Fertility (demo_fer)

Reference Metadata in Euro SDMX Metadata Structure (ESMS)

Compiling agency: Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.


Eurostat metadata
Reference metadata
1. Contact
2. Metadata update
3. Statistical presentation
4. Unit of measure
5. Reference Period
6. Institutional Mandate
7. Confidentiality
8. Release policy
9. Frequency of dissemination
10. Accessibility and clarity
11. Quality management
12. Relevance
13. Accuracy
14. Timeliness and punctuality
15. Coherence and comparability
16. Cost and Burden
17. Data revision
18. Statistical processing
19. Comment
Related Metadata
Annexes (including footnotes)



For any question on data and metadata, please contact: EUROPEAN STATISTICAL DATA SUPPORT

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1. Contact Top
1.1. Contact organisation

Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

1.2. Contact organisation unit

Unit F2: Population

1.5. Contact mail address

2920 Luxembourg LUXEMBOURG


2. Metadata update Top
2.1. Metadata last certified 23/05/2017
2.2. Metadata last posted 23/05/2017
2.3. Metadata last update 23/05/2017


3. Statistical presentation Top
3.1. Data description

Eurostat’s annual data collections on demographic statistics are structured as follows:

Data Collection

Info & Legislation

NOWCAST

Annual data collection on provisional monthly data on live births and deaths covering at least six months of the reference year (Article 4.3 of the Commission implementing regulation (EU) No 205/2014)

DEMOBAL

Demographic balance

Annual data collection on provisional data on population, total live births and total deaths at national level (Article 4.1 of the Commission implementing regulation (EU) No 205/2014)

UNIDEMO
Unified Demographic

The most in-depth annual national and regional demographic and migration data collection. The data relate to populations, births, deaths, immigrants, emigrants, marriages and divorces, and is broken down into several categories (Article 3 of Regulation (EU) No 1260/2013 and Article 3 of Regulation (EC) No 862/2007).

The aim is to collect annual mandatory and voluntary demographic data from the national statistical institutes. Mandatory data are those defined by the legislation listed under ‘6.1. Institutional mandate - legal acts and other agreements’.

The completeness of the demographic data collected on a voluntary basis depends on the availability and completeness of information provided by the national statistical institutes. For more information on mandatory/voluntary data collection, see 6.1. Institutional mandate - legal acts and other agreements’.

The following statistics on live births are collected from the National Statistical Institutes:

  • Live births by month of occurrence
  • Live births by mother's age, year of birth and by:

- region (NUTS 2) of residence
- region (NUTS 3) of residence
- mother's country of birth
- mother's country of citizenship
- live-birth order
- sex of the new-born
- mother's legal marital status
- employment status of the mother
- mother's educational attainment (ISCED 2011)

  • Live births by birth weight and duration of gestation
  • Legally induced abortions by mother's age and parity
  • Late fœtal deaths by mother's age.

Statistics on fertility: based on the different breakdowns of data on live births and on legally induced abortions received, Eurostat produces the following:

  • Statistics available in the online table Population change - Demographic balance and crude rates at national level (demo_gind):

- natural change of the population, crude birth rate

  • Statistics available in the online table Fertility indicators (demo_find):

- the proportion of live births outside marriage
- total fertility rate
- the mean age of women at childbirth
- the mean age of women at the birth of first / second / third / fourth and higher child
- the percentage of first / second / third / fourth and higher live births Fertility rates by age (demo_frate)

  • Fertility rates by age and NUTS 2 region (demo_r_frate2)
  • Total fertility rate by NUTS 3 region (demo_r_frate3)
  • Statistics available in the online table Abortion indicators (demo_fabortind):

- abortion rate
- abortion ratio

3.2. Classification system

The following classification systems are used:

- International standard classification on education (ISCED)

- Nomenclature of territorial units for statistics (NUTS 2013)

3.3. Coverage - sector

Not applicable.

3.4. Statistical concepts and definitions

Live births: births of children that showed any sign of life. It is the total number of births excluding stillbirths (total births include live births and stillbirths).

Legally induced abortions: induced expulsion of the foetus during the first part of a pregnancy, permitted by law for health or other reasons.

Late foetal deaths or stillbirths: the expulsion or extraction from the mother of a dead foetus after the time at which it would normally be presumed capable of independent extrauterine existence (commonly taken to be after 24 to 28 weeks of gestation). This does not include infants who are born alive but die shortly after birth.

Crude birth rate: the ratio of the number of live births during the year to the average population in that year. The value is expressed per 1000 population.

