birth rate

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Related to Birth rates: fertility rate, Crude birth rate, Death rates

vital statistics

vital 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. From these records can be computed birthrates and death (or mortality) rates from which trends are determined. The earliest known system of vital statistics was in China. In England the clergy was required as early as the 16th cent. to keep records of christenings, marriages, and burials; during the 17th cent. the clergy in France, Italy, and Spain began to keep similar records. The oldest continuous national records system is that of Sweden (since 1741). The clergy and government officials in the colonies of North America began to record vital statistics in the 17th cent.; on a national level, the U.S. government started publishing annual records of deaths in 1900 and of births in 1915. The most striking trend shown by recent vital statistics is the rapid increase of the populations of nonindustrial countries due to a sharp decline in the mortality rate and an acceleration of the birthrate.


See United Nations Statistical Office, Handbook of Vital Statistics Methods (1955); R. Pressat, Demographic Analysis (tr. 1972).

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birth rate

the 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.

Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000

birth rate

[′bərth ‚rāt]
The ratio between the number of live births and a specified number of people in a population over a given period of time.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
It's easy to leave the impression, when talking about the world's falling birth rates, that world population is also declining.
All this will need to change in order to boost the birth rate and female labor participation.
* The birth rates for women aged 40-44 years rose 5% between 2002 and 2003 from 8.3 to 8.7 births per 1,000 women.
In an historic speech before the Italian parliament in Rome, John Paul emphasis what he called 'the crisis of the birth rate.'
* From 1991 to 2000, birth rates for Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, and "other" Hispanic teenagers fell by 6 to 13 percent each, while rates for American Indian and Asian Pacific Islander teenagers fell 20 to 21 percent, rates for non-Hispanic White teens fell 24 percent, and rates for African American teenagers fell 31 percent.
In his book, Wattenberg had raised concerns about the declining birth rates among white middle-class folks and the rapidly increasing ones among poor Hispanic immigrants.
All longer-range projections assume that birth rates will decline and that virtually all growth will take place in developing countries.
These data support the hypothesis of an inverse relationship between birth rates and GDP per capita.
During the 1960s and 1970s, the growth of the working-age population was influenced mainly by the sharp rise in birth rates from the end of World War II to the early 1960s-the period of the so-called baby boom.
The response to Zika virus in Brazil may have reduced birth rates as well as microcephaly, according to research.
Births in Taiwan ranged between about 310,000 to 340,000 from 1986 to 1997, with a crude birth rate of above 15 per 1,000 people, but then started falling precipitously in 1998 to just over 200,000 births and crude birth rates below 10 per 1,000 people by the mid-2000s.
For nearly all age groups of women under 40 years there was a decline in birth rates, while an increase was seen among women in their early 40s.