Volume 24 - Article 18 | Pages 409–454  

A new relational method for smoothing and projecting age-specific fertility rates: TOPALS

By Joop de Beer


Age-specific fertility rates can be smoothed using parametric models or splines. Alternatively a relational model can be used which relates the age profile to be fitted or projected to a standard age schedule. This paper introduces TOPALS (tool for projecting age patterns using linear splines), a new relational method that is less dependent on the choice of the standard age schedule than previous methods. TOPALS models the relationship between the age-specific fertility rates to be fitted and the standard age schedule by a linear spline. This paper uses TOPALS for smoothing fertility age profiles for 30 European countries. The use of TOPALS to create scenarios of the future level and age pattern of fertility is illustrated by applying the method to project future fertility rates for six European countries.

Author's Affiliation

  • Joop de Beer - Nederlands Interdisciplinair Demografisch Instituut (NIDI), the Netherlands EMAIL

Other articles by the same author/authors in Demographic Research

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A multistate model to project elderly disability in case of limited data
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Smoothing and projecting age-specific probabilities of death by TOPALS
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The Netherlands: Childbearing within the context of a "Poldermodel" society
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