Fertility rates by mother's age (age specific fertility rate): the ratio of the number of live births to mothers of age x to the average female population of age x.

Total fertility rate: it is computed by adding the age specific fertility rates for women in a given year. It can be interpreted as the mean number of children that would be born alive to a woman during her lifetime if she were to pass through her childbearing years conforming to the fertility rates by age of a given year, and surviving.

Mean age of women at childbirth: the mean age of women when their children are born (live births).

Mean age of women at birth of first child: the mean age of women delivering their first child (live births).

Mean age of women at birth of second child: the mean age of women delivering their second child (live births).

Mean age of women at birth of third child: the mean age of women delivering their third child (live births).

Mean age of women at birth of fourth and higher order child: the mean age of women delivering their fourth or higher order child (live births).

Abortion rate: The number of abortions per 1 000 women in reproductive ages in a given year.

Abortion ratio: The number of abortions per 1000 live births in a given year.

Age definition:

Most National Statistical Institutes of the EU Member States provide data on the number of live births by both dimensions: mother's age and mother's year of birth. Live births are compiled and disseminated, based on the data collected, as follows:

- by mother's age at last birthday (also referred as age completed), and

- by mother's age reached during the year (also referred to as data by year of birth).

The availability of data on live births by the two concepts among the countries starts at different moment of time series.

Eurostat uses the concept of age completed when calculating fertility indicators.

3.5. Statistical unit

The statistical unit used is ''number'', as indicated in the online database or by the title of tables.

3.6. Statistical population

The statistical population is the total population. For more information on the population concepts used, please see the reference metadata on Population.

3.7. Reference area

The live births statistics are disseminated by single country, by region and by aggregates of countries, as follows:

a) EU member countries and their regional structure as defined by the Nomenclature of territorial units for statistics.

b) EU candidate countries and their regional structure, also based on the NUTS regional classification system.

c) European Free Trade Assoication (EFTA) countries and their agreed statistical regions, also based on the NUTS regional classification system.

d) Other countries: Andorra, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Moldova, Russian Federation, San Marino, Kosovo (under UNSCR 1244) and Ukraine.

e) The geographical aggregates: European Union and euro area (dissemination covers at least their current and previous form), the European Economic Area (EEA) and the EFTA.

For details on geographical changes that have taken place over time, see the notes by country under 15.2 Comparability over time.

National refers to the territory of a Member State within the meaning of Regulation (EC) No 1059/2003, applicable at the reference time.

Regional refers to NUTS level 1, NUTS level 2 or NUTS level 3 as defined in Regulation (EC) No 1059/2003 and according to the classification in force at the reference time. When this term is used in connection with countries that are not members of the European Union, 'regional' means the statistical regions at level 1, 2 or 3 as agreed between those countries and the Commission (Eurostat), at the reference time.

3.8. Coverage - Time

The time series compiled and published in the Eurostat database varies, depending on the breakdowns, with the longest time series starting in 1960 for national data and 1990 for regional data, and continuing through to the latest available reference year.

The completeness of the time series for demographic and migration statistics collected on a voluntary basis before the regulations listed under ‘6.1 Institutional mandate - legal acts and other agreements’ entered into force,and for statistics that continue to be supplied to Eurostat on a voluntary basis, depends on the availability of data sent to Eurostat by the national statistical institutes.

3.9. Base period

Not applicable.


4. Unit of measure Top

Data on live births are disseminated as integer numbers and as rates.


5. Reference Period Top

The reference period for vital events data is the calendar year in which the events occurred. For the monthly time series the reference period is the month of occurrence.


6. Institutional Mandate Top
6.1. Institutional Mandate - legal acts and other agreements

Regulation (EU) No 1260/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council on European demographic statistics.

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 205/2014 of EP and Council Regulation (EU) No 1260/2013

Commission Regulation (EU) No 31/2011 of 17 January 2011 amending annexes to Regulation (EC) No 1059/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the establishment of a common classification of territorial units for statistics (NUTS) (legislation reflects NUTS-2010 classification currently available).

Commission Regulation (EU) No 1046/2012 on implementing Regulation (EC) No 1059/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the establishment of a common classification of territorial units for statistics (NUTS), as regards the transmission of the time series for the new regional breakdown. (legislation refers to HTS NUTS-2010 classification currently available).

Commission Regulation (EU) No 868/2014 amending the annexes to Regulation (EC) No 1059/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the establishment of a common classification of territorial units for statistics (NUTS). (legislation reflects NUTS-2013 classification currently in force; to be applied March 2016).

