Human Fertility Data Project

Aiva Jasilioniene, Demographic Research Centre, Vytautas Magnus University

The Human Fertility Data Project www.humanfertility.org and www.fertilitydata.org

The Human Fertility Data Project consists of two interrelated databases: Human Fertility Database (HFD) and Human Fertility Collection (HFC). Human Fertility Database was created in response to the growing need of high-quality internationally comparable population-level fertility data. Launched in 2009, the HFD is a collaborative endeavour of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock (Germany) and the Vienna Institute of Demography / Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital.

The HFD is based on official vital statistics and provides detailed period and cohort fertility data. Because of strict data quality requirements, the HFD features data only for developed countries maintaining full coverage of vital statistics. Great emphasis is placed on checking both input and output data files, on ensuring internal and external data consistency, and on careful documentation of published data. All data are processed and data files are produced using uniform methods and following a uniform data design. As a result, the HFD provides standardised sets of fertility measures and indicators that are comparable across countries and over time and are also available by birth order, parity, and cohort dimensions. By providing free access to detailed fertility data which meet high quality standards, the HFD offers new opportunities for fertility research based on population-level data and promotes more sophisticated analyses and methodological advances.

In 2013 a companion database, the Human Fertility Collection, was launched, to supplement the HFD by incorporating a variety of international fertility data that are valuable for fertility research but do not meet all quality criteria of the HFD. This presentation will introduce the goals of the HFD data project, describe available data and methodology, and explain what makes the two databases unique and useful in comparison to other existing fertility data sources.


Presented in Session 1238: Data and Methods