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United Nations (1987). A Comparative Evaluation of Data Quality in Thirty-Eight World Fertility Surveys

This study, undertaken by the Population Division of the United Nations Secretariat, covers 38 World Fertility Surveys (WFS) and emphasizes the assessment of data quality. The availability of comparable survey data from so many developing countries has provided a unique opportunity to develop a simple series of data quality checks which can be used to assess age and date reporting. Those checks involve both internal data comparisons as well as comparisons with other sources of data. In addition, surveys undertaken in other countries can be examined by using the data checks developed here, and their assessment can benefit from the experience gained in this analysis - in particular, the documentation of common types of non-sampling errors that recur in countries which share similar cultural traditions and/or similar levels of socio-economic development.

Since A Comparative Evaluation of Data Quality in Thirty-Eight World Fertility Surveys is no longer available in printed form, it is made available here in electronic form in Adobe PDF format.

Preface and Table of contents (427 KB)

Part One. Comparative assessment of data quality

Introduction (271 KB)

Chapter I: Background information (263 KB)
Chapter II: Assessment of data quality (1717 KB)
Chapter III: Conclusion (737 KB)

Part Two. Country analysis: background, age data, marriage history data, birth history data, children ever born from various surveys and censuses, cohort period rates and cumulative cohort fertility by age at survey, age-specific fertility rates from various surveys and censuses (10622 KB)

Related links:

United Nations (1986). Fertility Behaviour in the Context of Development: Evidence from the World Fertility Survey (United Nations publication, Sales No. 86.XIII.5).


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