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. Dissemination format
11. Accessibility of documentation
12. Quality management
13. Relevance
14. Accuracy
15. Timeliness and punctuality
16. Comparability
17. Coherence
18. Cost and Burden
19. Data revision
20. Statistical processing
21. Comment
Related Metadata
Annexes (including footnotes)

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


1. ContactTop
1.1. Contact organisationEurostat, the statistical office of the European Union
1.2. Contact organisation unitUnit F1: Population
1.5. Contact mail address2920 Luxembourg LUXEMBOURG

2. Metadata updateTop
2.1. Metadata last certified12/07/2011
2.2. Metadata last posted12/07/2011
2.3. Metadata last update12/07/2011

3. Statistical presentationTop
3.1. Data description

The Fertility data at national level are based on the annual demographic data collection in the field of demography carried out by Eurostat. The completeness of information depends on the availability of data reported by the National Statistical Institutes.

The first demographic data collection of each year (T), named Rapid, is carried out in April-May (deadline 15 May of year T); during this data collection the first results on the main demographic developments in the previous year and the population on 1 January of the current year are collected from the national statistical institutes.

The Joint demographic data collection is carried out in cooperation with United Nation Statistical Division (UNSD) in the summer of each year, having the deadline 15 September. During this data collection Eurostat collects from the national statistical institutes detailed data by sex, age and other characteristics for the demographic events (births, deaths, marriages and divorces) of the previous year and the population on 1 January of the current and previous years.

The Nowcast demographic data collection is carried out in October-November (deadline 15 November of year T). The monthly time series on births, deaths, immigrants and emigrants available from the beginning of current year T are collected, with the purpose of producing a forecast on 1 January population of the following year (T+1).

More specifically, during year T the following data are collected and disseminated on fertility field:

- Total live births in year (T-1)

- Live births by month in year T

- Live births by mother's age, year of birth and legal marital status in year T-1

- Live births by mother's age, year of birth and birth order in year T-1

- Live births by mother's age and educational attainment (ISCED 1997) in year T-1

- Declared legal abortions by age in year T-1

Based on this information, Eurostat computes and disseminates the following fertility indicators: Total fertility rate, Fertility rates by mother's age (Age specific fertility rates) and Mean age of women at childbirth.

The most recent (aggregated) data on live births can be found under the 'Total population and demographic events - Annual balance (demo_gen)'. This includes also the most recent Eurostat now casts on the demographic indicators (published in December of each year). In principle, the demographic balance is updated three times per year, after each of the national data collections.

Detailed information on fertility (by age, sex and marital status, birth order, educational attainment) can be found under the section Fertility (demo_fer). This disaggregated information are updated towards the end of each year based on information collected during the Joint data collection.

Moreover, any update sent by the countries in-between data collections are validated, processed and uploaded into Eurostat's demographic database and in Eurostat's free dissemination online database as soon as possible. Aggregates are recalculated accordingly.

The data transmitted by the National Statistical Institutes are validated by Eurostat, processed and uploaded into Eurostat's Demographic Database and in Eurostat's free dissemination online database. The data are also disseminated in several thematic and horizontal Eurostat's publications.

Data are presented by single country and for aggregates of countries. For EU and Euro Area, only the current and the previous version of the aggregates are published. The currently disseminated aggregates are: EU-27, EU-25, EA-16, and EA-15. Moreover, data is disseminated for the European Economic Area (EEA) and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).

3.2. Classification system

Not applicable

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 number of births excluding stillbirths (total births include live births and stillbirths).

Stillbirth: The expulsion or extraction from the mother of a dead foetus after the time at which it would normally be resumed capable of independent extrauterine existence (commonly taken to be after 24 to 28 weeks of gestation).

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 inhabitants.

Mean age of women at childbirth: The mean age of women when their children are born.

Total fertility rate: 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.

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

Age concept:

Most National Statistical Institutes of the EU Member States provide data on the number of live births by both dimensions: mother's age and mothr'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. 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 for the calculation of the fertility indicators.

