Measures for human reproduction should be linked to both men and women

Nico Keilman, Krzysztof Tymicki and Vegard Skirbekk

International Journal of Population Research


Published in:

International Journal of Population Research 2014 (2014)



We introduce the two-sex net reproduction rate (2SNRR) and the two-sex total fertility rate (2STFR)—two demographic indicators that reflect the number of children born, given age specific fertility and mortality of the adults. The main quality of these indicators is that they measure the childbearing behaviour of both women and men. The indicators have intuitive value, since they tell us to what extent adults are replaced by children. While the traditional net reproduction rate (NRR) describes general replacement trends among women only, the 2SNRR is an indicator of a population’s growth potential, irrespective of sex. We demonstrate the use of the indicators with data from Bejsce parish in Poland for the period 1800–1967 and with data from UN projections for China for future years. We discuss the consequences for our understanding of fertility trends when sex ratios deviate from normal levels.

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Published June 26, 2015 1:39 PM