Data resource profile: The Human Fertility Database
The Human Fertility Database (HFD) was created in response to the growing need of freely available, high-quality, internationally comparable population-level fertility data. In the midst of discussions about the shift to later childbearing and low fertility levels in industrialized countries, the lack of proper fertility data became particularly apparent. A number of other sources of fertility data exist, but accessibility, scope and comparability of these data vary widely, and data documentation is often inadequate or absent. Officially launched in 2009, the HFD is a collaborative endeavour of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock (Germany) and the Vienna Institute of Demography / Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital (Austria). The development of the HFD was inspired by the success of the Human Mortality Database (HMD) that had become an important resource of detailed mortality data. By providing free access to detailed fertility data which meet the highest quality standards, the HFD not only fills the gap in the availability of comparable fertility data, but also promotes more sophisticated analyses and methodological advances.