Indirect Estimates of Total Fertility Rate Using Child Woman/Ratio: A Comparison with the Bogue-Palmore Method


Indirect estimation methodologies of the total fertility rate (TFR) have a long history within demography and have provided important techniques applied demographers can use when data is sparse or lacking. However new methodologies for approximating the total fertility rate have not been proposed in nearly 30 years. This study presents a novel method for indirectly approximating the total fertility rate using an algebraic rearrangement of the general fertility rate (GFR) through the known relationship between GFR and TFR. It then compares the proposed method to the well-known Bogue-Palmore method. These methods are compared in 196 countries and include overall errors as well as characteristics of the countries that contribute to fertility behavior. Additionally, these methods were compared geographically to find any geographical patterns. We find this novel method is not only simpler than the Bogue-Palmore method, requiring fewer data inputs, but also has reduced algebraic and absolute errors when compared with the Bogue-Palmore method and specifically outperforms the Bogue-Palmore method in developing countries. We find that our novel method may be useful estimation procedure for demographers.

PLoS ONE, (8), 6, pp. e67226,