Birth Outcome Metadata: Total Fertility


Birth certificate data and population data are used to calculate fertility measures. Birth certificate data are from the Maine CDC, Office of Data, Research, and Vital Statistics (ODRVS). Population data are from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Dates Available:

2000 – 2019

Geographic Resolution:

State, Public Health District, County


The Maine EPHT program receives birth certificate data annually from ODRVS. The total fertility rate among Maine residents is analyzed, stratified by year and geographic resolution.

The dataset contains the following measure:

  • Total fertility rate


This data set supports efforts to improve public health in Maine and contributes to the U.S. CDC’s National Environmental Public Health Tracking (EPHT) Network. A key activity of participants in this network is to track and make available environmental health measures on state and national data portals. Measures derived from the data set described here can be used to compare the total fertility rate across the state, between groups of people, over time, and in relation to risk factors, exposures, and health outcomes.

The Maine Tracking Network, a member of the National EPHT Network, connects communities, public health professionals, policy makers, state agencies, and others to the data they need to monitor public health, respond to health concerns, prioritize resources for public health action, and evaluate prevention activities. Maine tracks certain health effects, exposures, and environmental hazards that have known relationships, as well as some health effects and environmental hazards that have suspected relationships. By making health and environmental data available through the Maine Tracking Network, more people have access to data they need to think critically and hypothesize about health outcomes and their relationships to conditions in the environment.

Supplemental Information:

Total fertility rate is the average number of births that a hypothetical group of 1,000 women would have over their childbearing years. This measure uses age-specific birth rates, which controls for variation in birth rates due to age and difference in the average age of all women between geographies.

Understanding the geographic distribution and trends in fertility provides basic descriptive clues to changes that may be influenced by environmental risk factors.

Entity and Attribute Overview:

The dataset includes: year, geographic resolution, and rate.

Data Limitations:

  • Adoptive records may not have correct birth mother demographic information. It is possible that a birth record may arrive at the vital records with the birth mother’s demographic information only to be amended with the demographic characteristics of the adoptive mother.
  • Although there is universal reporting of live births and infant deaths in the U.S., some births/deaths may be excluded because of the difficulty in distinguishing a death shortly after birth as a live birth; a death soon after birth might be reported as a fetal death rather than as a live birth and infant death.
  • The most important information used to link birth outcomes to environmental exposures is the place of residence during pregnancy and the first year of life. The location information used refers to the mother's place of residence at birth, which does not always represent where the mother lived during pregnancy or where the infant lived.

Access Constraints:

Publicly available data are suppressed in accordance with the Maine CDC Privacy Policy to protect confidentiality.

More Information:

Suggested Citation for Data Displays:

Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Maine Tracking Network. Birth Outcomes Metadata: Total Fertility. Available online: Accessed on [date accessed].