Table 16


Table 16 presents late foetal death by age of mother for as many years as possible between 1990 and 1998.


Description of variables: Late foetal deaths are foetal deaths[1] of 28 or more completed weeks of gestation.  Foetal deaths of unknown gestational age are included with those of 28 or more weeks.


Age is defined as age at last birthday, that is, the difference between the date of birth and the date of the occurrence of the event, expressed in completed solar years. The age classification used in this table is the following: under 15 years, 5-year age groups through 45-49 years, 50 years and over, and age unknown.


Reliability of data: Data from civil registers of late foetal deaths which are reported as incomplete (less than 90 per cent completeness) or of unknown completeness are considered unreliable and are set in italics rather than in roman type. Table 15 and the technical notes for that table provide more detailed information on the completeness of late foetal death registration.  For more information about the quality of vital statistics in general, and the information available on the basis of the completeness of estimates in particular, see section 4.2 of the Technical Notes.


Limitations: Statistics on late foetal deaths by age of mother are subject to the same qualifications which have been set forth for vital statistics in general and foetal-death statistics in particular as discussed in section 4 of the Technical Notes.


The reliability of the data, an indication of which is described above, is an important factor.  Of all vital statistics, the registration of foetal deaths is probably the most incomplete.


Variation in the definition of foetal deaths, and in particular late foetal deaths, also limits international comparability.  The criterion of 28 or more completed weeks of gestational age to distinguish late foetal deaths is not universally used; some countries or areas use different lengths of gestation or other criteria such as length of the foetus.  In addition, the difficulty of accurately determining gestational age further reduces comparability.


Another factor introducing variation in the definition of late foetal deaths is the practice by some countries or areas of including in late foetal death statistics infants who were born alive but died before registration of birth or within the first 24 hours after birth thus overestimating the total number of late foetal deaths.  Statistics of this type are footnoted.


In addition, deficiencies in age reporting, differences in the method used for obtaining the age of mother, and the proportion of late foetal deaths for which age of mother is unknown must all be taken into account in using these data.


      Coverage: Late foetal deaths by age of mother are shown for 63 countries or areas.


Earlier data: Late foetal deaths by age of mother have been shown previously in issues of the Demographic Yearbook featuring natality.  For information on years covered, readers should consult the Index.


[1] For definition, see section of the Technical Notes.