World Fertility Data 2008

The 2008 Revision of the World Fertility Data, prepared by the United Nations Population Division, provides a comparable and up-to-date set of national data on fertility and the timing of childbearing for all countries and areas of the world.

The CD-ROM offers a concise picture of reproductive behaviour from both a period and a cohort perspective and aims to supplement previous publications of the United Nations Population Division, including the 2006 Revision of the World Fertility Data, with more detailed and comprehensive data on fertility levels and trends.

The CD-ROM also aims to complement the information presented by the United Nations Population Division in the World Population Prospects publication. The latter are best estimates based on all available demographic data. The indicators presented in the World Fertility Data 2008 are direct estimates from country data.

World Fertility Data CD-ROM

The CD-ROM contains data on seven key indicators:

  1. Age-specific fertility rates for women aged 15 to 49;
  2. Adolescent birth rate;
  3. Total fertility;
  4. Mean age at childbearing;
  5. Children ever born;
  6. Annual number of live births;
  7. Crude birth rate.

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For each of these indicators and to the extent that data are available, data are presented for five reference dates: 1970, 1985, 1995, and the two most recent available years after 1999. Information on the coverage and periodicity of each indicator is provided in the metadata files.

The CD-ROM includes three MS Excel files, prepared in Excel 2003 and compatible with all versions since Excel 5.0/95. The file Period fertility indicators presents data on the fertility experienced by women during a particular period of time as well as associated indicators, the file Children ever born provides information on the fertility experienced by a cohort of women over time, while the file Births contains information on the annual number of live births and the crude birth rate.

In addition to the three MS Excel files, the CD-ROM includes three important resources: Metadata containing the definitions, methods of computation and the selection criteria used for each of the indicators presented in the data files; Documentation (the present file); and United Nations Software Licence Agreement containing the product licensing agreement. The CD-ROM launches a navigation interface upon insertion and provides direct access to these files.