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Comparing the Quality of Household Age Distribution from Surveys in Developing Countries: Demographic and Health Survey vs Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey

Published: 20 December 2019

Abstract: This paper focuses on the quality of household age distribution from two surveys in developing countries. Age and sex data serve as the base population for the estimation of demographic parameters (fertility, mortality, etc.) and other socio-economic indicators. The ultimate objective is to evaluate the age and sex data from two surveys to determine the one with better age and sex reporting that may provide quality base populations for the estimation of demographic parameters and socioeconomic indicators. Algebraic methods were applied to the data retrieved from the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) and Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS). The overall results show that the quality of data from the two surveys is poor. It is observed that age and sex data from the Nigerian DHS appear to be better than that of MICS while in Bangladesh, Malawi, and Nepal the reverse is the case based on the Joint Scores (JS). The result further shows that Malawi with high literacy respondents had better JS than the other countries indicating that the level of education may be one of the determinants of the quality of age and sex data. Therefore, it is recommended that care and caution should be taken during data collection to reduce the effect of misreporting of age and the usual practice of eliciting vital records of the respondents such as age from the head of the household instead of birth certificates should be discouraged. More importantly, evaluation of age and sex data from different surveys should be done before usage to ascertain the survey with a better quality of data without always presuming that one survey is of better quality than the other.
Keywords: quality / Surveys / household / demographic / evaluate the age and sex / age and sex data

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