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The truths they don't want you to read....

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Fertility rate

I was slightly surprised to see that the fertility rate in the Western Isles was the highest in Scotland, according to the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.

Fertility rate is a crude measure of live births per adult female aged 15-44, and should be a leading indicator for changes in population.

My first reaction was that this couldn't be correct, as the falling population didn't bear this out. But of course the indicator doesn't adjust for migration, and the General Register Office shows that in 2002 the Western Isles also had the highest fertility rate in Scotland. So the message may be that we are breeding well, but then losing the families as - presumably - work takes them and the young children away.

On the other hand, it was noticeable at the hospital just how many parent were having larger families, and this was commented upon by staff and patients alike. This is a very favourable trend, and I hope it is also a leading indicator.

Is my pessimism over the adverse demographics in the Western Isles well founded? In discussion with clients and friends, I think it is, but I'd love to be wrong - and badly wrong - on this one, and signs like this are


Anonymous said...

Well, what do you expect? Sunday in Stornoway:

- nothing else to do (everything closed)
- nowhere to purchase contraceptives

Anyway, it is good to see that residents are following the biblical command to "Go forth and multiply", and that they uphold the rule of keeping the Sabbath sexy ... um, I mean sacred.

Anonymous said...

I would be very sorry, too. By the way I notice that the you have a very (pardon the pun) 'Poll'erized vote in your top right hand corner: this means that either some people are figuring out a way to vote twice - 'ware anyone who misteriously can't vote on any issue after THAT 'friend' comes round or that people really are polerized on these issues - a very unusual happening for an issue of such little importance to the ones who voted. I'll bet their not local speakers!

Anonymous said...

sorry there should be a full stop after importance and a capital T for two - I wasn't concentrating very hard yesterday.

Anonymous said...

father ted - I would believe this if the figures show the births coming in weekly (give or take a day or so) spurts - Angus do they show such a pattern?

Angus said...

As far as I can ascertain, the day of birth seems to bear no relation to the day of conception, other than the obvious 39-40 week cycle.

Any 'grouping' of births will be to ensure that medical intervention is in the hospital if required. Sometimes, with emergency births the other mothers can be held back from being induced to avoid overstretching resources.

So, the answer is that I don't think there is any connection to Sunday activities.