Table 8


      Table 8 presents live births by age of father for as many years as possible between 1990 and 1998.


Description of variables: 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 20 years, 5-year age groups through 50-54 years, 55 years and over, and age unknown.


Reliability of data: Data from civil registers of live births 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 1 and the technical notes for that table provide more detailed information on the completeness of live-birth registration. For more information about the quality of vital statistics data in general, and the information available on the basis of the completeness estimates in particular, see section 4.2 of the Technical Notes.


Limitations: Statistics on live births by age of father are subject to the same qualifications as have been set forth for vital statistics in general and birth statistics in particular as discussed in section 4 of the Technical Notes.


The reliability of data, an indication of which is described above, is an important factor in considering the limitations.  In addition, some live births are tabulated by date of registration and not by date of occurrence; these have been indicted by a (+). Whenever the lag between the date of occurrence and date of registration is prolonged and, therefore, a large proportion of the live-birth registrations are delayed, birth statistics for any given year may be seriously affected.  


Another factor which limits international comparability is the practice of some countries not to include in live-birth statistics infants who were born alive but died before the registration of the birth or within the first 24 hours of life, thus underestimating the total number of live births.  Statistics of this type are footnoted.


Because these are statistics classified by age, they are also subject to the limitations with respect to accuracy of age reporting discussed in connection with age-of-mother statistics in table 4.  Age of father tends to be even more poorly reported than age of mother, especially for illegitimate births, the proportions in the unknown age group are often quite high.  This factor must be borne in mind in using the data.


When birth statistics refer to registration rather than occurrences, the age of the father will almost always be given as of the date of registration rather than the date of birth of the child.  Hence, in those countries or areas where registration of birth is delayed, often for years, there will be a large number of births recorded to women of advanced ages and it is evident that such a distribution by fatherís age also will be of limited use as an index of present natality patterns.


The relatively limited coverage of this table as compared to the corresponding table of births by age of mother is due to the fact that a number of countries or areas limit the tabulation of births by age of father to legitimate births only, inasmuch as age is more correctly reported on the latter.


Coverage: Live births by age of father are shown for 80 countries or areas.


Earlier data: Live births by age of father have been shown previously in issues of the Demographic Yearbook, featuring natality.  For information on specific years covered, readers should consult the index.