Families in comparison: An individual-level comparison of life-course and family reconstructions between population and vital event registers

Niels van den Berg, Ingrid van Dijk, Rick Mourits, P.E. Slagboom, Angélique Janssens, Kees Mandemakers

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

It remains unknown how different types of sources affect the reconstruction of life courses and families in large-scale databases increasingly common in demographic research. Here, we compare family and life-course reconstructions for 495 individuals simultaneously present in two well-known Dutch data sets: LINKS, based on the Zeeland province’s full-population vital event registration data (passive registration), and the Historical Sample of the Netherlands (HSN), based on a national sample of birth certificates, with follow-up of individuals in population registers (active registration). We compare indicators of fertility, marriage, mortality, and occupational status, and conclude that reconstructions in the HSN and LINKS reflect each other well: LINKS provides more complete information on siblings and parents, whereas the HSN provides more complete life-course information. We conclude that life-course and family reconstructions based on linked passive registration of individuals constitute a reliable alternative to reconstructions based on active registration, if case selection is carefully considered
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
JournalPopulation Studies: a journal of demography
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • family reconstitutionS
  • life course
  • historical demography
  • demographic methods
  • family history
  • microdata
  • population registers
  • civil registers
  • family reconstruction

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