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When to use whole numbers versus decimals Fri, 15 February 2013 09:54
 DHS user Messages: 103Registered: February 2013 Senior Member
When is it acceptable to round to the nearest whole number and when do I need to include one decimal place?
Re: When to use whole numbers versus decimals [message #36 is a reply to message #35] Fri, 15 February 2013 10:10
 Sarah-DHS Messages: 52Registered: February 2013 Senior Member
In general, percentages can be rounded to the nearest whole number. Examples include (but are not limited to): contraceptive prevalence, births delivered in health facilities, children fully immunized, households with an insecticide-treated mosquito net. The exception for rounding percentages is HIV prevalence. Typically, HIV prevalence is presented including one decimal place. However, in some countries where HIV prevalence is higher (mainly southern Africa), HIV prevalence can be rounded to the nearest whole number.

Examples of DHS data that are presented with one decimal place include:
Total Fertility Rate: 6.4 children per woman
Medians: Median Age at First Birth is 18.7 years, Median Age at First Marriage, Median Age at First Sexual Intercourse
Means: Mean Ideal Number of Children is 4.1 children, Average Number of Mosquito Nets per Household, Mean Number of Sexual Partners in Lifetime

Rates and ratios are presented as whole numbers. They should also include the denominator. For example:
Age-specific fertility rate: 116 births per 1,000 women
Under-five mortality rate: 108 deaths per 1,000 live births
Maternal mortality ratio: 454 deaths per 100,000 live births

[Updated on: Fri, 15 February 2013 10:11]

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