Abstract

This paper begins by describing the procedure and data requirements for calculating annual fertility rates from census data on own children. Then, using data from the United States Censuses of 1960 and 1970, fully adjusted estimates are presented and compared with recorded vital statistics rates. Total fertility estimates derived from own children data for whites average less than two percent lower than the recorded rates—a difference that can be attributed partially to the fact that the estimates are adjusted for net eensus undercount but the recorded rates are not. Even without adjustments for mortality, children not living with their mothers, and net census undercount, the own children data estimates accurately replicate recorded trends (even though the levels are misspecified). The utility of own children data for the study of differential fertility is discussed.

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