Summary Statistics of FALCOT 92 Input Data

A total of 1219 women were interviewed, excluding those with missing information on data needed for this section. Of those females who completed the interview, 830 (68.1%) reported being ever married (EMW).

These 830 women have given birth to 4724 living children (2470 boys and 2254 girls, with a sex ratio of 1.10, which indicates a small over-reporting of boys - or under-reporting of girls - as the sex ratio at birth is usually between 1.02 and 1.06). Women who were less than 50 years at the time of the interview had borne 4,8 children on average, with a maximum of 17 births, which indicates high fertility among Palestinian women of child-bearing age.

The mean age of child-bearing is estimated at 26.4 years in the infant mortality section.

The period total fertility rate is a synthetic measure of completed family size. Since TFR combines the current fertility experience of females 15-49 years, it can be interpreted as a hypothetical measure of completed cohort fertility.

Period TFR estimates for the population in the occupied territories have not been published for the last 8 years.26 Data needed for direct estimation of this measure using birth registration records are not available for Palestinians since they are controlled solely by Israel.

Two methods were used to estimate the TFR from children ever born. The first method (the P/F Ratio Method) uses data on CEB classified by age of the women and the number of births in the year preceding the survey. The second method (the P/P* Ratio Method) uses data on CEB classified by duration of marriage of the women. Both methods compare lifetime with current fertility and adjusts for typical errors, like omissions of children who died a long time ago. Current fertility may be distorted by a misperception of the length of the period preceding the survey, or in our case, by assumptions about the number of births in the year preceding the survey based on marriages with one or more children ever born. If the data on current fertility is roughly constant with respect to age, the age pattern of current fertility can be accepted as correct although its level may be distorted (UN 1983: 31).

The P/F Ratio Method uses the number of births of EMW in the sample during the year preceding the survey to estimate a preliminary schedule of age specific fertility rates (ASFR). Unfortunately, no questions on this variable were posed in the survey. Instead, a question relating to the age of the youngest child was asked. To correct for this problem, we investigated all EMW in the sample with a marriage duration not exceeding two years and whose CEB was at least one. These women were classified as having given birth to a child during the year preceding the survey if they were less than 30, see table 2.11.

Table 2.11: Number of children ever born and estimated number of children born during the year preceding the survey.

Number of womenChildren Ever Born (CEB)Average ParityBirths in the past year
Group numberAge GroupBoth sexesFemales

Using the data in table 2.11 and steps 1 through 6 of UN (1983: 35-36), we arrive at table 2.12.

Table 2.12: Estimates of period fertility rates, cumulated fertility and P/F ratios.

Group numberAge GroupPeriod Fertility RateCumulated FertilityParity Equivalent, FP/F ratio

The so-called P/F-ratio (parity/fertility ratio) is used to adjust the preliminary period fertility schedule. Disregarding this ratio for age groups 15-19 and 45-49, the ratios are fairly similar except for a drop in the value for the age group 25-29. This deviation is probably due to problems with the data for this age group, possibly a large number of birth omissions, as indicated by the large sex ratio of 1.48 male to female births. Disregarding the P/F ratio for age group 25-29, we are left with P/F ratios that vary between 1.7 and 1.8. From these ratios we derive an adjustment factor K which is used to adjust the period fertility rates of various age groups in order to get estimates of age specific fertility rates. Because of the problem encountered in age group 25-29, four alternative sets of values for K are suggested, resulting in four sets of age specific fertility rates, see table 2.13. We see that the conventional fertility rates are adjusted upwards by a factor varying between 57.6 and 80.7 per cent.

Table 2.13 Age specific fertility rates for conventional age groups and adjusted ASFR for different choices of K.

Age GroupAge Specific Fertility Rates
ConventionalK = P(2)/F(2)
= 1.807
K = weighted
average of
P(2)/F(2) and
P(3)/F(3) = 1.576
K = P(4)/F(4)
= 1.760
K = arithmetic
average of P(2)/
F(2), P(3)/F(3) and
P(4)/F(4) = 1.635

For population projection purposes (next section), we may use a TFR value of 6.19, as this adjustment factor has been determined by the P/F ratios of age groups 20-24, 25-29, and 30-34. This choice of initial TFR value for population projection purposes can be considered a conservative choice which will lead to a conservative set of projected population totals over the projection period.

As for the remaining estimates of TFR, we are inclined to adopt a value of 6.84 births per woman as our estimate of TFR for 1992. This choice is guided by the unsupported evidence of a rising trend in early marriages since the outbreak of the Intifada and a general tendency among Palestinians in the occupied territories to have more children during the last five-year period. Using the P/P* ratio method, an estimated TFR value of 7.04 was obtained. This estimate further demonstrates that a realistic estimate of TFR for the occupied territories is roughly around 7 births per woman in 1992.


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