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Number of birth events
Group: Fertility

This is a 2-digit variable that represents a number of times given birth, except for the following codes:

95 = No consent given (female questionnaire)
96 = No consent given (household questionnaire)
97 = Don't know
98 = No response
99 = NIU (not in universe)


BIRTHEVENT reports the total number of times the respondent has given live birth. It does not include births of stillborn children.

The question associated with this variable was included in the female questionnaire.

Users may also be interested in CHEB, which reports the woman's response to the question "How many sons and daughters have you given birth to who were born alive?". The key distinction between BIRTHEVENT and CHEB is that multiple children could be born during one birth event.

Comparability — Index



Apart from slight variation in question wording, BIRTHEVENT has no comparability problems. Most commonly, the female questionnaire asked "How many times have you given birth?" Additionally, many surveys include a follow-up question asking if all of these births were live births, and interviewers are instructed to correct the woman's response such that only live birth events are reported.

Comparability — Ethiopia [top]

The Round 1 survey does not include the follow-up question about live births.

The 2019 Cross-sectional survey specifies that it is asking about live births.

Comparability — Kenya [top]

The Round 1 survey asks "How many times have you given live birth?"

Comparability with IPUMS-DHS

BIRTHEVENT in IPUMS-PMA is similar to the variable CHEB in IPUMS-DHS. The IPUMS-DHS variable is constructed from a series of questions about the number of children to whom the woman gave birth who are at home, away from home, and who have died. The IPUMS-PMA variable is based on just one question; see the Survey Text and Universe Tab of the IPUMS-DHS variable for more information.


  • Women aged 15-49.


  • Burkina Faso: 2014-2018, 2020
  • Congo (Democratic Republic): 2013-2019
  • Cote d'Ivoire: 2017-2018
  • Ethiopia: 2014-2019
  • Ghana: 2013-2015, 2017
  • India: 2016-2018
  • Indonesia: 2015
  • Kenya: 2014-2015, 2017-2019
  • Niger: 2015-2016, 2018
  • Nigeria: 2014-2019
  • Uganda: 2014-2019