The Human Fertility Collection (HFC) is a joint project of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Germany and the Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) in Austria. The HFC has been designed to supplement the Human Fertility Database (HFD) and to incorporate a variety of international fertility data that are valuable for fertility research but do not meet all quality standards of the HFD. Read more...

The HFC features estimates from diverse, not necessarily official, data sources, including survey data and data reconstructions by individual researchers or research teams. Thus the HFC provides many alternative to official fertility indicators and is not limited to continuous time series. This flexibility allows to expand the geographical coverage of data to less developed parts of the world as well as to feature historical data and estimates. Due to variability in data origins and estimation methods used in the original data sources, the level of data comparability and reliability is sometimes lower than that of the HFD. Therefore, users must be cautious when using these data for their research.

At present, the HFC includes the following period fertility data specified for all the birth orders combined and by birth order (when available) provided in a standardized format: age-specific fertility rates, cumulative fertility rates, total fertility rates, and mean ages at birth. However, the process of data collection is not complete. More countries and additional fertility dimensions (region of residence, country of birth, marital status, sex, etc.) shall be added in the future. The database is being developed and updated on a rolling basis. Suggestions and submissions of new data to the HFC are very welcome. Hide this content


The successful examples of the Human Mortality Database and the Human Life table Database (HLD) have demonstrated that it is useful to supplement the most detailed and extensively documented database (such as the HMD)–including only countries with high quality data–with a less detailed data collection covering a much broader range of populations and time periods (such as the HLD). Read more...

Following these databases, the HFD team decided to construct and launch the Human Fertility Collection shortly after the launch of the HFD. It was an ambitious plan. It took us exactly four years to do all work for developing the HFC; starting just prior to the International IUSSP Conference in Marrakech (Morocco) in September 2009, the HFC is being launched immediately before the next International IUSSP Conference in Busan (South Korea). We sincerely hope that demographers as well as scholars in other disciplines will find it helpful and will make active use of it. Hide this content

Project team

The Human Fertility Collection is maintained by two teams of researchers based at the Laboratory of Demographic Data of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock, Germany and at the Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) in Austria.

HFC Directors:

Members of the HFC team at the MPIDR:

Members of the HFC team at the VID:

Joshua R. Goldstein (the former Director of the MPIDR), Vladimir M. Shkolnikov, Tomáš Sobotka, and Dmitri Jdanov designed the database. Read more...

Olga Grigoriev coordinated the implementation of the set objectives and managed data collection and processing activities. Aiva Jasilioniene, Olga Grigoriev, and Dmitri Jdanov wrote the core part of the Methods Protocol. Pavel Grigoriev wrote the computer programs implementing various data adjustments, calculating fertility indicators, and generating HFC output data files. Rainer Walke (IT Assistant at the MPIDR) assisted by writing initial scripts for dealing with the organization of original data into a standardized format.

Alexey Razzhivaykin with assistance of Dmitri Jdanov created the official HFC web application. The website design materializes ideas and suggestions of Dmitri Jdanov and Olga Grigoriev.

Karolin Kubisch is responsible within the MPIDR team for data searches, formatting and preparation of various pieces of data and documents. Olga Grigoriev supervises the entry of data as well as related documents and information to the HFC. Within the VID team, Kryštof Zeman is in charge of data collection and preparation of data files.

The HFC team at the MPIDR also received assistance from Jude Mikal, who was working with the Laboratory of Demographic Data during 2008-2009, Dorothea Rieck, who was part of the Lab in 2009, Elena Muth, who contributed to the project in 2011, Dora Kostova, who participated in the project during 2013-2015, and Sigrid Gellers-Barkmann, who was part of the Lab until September 2017. In spring 2015 Anne Plaignaud worked in the library of INED on assembling various fertility data for the HFC. Hide this content

Joint project of the MPIDR
and the VID,
based at the MPIDR

We appreciate the support of the Institute National d’Etudes Demographiques (INED, Paris) in accessing fertility data in the INED library