See Glossary in "Annex" at the bottom of the page.

3.5. Statistical unit

See data and indicators

3.6. Statistical population

Total population

3.7. Reference area

European Union:

a. Individual Member States of the EU-27: Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland, Sweden, United Kingdom.

Please note:

- FX stands for metropolitan France, including Corsica, excluding the overseas departments (DOM: Guadeloupe, Martinique, Guyane, Réunion)).

- FR stands for the whole France, including the overseas departments (DOM).

- The time series for Germany (DE) exclude the former GDR before 1991 and refer to the Federal Republic starting with 1991 refference year. The time series for Germany (DE_TOT) refer to the Federal Republic within its frontiers after 3 October 1990.

- Starting from 1975, data for Cyprus (CY) refer to the government-controlled area.

- Up to 2000, population data for Malta (MT) refer to the Maltese population only while, starting from 2001, figures include also foreign resident. This is indicated by a flag b (break in series) in the figures for 2001.

b. The aggregates for EU and Euro Area

Please note:

These aggregates include FX until 1997 and FR from 1998 on. This change is indicated by a flag b (break in series) in the figures for 1998.


EU Candidate countries:

Montenegro, Croatia, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey.

EFTA countries:

Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland.

The aggregates EEA and EFTA.

Please note:

The aggregate EEA includes FX until 1997 and FR from 1998 on. This change is indicated by a flag b (break in series) in the figures for 1998.

Other European countries:

Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Moldova, Montenegro, Russian Federation, San Marino, Serbia, Kosovo (under UNSCR 1244), Ukraine.

Please note:

Data for Serbia do not include Kosovo.

3.8. Coverage - Time

Time series for the EU (Member States and Candidate Countries) and EFTA countries start generally from 1960 up to the latest available year. For other countries, the time series depend on national availability, but longer series may be available in the future.

3.9. Base period

Not applicable.

4. Unit of measureTop

Absolute numbers and crude rates expressed per 1000 of the average population.

5. Reference PeriodTop

The calendar year for all tables, with exception of the monthly time series on live births, where the reference period is the month of occurrence.

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

Data are collected from National Statistical Institutes on voluntary basis.

6.2. Institutional Mandate - data sharing

The Joint demographic data collection is carried out in co-operation with the UNSD.

7. ConfidentialityTop
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.

7.2. Confidentiality - data treatment

Not applicable

8. Release policyTop
8.1. Release calendar

Not available

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 - 'Dissemination format') 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 disseminationTop

Following the annual demographic data collections (see par. 15.1 Timeliness and 19.1 Revision policy).

10. Dissemination formatTop
10.1. Dissemination format - News release

News releases on-line.

10.2. Dissemination format - Publications

Eurostat's general and cross-domains publications, yearbooks and pocketbooks.

'The social situation in the European Union' report and 'Demography report', in cooperation with DG-EMPL.

Two regular statistics in focus/data in focus publications on population and other demographic indicators:

- 'Population in Europe: first results': published in summer, containing the first demographic estimates on the demographic balance for the year T-1. The publication is based on the Rapid data collection.

- 'First demographic estimates' on the total population by country on 1 January of the following year (now casts), published at the end of the year.

10.3. Dissemination format - online database

Please consult free data on-line.

10.4. Dissemination format - microdata access

Not applicable

10.5. Dissemination format - other

Not applicable

11. Accessibility of documentationTop
11.1. Documentation on methodology

Working paper 3/2003/E/n. 25 "Demographic statistics: Definitions and methods of collection in 31 European Countries".

11.2. Quality management - documentation

Not available.

12. Quality managementTop
12.1. Quality assurance

Data is validated before publishing in Eurostat's online free dissemination database.

See par. 20.4 Data validation.

12.2. Quality management - assessment

No quality assessment is available.

