Using Census Data to Create a Detailed Database for Fertility Analysis

Rebecca Kippen, Australian National University
Peter McDonald, Australian National University

The authors have used special tabulations from the Australian Censuses from 1981 to 2006 (five-yearly censuses) to create a database of births by single calendar year, by single year of age of mother, single parity and single years since the previous birth. The method also yields the female population with the same characteristics across time. The database provides a powerful vehicle for the analysis of past fertility trends for cohorts and cross-sections of the population. It can be used to generate a more reliable cross-sectional summary measure of fertility than the Total Fertility Rate. It enables a sorting out of tempo and quantum effects. Finally, the authors have used the database to obtain more reliable forecasts of births in Australia. This paper describes the method that is used to derive the database and the applications that can be employed using the database.

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Presented in Session 59: Improved Methods for Demographic Data Collection and Analysis