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Multilingual Demographic Dictionary, second unified edition, English volume

Illegitimate birth rate

Multilingual Demographic Dictionary, second unified edition, English vol.
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Illegitimate birth rate  (ILLEGITIMATE birth rate)

The general term birth rate 1 refers to a rate calculated by relating the number of live births observed in a population or sub-population during a given period to the size of the population or sub-population during the period. The rate is usually stated per 1,000, and the most usual period is one year. Where the term birth rate is used without qualification, it is understood to be the crude birth rate 2, and all live births are related to the entire population. The total birth rate 3 based on live births and late foetal deaths is sometimes calculated. Marital birth rates 4 (legitimate birth rates 4) and non-marital birth rates 5 (illegitimate birth rates 5) are also calculated with legitimate and illegitimate births in the numerator and the currently married and unmarried female population, respectively, in the denominator. The illegitimacy ratio 6, the number of illegitimate births per 1,000 total births, is more frequently used, however. To compare the fertility of different populations, standardized birth rates 7 are often used to eliminate the effect on the birth rate of certain differences in structure of the population (most commonly the age and sex structure). The child-woman ratio 8, most commonly the number of children aged 0 to 4 per 1,000 women of childbearing age, e.g., 15 to 49, is used as an index of fertility when reliable birth statistics are not available.

  • 4. The denominator of the marital and non-marital birth rate is sometimes the total population.
  • 5. See note 4.