Understanding Scottish birth parity: A comparison of estimates from different data sources

Lee Williamson, Elspeth Graham, Paul Joseph Boyle

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


    Virtually no studies have been able to directly examine birth parity in Scotland due to the lack of comprehensive data on birth order, yet this information is crucially important in understanding Scottish fertility trends. In Scotland parity data is not readily available since civil registration only records all previous births within marriage and given that in 2007 only 51% of births in Scotland occurred within marriage compared with 90% in 1977 (GROS 2008:64), parity data from civil registration is unlikely to be a true reflection of the fertility behaviour of Scottish women today.
    Equally, census information on number of resident children in the household may underestimate parity by omitting natural children living elsewhere. In this paper, we report a series of parity profiles for a sample of women in the Scottish Longitudinal Study (SLS) derived from two different data sources: maternity inpatient and day case data (SMR02) and vital events data. By comparing different parity profiles by marital status for the same group of women in the SLS, we consider the relative reliability of parity information from different sources and assess the extent to which using indirect estimates of parity (based on vital registration data) may be misleading.

    General Register Office for Scotland (GROS). (2008). Scotland’s Population 2007: The Registrar General’s Annual Review of Demographic Trends. 153rd Edition
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2010
    EventBritish Society for Population Studies (BSPS) - Exeter , United Kingdom
    Duration: 13 Sept 201015 Sept 2010


    ConferenceBritish Society for Population Studies (BSPS)
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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