13. RelevanceTop
13.1. Relevance - User Needs

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

13.2. Relevance - User Satisfaction

No user' satisfaction surveys are carried out.

13.3. Completeness

Data completeness depends on the availability of data from the National Statistical Institutes.

14. AccuracyTop
14.1. Accuracy - overall

Not applicable

14.2. Sampling error

Not applicable

14.3. Non-sampling error

Not applicable

15. Timeliness and punctualityTop
15.1. Timeliness

Information on vital events of year (T-1) at aggregate level is collected in spring of the year T; these data are disseminated around end of May of year T.

Detailed data by sex, age and other characteristics for the demographic events of year (T-1) are collected in summer of the year T; these data are disseminated around the end of the year T.

15.2. Punctuality

No applicable.

16. ComparabilityTop
16.1. Comparability - geographical

Eurostat requests to all countries demographic statistics based on the concept of usual resident population. The statistics on population refer to the national and regional population at its usual residence. 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. Countries may provide however the legal or registered population instead of the usually resident population.

Eurostat requests from Member States and from other countries participating in the Eurostat annual demographic data collections, data on population on 1 January. Countries may collect data at national level using a different reference date: for most of them, 1 January or 31 December of the previous year is used but some countries may refer to mid-year or another date. However, population data on 1 January are estimated and transmitted to Eurostat. The population is based either on data from the most recent census, adjusted by the components of population change produced since the last census, or on population registers.

16.2. Comparability - over time

When a methodological change occurs, the flag b (break in series) is displayed.

17. CoherenceTop
17.1. Coherence - cross domain

Not applicable

17.2. Coherence - internal

Data are checked for internal consistency before making them available in NewCronos. Corrections are also performed ex-post, if errors are found.

18. Cost and BurdenTop

Not relevant.

19. Data revisionTop
19.1. Data revision - policy

The data on demographic vital events are revised on a continuous base according to updates and revisions provided by the national statistical institutes. The aggregated geographical levels are updated accordingly.

19.2. Data revision - practice

Data from the Rapid data collection are usually provisional or estimated.

Data from the Joint data collection are final in most of the situations.

In both cases, the status of the data is clearly indicated by using flags (flag p = provisional data; flag e = estimated value; flag s = Eurostat estimate; flag f = forecasted data).

20. Statistical processingTop
20.1. Source data

Data are collected by Eurostat from the National Statistical Institutes.

20.2. Frequency of data collection


20.3. Data collection

See Working paper 3/2003/E/n. 25 "Demographic statistics: Definitions and methods of collection in 31 European Countries".

20.4. Data validation

Absolute figures received from the National Statistical Institutes are validated by Eurostat before being dissemination in Eurostat's free dissemination online datanse.

Basic validations are carried out to check if the totals provided by the countries are consistent with the breakdown by sex, by year and by other characteristics (e.g., live births are the sum of births inside marriage plus births outside marriage; total population is equal to the sum of marital statuses, etc.).

Cross validations are carried out to check consistency between the different tables of one domain (e.g., the totals of births must be equal to the sum of births by rank).

Time series analysis by country can be done to check if outliers appear.

When demographic indicators are calculated, other errors can be detected in the time series by country and they are investigated.

20.5. Data compilation

Eurostat calculates all demographic indicators for all countries and all geographical aggregates using a common methodology. Geographical aggregates are sometimes estimated in case a component geographical unit missing (i.e. data are not available for all countries that constitute the aggregate). No estimations done by Eurostat for the national data  are published under this situation, but only the demographic indicator(s) resulted for the aggregated geographical level, marked with a correspondent flag for estimation.

However, Eurostat collects also national estimates for several demographic indicators: total fertility rate, life expectancy at birth (total, male and female) and mean age of mother at childbearing. These indicators are available in the table "Indicators calculated by the National Statistics Institutes (demo_gnsiind)".

20.6. Adjustment

Not applicable.

21. CommentTop

Not available

Related metadataTop
demo_pop_esms - Population