Crude birth rate

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This article describes a ratio measure. In the standard operationalization, the numerator of the measure is number of live births (view other ratio measures with this numerator) and the denominator of the measure is population (view other ratio measures with this denominator). The denominator used for reporting is 1000. The measurement period is a year.
The numerator counts the number of occurrences of an event during the measurement period.
The denominator counts the total count of some type of entity, and an appropriate convention is set regarding the time within the measurement period that this count is calculated.


Conceptual definition

The crude birth rate attempts to measure births in proportion to the total population.


The crude birth rate (CBR) for a given population is defined as the ratio of the number of live births in that population to the total size of the population, scaled to a denominator of 1000. It is an example of a crude rate, because we use the total population in the denominator.


Measuring the CBR requires measuring two quantities:

  • The total number of live births: This is typically done by recording every live birth.
  • The total population: Some countries maintain a continuous census so that their records have the population at all points in time. Most countries, however, estimate this quantity by combining the reliable quantitative estimates of a periodic (typically, decennial) census with estimates of population changes based on births, deaths, and net migration.

Related measures

Similar numerators

  • General fertility rate has the same numerator, but the denominator is the number of females in their childbearing years.
  • Age-specific fertility rate has as numerator the number of live births to females of a certain age, which is a summand for the total number of live births. The denominator is the number of females of that particular age.

Similar denominators and somewhat similar numerators


Most recent values

Country Fertility information page Most recent CBR using the Human Fertility Database (high reliability, but limited to a few countries) Year of most recent CBR Most recent CBR using Gapminder and UN data Year of most recent CBR
Japan Fertility in Japan 8.5 2009
Germany Fertility in Germany 8.29 2010
Russia Fertility in Russia 12.61 2010
USA Fertility in USA 12.94 2010