Determinants of the age of mother at first birth in Bangladesh: quantile regression approach



This paper attempts to explore the determinants that determine the mother’s age at first birth in Bangladesh by using a data set obtained from Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey (BDHS)-2014.

Study design

The sampling frame used for the 2014 BDHS is the complete list of enumeration areas (EAs) covering the whole country prepared by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics for the 2011 population census of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. An EA is a geographic area covering on average 113 households. However, the 2014 BDHS sample was stratified and selected in two stages. In the first stage, 600 EAs were selected with probability proportional to the EA size. Also, in the second stage of selection, a fixed number of 30 households per cluster will be selected with an equal probability systematic selection from the newly created household listing.


The quantile regression model produces more unbiased estimates than the linear regression model when the data do not follow the assumed normal distribution. Thus, this paper considers the quantile regression model.


The results suggest that variables such as the type of place of residence, religious status, husband’s age and his occupation, body mass index, and wealth index of the respondent are positively related to the age of mother at first birth. However, variables such as current age, highest educational level, and occupation of the respondent, division and husband/partner’s education level are negatively related to the age of mother at first birth.


The results show that the average age of mothers at first birth is just under 18 years, which is just under the age of marriage in Bangladesh. It is quite alarming to the government of Bangladesh. Therefore, the government should take the necessary steps to achieve an increase in the age of mothers at first birth.

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Fig. 1
Fig. 2



Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey


National Institute for Population, Research, and Training


United States Agency for International Development


Ordinary Least Square


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The authors are grateful to National Institute for Population, Research, and Training and Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, Bangladesh for providing the necessary data. The authors are grateful to the editor and anonymous referees for careful checking the manuscript and for their valuable comments which improve the quality of the paper.

Author information




MMH performed statistical analyses, interpreted results, and drafted the manuscript. AKM contributed to designing the study and interpreting results, and critically reviewed the manuscript and approved the final version.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Md. Moyazzem Hossain.

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Ethics approval and consent to participate

This study is considered a secondary data set and Ministry of Health and Welfare, Bangladesh is responsible in this regard.

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Not applicable.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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Hossain, M.M., Majumder, A.K. Determinants of the age of mother at first birth in Bangladesh: quantile regression approach. J Public Health (Berl.) 27, 419–424 (2019).

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  • Quantile regression
  • Age at first birth
  • Bangladesh