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birth rate:see vital statisticsvital statistics,
primarily records of the number of births and deaths in a population. Other factors, such as number of marriages and causes of death, by age groups, are regularly included.
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birth ratethe number of live births per 1000 people of all ages in one year. In post-World War II UK the birth rate rose until the mid-1960s and has since declined. Since 1951 the highest birth rate was in 1964 with 18.8 live births per 1000 people, and the lowest was in 1977 with 11.7 live births per 1000 people.
The overall birth rate is sometimes referred to as the crude birth rate. Various other ‘age specific measures of the rate can be calculated to provide more reliable projections of POPULATION trends. There is some suggestion that birth rate changes may be related to economic cycles, but this is not a simple relationship. Variables affecting birth rate, including length of marriage, the age structure of the population and contraceptive methods used, interact in a complex manner with economic factors. See also DEATH RATE, FERTILITY, DEMOGRAPHY, FECUNDITY. DEMOGRAPHIC TRANSITION, POPULATION.