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 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 has been designed to supplement the HFD and 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.

In March 2021, the HFD team established a new data resource in response to the COVID-19 pandemic: the Short-Term Fertility Fluctuations (STFF) data series. The STFF series is part of the HFD project and complements it by providing up-to-date data on monthly births and total fertility rates for selected countries.

From 2002 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 continued contributing to the maintenance of Harmonized Union and Fertility Histories, generated on the basis of the GGP data, until the end of 2020.

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, using both individual- and population-level data for developed countries. Following the outbreak of the coronavirus, fertility research in the Laboratory has centered on pandemic-caused short-term fertility fluctuations and consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic for fertility trends in the long run.

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
The Impact and Consequences of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Fertility 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.