Commission Regulation (EU) No 1319/2013 of 9 December 2013 amending annexes to Regulation (EC) No 1059/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the establishment of a common classification of territorial units for statistics (NUTS). (legislation reflects NUTS-2013 classification currently in force; to be applied March 2016)

Referring to series listed in "3.1. Data description", data collected on voluntary basis are:

  • live births by mother's age, year of birth and mother's legal marital status
  • live births by mother's age, year of birth and employment status of the mother
  • live births by mother's age, year of birth and mother's educational attainment (ISCED 2011)
  • live births by birth weight and duration of gestation
  • legally induced abortions by mother's age and parity
  • late fœtal deaths by mother's age.
6.2. Institutional Mandate - data sharing

Not applicable.


7. Confidentiality Top
7.1. Confidentiality - policy

Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 on European statistics (recital 24 and Article 20(4)) of 11 March 2009 (OJ L 87, p. 164), stipulates the need to establish common principles and guidelines ensuring the confidentiality of data used for the production of European statistics and the access to those confidential data with due account for technical developments and the requirements of users in a democratic society and Amending Regulation (EU) No 2015/759 of 29 April 2015 as regards the violation of statistical confidentiality.

7.2. Confidentiality - data treatment

Not applicable.


8. Release policy Top
8.1. Release calendar

Calendar

Data Collection

July of year T

Total number of live births in year T-1

February
March of year T+1

Live births in year T-1 by

     - month

     - detailed breakdowns referring to mothers' characteristics

Fertility indicators of year T-1

Legally induced abortions and abortion indicators of year T-1

July of year T+1

Total number of live births in year T

Notes:

The most up-to-date data on total live births are in the ''Demographic balance and crude rates (demo_gind)'' table in the online database. This table includes the latest updates (or revised data) on total population, births and deaths reported by the countries. The detailed breakdowns by various characteristics included in the rest of the tables can be sent to Eurostat at a later date.

There are a few situations in which different figures for live births births statistics might be displayed in different population tables at a given moment in time:

- Timing of data sending/resending if the live births statistics based on various breakdowns are revised. 
- The order of the annual demography data collections described above, updating the total live births and the breakdowns of live births figures by various characteristics at differenttimes during the calendar year.
- The calendar of the national statistical institutes for producing and releasing live births statistics broken down by characteristics that fall under voluntary data collection/when data are sent to Eurostat (timing).

8.2. Release calendar access

Not  available.

8.3. Release policy - user access

In line with the Community legal framework and the European Statistics Code of Practice Eurostat disseminates European statistics on Eurostat's website (see item 10 - 'Accessibility and clarity') respecting professional independence and in an objective, professional and transparent manner in which all users are treated equitably. The detailed arrangements are governed by the Eurostat protocol on impartial access to Eurostat data for users.


9. Frequency of dissemination Top

Population statistics are continuously revised according to the most recent data released and sent to Eurostat by the national statistical institutes. The geographical aggregates and the demographic indicators are revised accordingly.

The statistics are published in line with the information in 8.1 Release calendar and 17.1 Data revision-policy.


10. Accessibility and clarity Top
10.1. Dissemination format - News release

News releases on-line.

10.2. Dissemination format - Publications

Statistics Explained articles on Eurostat website

Eurostat yearbook

Eurostat regional yearbook

Domain-specific publications 

10.3. Dissemination format - online database

Eurostat’s Data Navigation Tree.

10.4. Dissemination format - microdata access

Not applicable.

10.5. Dissemination format - other

Not applicable.

10.6. Documentation on methodology

"Demographic statistics: A review of definitions and methods of collection in 44 European countries", Eurostat, 2015 edition.

More information regarding methodology by country is in annexes.

10.7. Quality management - documentation

Not available.


11. Quality management Top
11.1. Quality assurance

Quality assurance is part of data processing. Statistical products and processes are systematically reviewed in compliance with Quality Assurance Framework of the European Statistical System.

11.2. Quality management - assessment

The Article 11 of the Regulation (EU) No 1260/2013 states that the Commission shall also submit reports on its implementation to the European Parliament and the Council as follows:

- first report by 31 December 2018;

- second report by 31 December 2023.

These reports will aim to assess the quality of data sent to Eurostat by Member States and EFTA countries and data collection methods used. If appropriate, they should be accompanied by proposals to improve the legal framework for population and vital event statistics under this Regulation.


