Fertility rate: children per woman

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About this data

Fertility rate: children per woman
The number of children that would be born to a woman if she were to live to the end of her child-bearing years and give birth to children at the current age-specific fertility rates.
Gapminder (2017) – with minor processing by Our World in Data
Last updated
May 25, 2019
Date range
children per woman

Sources and processing

This data is based on the following sources

Data is that of version 12 of Gapminder, the latest version as of 2019. This is the full fertility rate dataset published by Gapminder.

Gapminder's sources and methodology if well-documented in its dataset at:

It notes its data sources during three key periods of time:

  • 1800 to 1950 (and in some cases also years after 1950): Gapminder v6 which were compiled and documented by Mattias Lindgren.
  • 1950 to 2014: In most cases we use the latest UN estimates from World Population Prospects 2017 published in the file with Annually interpolated demographic indicators, called WPP2017_INT_F01_ANNUAL_DEMOGRAPHIC_INDICATORS.xlsx, accessed on September 2, 2017.
  • 2015 – 2099: We use the UN forecast of future fertility rate in all countries, called median fertility variant.

Version 12 of the dataset extends back to the year 1800. Version 6 of Gapminder's fertility series includes data for a few countries further than 1800. We have included more historic data from Version 6 for Finland, the United Kingdom and Sweden. All data from 1800 onwards is from Version 12; data from pre-1800 is from Version 6.

There are significant uncertainties in data for many countries pre-1950. To develop full series back to 1800 for all countries, Gapminder combines published estimates within the academic literature and national statistics, with their own guesstimates and extrapolations for countries without published estimates. This series presents the selective Gapminder dataset: we have removed data points which were estimated by Gapminder with high uncertainty and instead only include those from published sources or the United Nations dataset.

We also publish the full dataset from Gapminder for users looking for a complete series. However, we should highlight that some of these estimates have a high degree of uncertainty. This dataset can be accessed here:

Retrieved on
May 25, 2019
This is the citation of the original data obtained from the source, prior to any processing or adaptation by Our World in Data. To cite data downloaded from this page, please use the suggested citation given in Reuse This Work below.
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How to cite this page

To cite this page overall, including any descriptions, FAQs or explanations of the data authored by Our World in Data, please use the following citation:

“Data Page: Fertility rate: children per woman”, part of the following publication: Max Roser (2014) - “Fertility Rate”. Data adapted from Gapminder. Retrieved from [online resource]
How to cite this data

In-line citationIf you have limited space (e.g. in data visualizations), you can use this abbreviated in-line citation:

Gapminder (2017) – with minor processing by Our World in Data

Full citation

Gapminder (2017) – with minor processing by Our World in Data. “Fertility rate: children per woman – Gapminder” [dataset]. Gapminder, “Fertility Rate” [original data]. Retrieved July 24, 2024 from