Estimates of the Tempo-adjusted Total Fertility Rate in Western and Eastern Germany, 1955-2008

Marc Luy, Olga Pötzsch


In this article we present estimates of the tempo-adjusted total fertility rate in Western and Eastern Germany from 1955 to 2008. Tempo adjustment of the total fertility rate (TFR) requires data on the annual number of births by parity and age of the mother. Since official statistics do not provide such data for West Germany as well as Eastern Germany from 1990 on we used alternative data sources which include these specific characteristics. The combined picture of conventional TFR and tempo-adjusted TFR* provides interesting information about the trends in period fertility in Western and Eastern Germany, above all with regard to the differences between the two regions and the enormous extent of tempo effects in Eastern Germany during the 1990s. Compared to corresponding data for populations from other countries, our estimates of the tempo-adjusted TFR* for Eastern and Western Germany show plausible trends. Nevertheless, it is important to note that the estimates of the tempo-adjusted total fertility rate presented in this paper should not be seen as being on the level of or equivalent to official statistics since they are based on different kinds of data with different degrees of quality.


Germany; Fertility; Fertility trends; Tempo adjustment; Tempo-adjusted TFR; Bongaarts – Feeney; Total fertility rate; East-West comparison; Parity; Biological birth order; Average age at childbirth

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