The EDHS is part of the worldwide Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) program, which is designed to collect data on fertility, family planning, and maternal and child health.
The main objective of the EDHS is to provide policymakers and programme formulators in population and health with adequate and reliable information. The EDHS collected information on demographic characteristics, fertility, infant and child mortality, maternal mortality, nuptiality, fertility preferences, family planning and health-related matters such as breastfeeding practices, antenatal care, children's immunization, childhood disease, nutritional status of mothers and young children and awareness and behaviour regarding sexually transmitted diseases including AIDS.
The objectives of the EDHS are to:
- Collect data at the national level which will allow the calculation of demographic rates, particularly fertility and childhood mortality rates;
- Analyze the direct and indirect factors which determine levels and trends of fertility;
- Measure the level of contraceptive knowledge and practice (women and men) by urban-rural residence;
- Collect reliable data on maternal and child health indicators: immunizations, prevalence and treatment of diarrhea and diseases among children under age three, antenatal care visits, assistance at delivery, and breastfeeding;
- Assess the nutritional status of children under age three, and their mothers, by means of anthropometric measurements (height and weight ) and analysis of child feeding practices; and
- Assess the prevailing level of specific knowledge and attitudes regarding AIDS and to evaluate patterns of recent behavior regarding condom use, among women and men.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data
Unit of Analysis
- Children under five years
- Women age 15-49
- Men age 15-59
Unit of Analysis
- Children under five years
- Women age 15-49
- Men age 15-59
Producers and sponsors
Authoring entity/Primary investigators
National Statistics Office (NSO)
Macro International Inc.
United States Agency for International Development
United Nations Children's Fund
United Nations Population Fund
The EDHS employed a nationally representative, multi-stage probability sample of women between the ages of 15 and 49. The five main reporting domains are: the country as a whole, all urban areas, the capital Asmara, other urban areas outside Asmara, and rural areas. Estimates of selected variables were also produced for each of the six administrative zones j in the country.
Since there has been no national census, the sampling frame used for the survey was constructed from a combination of data sources. In rural areas, the sampling frame consisted of a list of villages with population figures collected by the Ministry of Local Government and the sampling units were villages. In urban areas, data on zobas (administrative units) and mimihidars (smaller units within zobas) collected by the NSO between August 1994 and January 1995 were used in the selection of mimihidars as sampling units. In the capital, Asmara, the sampling units were also mimihidars; however, since reliable data on population size did not exist for these mimihidars, the measure of size used for sample selection was the number of registered voters. From this, the number of households and the population size were estimated. A mapping and household listing operation was implemented to update the population size of the sampling units prior to selecting the households for the survey.
The sample for the EDHS was selected in two stages. First, 108 villages and 100 mimihidars were selected with probability proportional to size. When villages and mimihidars were very large (in population size), they were segmented and only one segment was selected for the survey, so that each cluster (sample point) corresponded generally to a village, a mimihidar, or part of a village or mimihidar. A complete listing of the households residing in the selected clusters was carried out. The list of households obtained was used as the frame for second-stage sampling, the selection of households to be visited by the EDHS survey teams during the main fieldwork. Women in these households between the ages of 15 and 49 were identified and interviewed. In one-third of the households selected for the survey, men between the ages of 15 and 59 were also interviewed.
On average, 25 households were selected in each urban cluster and 35 in each rural cluster. It was expected that the sample would yield interviews with approximately 5,000 women age 15 to 49 and 1,400 men age 15 to 59. Because of the non-proportional distribution of the sample in the 10 provinces that existed at the time of the sample design, sampling weights were applied to the data in this report.
Note: See detailed description of sample design in APPENDIX A of the survey report.
A total of 6,258 households were selected in the sample, of which 5,642 were occupied at the time of the survey ("found"). The shortfall was largely because some households no longer existed in the sampled clusters at the time of interview. Of the 5,642 households that existed at the time of the survey, 5,469 were interviewed, yielding a household response rate of 97 percent.
In the interviewed households 5,250 eligible women were identified of whom 5,054 were interviewed, yielding a response rate of 96 percent. In one-third of the households 1,267 eligible men were identified of which 1,114 were successfully interviewed (88 percent response). The lower response rate for men was due to frequent and longer absences of men for seasonal work.
Urban response rates were higher than rural response rates, the difference being especially pronounced for the men's survey. In urban areas, 91 percent of eligible men were interviewed, compared with 85 percent of men in rural areas.
Note: See summarized response rates by place of residence in Table 1.1 of the survey report.
Dates of Data Collection (YYYY/MM/DD)
Mode of data collection
Type of Research Instrument
Four types of questionnaires were used in the Eritrea Demographic and Health Survey: the Household Questionnaire, the Women's Questionnaire, the Men's Questionnaire, and the Service Availability Questionnaire. The Service Availability Questionnaire was based on the model questionnaire used in many recent DHS surveys, while the other questionnaires were based on the DHS Model B Questionnaire for Low Contraceptive Prevalence Countries. After a meeting with potential data users all the questionnaires were modified slightly to adapt them to the situation in Eritrea. The Household Questionnaire was used to list the names and background characteristics of all usual members and visitors to a selected household. The Women's Questionnaire was used to collect information from women age 15-49. In addition, interviewing teams measured the height and weight of mothers and their children under age three. The EDHS survey also included three modules in the women's and the men's questionnaire, namely, maternal mortality, awareness of AIDS, and female circumcision. Information from a sub-sample of men age 15-59 was collected using a Men's Questionnaire. The Service Availability Questionnaire was used to collect information on the health, family planning services and other social services in the sampled clusters. All the questionnaires were first translated from English into Tigrigna. In addition, the Women's and Men's Questionnaires were also translated into Tigre, Kunama, and Afar.
All questionnaires for the EDHS were returned to the NSO for data processing, which consisted of office editing, coding of open-ended questions, data entry, and secondary editing (editing computer identified errors). The data were processed by a team consisting of four entry clerks and a data entry supervisor. The head of the data processing unit at the NSO provided overall supervision. Data entry and editing were accomplished using the computer program ISSA (Integrated System for Survey Analysis). Data processing commenced on 11 September 1995 and was completed on 9 March 1996.
Data Quality Tables
- Household age distribution
- Age distribution of eligible and interviewed women
- Completeness of reporting
- Births by calendar years
- Reporting of age at death in days
- Reporting of age at death in months
Note: See detailed tables in APPENDIX C of the report which is presented in this documentation.
Use of the dataset must be acknowledged using a citation which would include:
- the Identification of the Primary Investigator
- the title of the survey (including country, acronym and year of implementation)
- the survey reference number
- the source and date of download
Disclaimer and copyrights
The user of the data acknowledges that the original collector of the data, the authorized distributor of the data, and the relevant funding agency bear no responsibility for use of the data or for interpretations or inferences based upon such uses.