12. Relevance Top
12.1. Relevance - User Needs

Live births statistics and demographic statistics in general are widely used for planning actions and for monitoring and evaluating programmes in a number of social and economic policy areas. These include:

  • assessing fertility as background for family policies;
  • evaluating the economic impact of demographic change;
  • analysis of population ageing and its effects on sustainability and welfare;
  • calculating 'per capita' indicators;
  • determining the number of votes each Member State has in qualified majority voting in the Council, for EU decision-making.

Demographic trend and developments have a strong impact on the societies of the individual countries and of the EU. Demographic statistics on the size, structure and evolution of Europe's population are used in a wide range of policy areas.

12.2. Relevance - User Satisfaction

No user' satisfaction surveys have been carried out.

12.3. Completeness

Data completeness depends on the availability of data from the national statistical institutes.


13. Accuracy Top
13.1. Accuracy - overall

Not available.

13.2. Sampling error

Not applicable.

13.3. Non-sampling error

Not applicable.


14. Timeliness and punctuality Top
14.1. Timeliness

For information on the timeliness of data release, see 8.1 Release calendar.

14.2. Punctuality

Not applicable.


15. Coherence and comparability Top
15.1. Comparability - geographical

The recommended definition of the population, in line with the Regulation 1260/2013, is the 'usually resident population' and means all the persons having their usual residence in a Member State at the reference time. In accordance with this concept, the following persons are considered to be usually residents of the geographical area in question: those who have lived in their place of usual residence for a continuous period of at least 12 months before the reference date or those who arrived in their place of usual residence during the 12 months before the reference date with the intention of staying there for at least one year. Where the circumstances described above cannot be established, 'usual residence' can be taken to mean the place of legal or registered residence.

According to Regulation 1260/2013, live births statistics should refer to the same concept used for population statistics. If population is counted under the usual residence definition, then the live births should be those originating from usually resident mothers. The metadata information sent by the countries confirms that live births statistics are consistent in deffinition with the population from which they originate (see metadata information on Population for comparison).

Classification of the live births by mother's residence

Usual Residence

Legal Residence

Registered Residence

BG, CZ, CY, DE, EE, EL, ES, FI, FR, HR, HU, IE, IT, LT, LU, LV, ME, MT, PL, PT, RO, RS, SI, SK, UK

CH, LI

AT, BE, CZ, DE, DK, ES, IS, ME, NL, NO, SE, TR

15.2. Comparability - over time

Breaks in data series could compromise comparability over time. Any breaks in population series due to changes in methodology and data processing or revisions to population counts reported by the countries in question are documented in the Eurostat database using flag b (break in series).

The population data for 2011 and beyond take into account the results of the latest population census (held in 2011). The time series of populations between the previous census and 2011 was revised by some countries at the end of 2013, taking Eurostat’s recommendation into account (for more information about data revision per country, see 17. Data revision).

Over time, certain countries have been subject to geographical changes (see below):

  • FX stands for Metropolitan France, including Corsica and excluding the overseas departments (DOM).
  • FR stands for France as a whole, including the overseas departments (DOM). Data on Saint Barthelemey are excluded as of 1.1.2012. Data on Mayotte are included, starting with the statistics on vital events for the reference year 2014 and the statistics on population on 1.1.2015.
  • The European geographical aggregates (EU, EA and EEA) include FX up to 1997 and FR from 1998 onwards. This change is indicated by flag b (break in series) in the EU statistics for 1998.
  • The time series for Germany (DE_TOT) refer to the Federal Republic of Germany after 3 October 1990.
  • As of 1.1.1975, data for Cyprus (CY) refer to the government-controlled area;
  • Up to 1.1.2000, population data for Malta (MT) refer to the Maltese population only. However, as of 2001 figures also include foreign residents. This is indicated by flag b (break in series) in the figures for 2001.
  • As of 1.1.2010, the statistics on the permanent resident population of Switzerland (CH) include all people in the asylum process who have been residing in Switzerland for 12 months or more. The change is reflected in Eurostat population figures starting with populations reported on 1.1.2011.
  • As of 1.1.2011, Belgium (BE) national population figures refer to all registered people, including asylum seekers.
  • As of 1.1.2010, Poland (PL) revised the methodology used to estimate the usually resident population. This is indicated by a flag b (break in series) in the figures for 2010.
  • As of 1.1.2012, the reported Estonian (EE) population includes the migration component, whereas this was not included before.
15.3. Coherence - cross domain

Not applicable.

15.4. Coherence - internal

See 8.1. Release calendar.


16. Cost and Burden Top

Not applicable.


17. Data revision Top
17.1. Data revision - policy

Eurostat’s policy on demographic statistics is to carry out updates as soon it receives data and at any time during the year.

