Fertility Analysis by Birth Order

Free virtual event, Friday 30th September 2022, 14:00-17:00 UK time 


The Total Fertility Rate (TFR) is a commonly used measure to study changes in fertility levels over time. Aggregate fertility measures are simple and useful summary measures. However, they provide little information about underlying childbearing behaviour of women (and men). For example, fertility may decline over time because the share of childless women will increase or because the average family size of mothers will decline.   


The workshop will introduce parity-specific fertility measures and methods to calculate fertility by birth order. It will introduce data sources and will demonstrate the calculation of fertility rates by parity using individual-level data. The majority of the demonstrations will be performed in R and relevant code will be made available.  


The workshop is aimed at national and local government statisticians, social and demographic researchers, and others interested in the methods of fertility measurement.  


Fertility measurement – theory (45 min)  

  • Data sources: vital registration, surveys, censuses, other admin sources  
  • Measures of fertility 1: number of births, CBR, GFR, ASFR, TFR  
  • Measures of fertility 2: fertility by birth order, PPRs  
  • Period vs cohort approach  

Fertility measurement – practical session (2 h)  

  • Calculation of period/cohort fertility rates by parity  
  • Calculation of adjusted fertility rates by parity  

Dr Bernice Kuang, Prof Ann Berrington (University of Southampton, UK)
Dr Sarah Christison, Prof Hill Kulu (University of St Andrews, UK) 

Background reading  

Andersson, G. (1999). Childbearing trends in Sweden 1961–1997. European Journal of Population 15(1): 1–24. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1006145610780. 

Berrington, A., Ellison, J., Kuang, B., Vasireddy, S., and Kulu, H. (2021). Scenario-based fertility projections incorporating impacts of COVID-19. Population, Space and Place 28(2), e2546. https://doi.org/10.1002/psp.2546. 

Kulu, H., and Hannemann, T. (2016). Why does fertility remain high among certain UK-born ethnic minority women? Demographic Research 35: 1441-1488. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1006145610780. 


This workshop is funded by the ESRC FertilityTrends project (grant number ES/S009477/1).