Order-Specific Fertility Rates for Germany
Estimates from Perinatal Statistics for the Period 2001-2008

Michaela Kreyenfeld, Rembrandt Scholz, Frederik Peters, Ines Wlosnewski

Abstract


Until 2008, Germany’s vital statistics did not include information on the biological order of each birth. This resulted in a dearth of important demographic indicators, such as the mean age at first birth and the level of childlessness. Researchers have tried to fill this gap by generating order-specific birth rates from survey data, and by combining survey data with vital statistics. This paper takes a different approach by using Perinatal Statistics to generate birth order-specific fertility rates for the period 2001 to 2008. Perinatal Statistics includes information on births that took place in German hospitals. Out-of-hospital births, which account for about 2 % of all births, are not included in the Perinatal Statistics. In a sensitivity analysis, we show how robust our estimates are to the inclusion of out-of-hospital births. Our general assessment is that the Perinatal Statistics is a valuable source for generating order-specific fertility rates, regardless of whether out-of-hospital births are included.

Keywords


Birth order; Fertility; Germany; Eastern and Western Germany; Perinatal Statistics

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