In conformity with Regulation (EC) No 205/2014, Member States shall inform the Commission (Eurostat) of any planned revision of the data supplied no later than 1 week before the release of the revised data in the Member State concerned. Subsequently, countries shall send any revised data to Eurostat no later than one week after the release of these data.

17.2. Data revision - practice

Live births statistics are are continuously revised according to the most recent data released and sent to Eurostat by the national statistical institutes. The geographical aggregates and the demographic indicators are revised accordingly.

The status of the data is indicated by using flags (p = provisional data; e = estimated; b = break in time series; f = forecast).


18. Statistical processing Top
18.1. Source data

Data are collected by Eurostat from the National Statistical Institutes.

The Table below shows the sources of live birth statistics declared by the NSIs:

 

 

Data sources on live births statistics by country

AT

Civil Registry Offices. From 1/11/2014 onwards Central Civil Register.

BE

Belgian population register

BG

Population register

BY

Data on births are compiled on the basis of administrative data from birth records filled in by civil registration authorities.

CH

Civil status registers

CY

Civil Registry and Migration Department, Health Monitoring Unit (Ministry of Health)

CZ

Statistical reports on birth provided to the CZSO by Registry Offices

DE

Information not provided

DK

Population register 

EE

Population Register and Estonian Medical Birth Registry.

EL

Sources of information for vital statistics are administrative records (Marriage, Birth and Death Certificates) provided by Registries from all around country.

ES

Birth data are obtained from the Statistical Birth Bulletin, filled out by the parents, relatives or health staff so obligated by law to declare the childbirth and recorded in the Civil Register

FI

Population Information System of Population Register Centre

FR

Civil status

HR

Data source for births are registers of births kept in registrars’ offices of every particular area.

HU

The source of data on live births are civil registrars and health institutions.

IE

General Registration Office

IS

Population register(s) 

IT

Registration for birth in the Municipal Population Registers (Anagrafi).

LI

Central Population Register. No major changes since the first reference year.

LT

The main data source are data from the central database of the Residents’ Register of the Residents’ Register Service.

LU

Municipalities

LV

Data from registers filled in by Civil Registry Offices; data on born abroad (in case, the usual residence of mother is Latvia) from Population Register.

ME

The data source is administrative source – Registry Office that is managed by state administration body responsible for internal affairs (Ministry of Interiors).

MT

Compilation of births statistics is carried out using administrative data.

NL

Population register 

NO

Central Population Register

PL

Vital Statistics - administrative data.

PT

Administrative records provided by Civil Registration Offices/Ministry of Justice plus information provided by individuals at the time of birth registration act. 

RO

Administrative data source: Public Community Services for Persons Records within the City Halls of all localities

RS

Registers of births kept in registrars' offices of every particular area  

SE

The Total Population Register 

SI

National Institute of Public Health, Central Population Register

SK

Exhaustive monthly survey covering all births to mothers with permanent residence in the Slovak Republic. Statistical Report on Birth (OBYV 1-12) 

UK

Birth statistics are based on information collected when a birth is registered.

18.2. Frequency of data collection

Data are collected annually.

18.3. Data collection

The annual data collections are carried out by Eurostat using data provided by the national statistical institutes in order to publish updated statistics. The demographic data collections contain both mandatory and voluntary data (see 3.1. Data description).

18.4. Data validation

Eurostat checks raw data sent by the national statistical offices to see if the total of a variable is consistent with the breakdown by different variables. It also does cross-checks to see if different breakdowns of the same variable are consistent.

Based on the detailed collected data, Eurostat calculates a series of demographic statistics. The demographic indicators calculated in the standard way are validated in the context of the available time series. The validation rules include checking the plausibility of the most up-to-date annual value and two consecutive annual values. Mathematical checks are carried out using standard deviations and the weighted average.

For more information on data validation, see http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/data/data-validation.

18.5. Data compilation

Based on the detailed national figures on population and other demographic events sent to Eurostat by the national statistical institutes, Eurostat derives/calculates demographic indicators and geographical aggregates using common calculation methods.

Geographical aggregation

For statistics on live births expressed in numbers, geographical aggregation is done by arithmetical sum if no values are missing from the components of the geographical aggregate in question. Otherwise the geographical aggregates are not calculated.

For fertility rates, the geographical aggregates are calculated using the same method as for an individual country. The input for calculation is the aggregated data described above.

18.6. Adjustment

Not applicable.


19. Comment Top

Not available.


Related metadata Top


Annexes Top
Statistics on live births - Documentation on methodology by country