The Human Fertility Database

Directors: Vladimir M. Shkolnikov (MPIDR) and Tomáš Sobotka (VID)

Founding Director: Joshua R. Goldstein (UC Berkeley, formerly MPIDR)

The Human Fertility Database (HFD) is a joint project of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock, Germany and the Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) in Vienna, Austria, based at MPIDR. We seek to provide free and user-friendly access to detailed and high-quality data on period and cohort fertility and thus to facilitate research on changes and inter-country differences in fertility in the past and in the modern era. The HFD is entirely based on official vital statistics and places a great emphasis on data checking and documentation and on warranting data comparability across time and countries by means of uniform methodology. Read more

The MPIDR and the VID also collaborate on the Human Fertility Collection (, which is supplementing the HFD. The HFC incorporates a variety of valuable fertility data from diverse, not necessarily official, data sources. The major responsibility for the quality of data entering the HFC rests with data producers/providers. Therefore, HFC data, unlike those in the HFD, might be of lower quality.

For users who seek fast access to the most commonly used summary indicators of period and cohort fertility, we provide excel tables comprising the following indicators for all the HFD countries:

HFD summary indicators
Total fertility rate Mean age at birth Mean age at first birth Completed cohort fertility Cohort childlessness

We seek to provide open, international access to these data. At present, the database contains detailed period and cohort fertility data for the following countries:

Detailed data by country
Canada GermanyNetherlandsSlovenia U.K.
Czech RepublicIcelandPolandSweden  

The HFD will be continually updated and more countries will be added with time. Below we present countries which are on our "coming next" list. For these countries we provide only age-specific fertility rates based on the original official data. Please be aware that these data have not been fully processed, checked, and corrected and may not be free of mistakes and biases.

Preliminary release

For more information, please begin by reading an overview of the database. If you have comments or questions, or trouble gaining access to the data, please contact us.

Joint project of
the MPIDR and
the VID, based at