent, then subsides to the pretransitional level some 30 years after the onset of fertility decline, and finally rests at a stable level of about 12 percent. Social elements of this youth transition include a shift to later marriage, rising school enrollment, changes in labor force participation, and changes in sexual behavior. These changes, and the pace at which they occur, have important implications for social policy.

No. 11. An evaluation of the 1993-94 Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey within the Matlab area: Research Abstract by Radheshyam Bairagi, Stan Becker, Andrew Kantner, Karen B. Allen, Ashish Datta, and Keith Purvis. May 1997. 12 pp.

The 1993-94 Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) reported substantial declines in vital rates, with fertility dropping to levels that some demographers thought implausible. The demographic data base of the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B) provided a unique opportunity to validate the DHS results. A recent validation study suggested that the DHS accurately estimated fertility for the Matlab area, lending confidence to the fertility estimates obtained from the national DHS. The study also suggested that the DHS may have underestimated contraceptive prevalence, particularly for modern temporary methods. If contraceptive use at the national level is higher than reported in the DHS, a total fertility rate for Bangladesh of 3.4 children per woman may be quite plausible.

No. 10. Reevaluating the unmet need for family planning in the Philippines: Research Report by Aurora E. Perez and James A. Palmore. April 1997. 16 pp.

According to the standard definition, women have an unmet need for family planning if they say they wish to space or limit births but are not using contraception. Based on results from the 1993 National Demographic survey in the Philippines, the authors propose a new definition that classifies women with unmet need into three groups: those with unmet need according to the standard definition, those with unmet need due to health risk, and those with unmet need due to poor contraceptive use. The prevalence of unmet need in the Philippines is 26 percent based on the standard definition alone but rises to 48 percent when the broader definition is used.

No. 9. Determinants of two major early-childhood diseases and their treatment in the Philippines: Findings from the 1993 National Demographic Survey: Research Report by Michael A. Costello, Lauro C. Lleno, and Eric R. Jensen. August 1996. 16 pp.

Using data on infants and children from the 1993 National Demographic Survey (NDS) in the Philippines, this report investigates the conditions under which young children remain healthy or become ill with acute respiratory infection or diarrhea and either receive or do not receive treatment. As expected, several conventional indicators of socioeconomic status were related negatively to current illness and positively to the quality of treatment provided. There were, however, some interesting deviations from the expected pattern. These suggest that some of the practices advocated by the Philippine Department of Health’s primary health-care program are accepted more fully by lower-status couples than by the wealthier and better educated.

No. 8. Family planning programs in Asia: Approaching a half-century of effort: Research Report by Amy Ong Tsui. April 1996. 24 pp.

This report reviews the emergence, establishment, and maturation of family planning programs in the countries of East, South, and Southeast Asia that had developing status as of 1970. To understand why some programs have been more successful than others, the author examines the characteristics of family planning organizations—their policy environment, financial and human resources, service infrastructure, and levels of service production and consumption. She goes on to postulate how family planning programs in Asia may evolve over the next half century.

No. 7. Demographic and social change in the island nations of the Pacific: Research Report by Dennis A. Ahlburg. February 1996. 28 pp.

Most Pacific Island nations have small populations, but in several countries populations are growing rapidly as a result of high fertility rates, young age structures, and low or declining mortality rates. Projected declines in fertility, mortality, and migration will slow the region's rates of popuation growth over the next 35 years. Nevertheless, all countries of the Pacific will experience substantial population increases, and growth rates will remain high in several Melanesian and Micronesian countries.

No. 6. Is the situation of women in Asia improving or deteriorating?: Research Report by Karen Oppenheim Mason with the assistance of Amy Cardamone, Jill Holdren, and Leah Retherford. September 1995. 20 pp.

Using several indicators of status, this report assesses Asian women's situation, especially in relation to men, in a variety of economic and cultural settings. Where possible, it describes changes in their situation during the last three to four decades and notes tendencies toward improvement or degradation according to a society's development level. The evidence reviewed indicates that despite economic development, a society's social and cultural traditions can have an enduring impact on women's lives. Nevertheless, in most part of Asia, women today appear to be better off than their counterparts of 20-30 years ago.

No. 5. What can we say about fertility trends in Bangladesh? An evaluation of the 1991 population census: Research Report by Andrew Kantner, Charles Lerman, and Mohammed Yusuf. June 1995. 16 pp.

Although evidence from various sources indicates that fertility has fallen substantially in Bangladesh, actual fertility levels remain uncertain. This report provides an assessment of the 1991 population census and discusses fertility levels and trends implied by the census and other recent sources of information, including the previous census, the 1989 Bangladesh Fertility Survey, and the 1991 Contraceptive Prevalence Survey

No. 4. Aging in Asia: Setting the research foundation: Research Report by Albert I. Hermalin. April 1995. 20 pp.

Asia's populations will grow rapidly older during the next 50 years. Governments of the region are concerned about the social and economic consequences of population aging and wish to design policies and programs that reflect national cultural and economic profiles. This report develops a framework for understanding the factors that affect the status and well-being of the elderly and spells out a policy-oriented research agenda for monitoring changes likely to occur in the cultural, social, and economic arrangements for this age group.

No. 3. How Japan and the newly industrialized economies of Asia are responding to labor scarcity: Research Report by John G. Bauer. March 1995. 16 pp.

In Japan and Asia's newly industrialized economies—Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan—labor is scarce and labor costs are rising. Labor force growth is expected to slow dramatically by 2010, exacerbating labor scarcity and causing labor costs to rise further. Producers have reacted by switching to high-value-added industries, increasing automation and the capital-intensity of production, and moving manufacturing operations overseas. They are also importing foreign workers, encouraging more women to join the labor force, and prolonging the participation of older workers. To spur technological progress, they are spending heavily on education, training, and research and development.

No. 2. Scenarios for the AIDS epidemic in Asia: Research Report by James Chin. February 1995. 16 pp.

Since the late 1980s, explosive epidemics of HIV, the AIDS virus, have been documented in several South and Southeast Asian countries, causing alarm about its potentially devastating impact. This report describes the patterns and prevalence of HIV and AIDS in Asia as of mid-1994 and projects the course of the epidemic and its impact on mortality among adults in the 20-49 age group to the year 2010. The use and misuses of HIV scenarios for policy purposes are discussed and recommendations for action offered.

No. 1. Asia's fertility transition and prospects for future demographic change: Research Report by Ronald Freedman. January 1995. 28 pp.

Between the late 1960s and the late 1980s, Asian fertility fell by 39 percent, or 62 percent of the way toward the population-replacement level of 2.1 children per woman. This report surveys fertility trends over the period, focusing on 24 countries that together account for 56 percent of the world's population. Three factors usually believed to account for the rapid fertility decline in most of Asia's subregions and countries are mortality decline, broad social and economic development, and effective national family planning programs. The author assesses the current demographic situation, the role of the three factors and of plausible pathways for reducing fertility, and likely future fertility levels in individual subregions and countries.

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