Demographic Data

At a Glance Projects Publications Team

Research Area

Fertility and Family Dynamics

The Laboratory of Demographic Data has been actively engaged in developing online databases for population-level fertility data, activities that started in 2007 and have been continuing ever since. Work involves the implementation of data processing procedures and the development of important methodological solutions to problems stemming from the varying quality and structure of original data. The Laboratory currently maintains two fertility databases: the Human Fertility Database (HFD) and the Human Fertility Collection (HFC). The HFD, which went online in September 2009 (, provides a range of detailed and reliable cohort and period fertility indicators for developed countries produced from high-quality raw data on birth counts and population exposures after rigorous checks. The HFC, released online in August 2013 (, publishes ready-to-use fertility rates collected from a variety of external sources (such as statistical offices, research institutes, and individual researchers) with no or very minimal adjustment, and it aims at global coverage.

Prior to 2007, a large share of the Laboratory’s work on family and fertility dynamics was related to the implementation of the Generations and Gender Programme (GGP), with GGP-related commitments now accomplished. However, the Laboratory continues contributing to the maintenance of the Harmonized Union and Fertility Histories generated on the basis of the GGP data.

Apart from maintaining the fertility databases, the Laboratory’s activities in this research area include a number of studies investigating fertility and family formation patterns and using both individual- and population-level data for developed countries.

Research Keywords:

Data and Surveys, Demographic Change, Family Behavior, Fertility Development, Statistics and Mathematics

Region keywords:


Projects of this Research Area

Human Fertility Database Project details
Human Fertility Collection Project details
Fertility and Family Patterns at National and International Levels Project details
The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.