Late foetal deaths

0. Registration entry for subjects

0.1 Name

Late foetal deaths

0.2 Subject area


0.3 Responsible authority; office, division, person etc.

Ómar Harðarson
Guðjón Hauksson
Brynjólfur Sigurjónsson
Hagstofa Íslands

0.4 Purpose and history

At the beginning of the 19th Century bishops in Iceland were charged with the collection of annual records on still born children from midwifes. Information on the number of still births is available from the year 1804. The annual population count of parsons was discontinued with the founding of the National Register of Persons in 1952. Information on still births has since been gathered from birth reports, which are included in the National Register of Persons.

0.5 Users and application

Institutions, companies, organisations and individuals.

0.6 Sources

Parish reports and the National Register of Persons, where information on still births is recorded.

0.7 Legal basis for official statistics

Act on Statistics Iceland no. 24/1913. Regulation on the writing of death certificates, forensic autopsies and the notification of still births to Statistics Iceland, no. 248/2001

0.8 Response burden

0.9 EEA and EU obligations

1. Contents

1.1 Description of content

From the National Register of Persons information is gathered on the total number of still born children to mothers domiciled in Iceland (according to Act no. 5 on domicile from 1990). The following factors appear in published material:

  • Total number of still births and still births per 1,000 births.
  • Still births by sex and marital status of parents.

1.2 Statistical concepts

Still born: In the tables of Statistics Iceland still born children are children born without life signs after at least 28 weeks of gestation. Shorter gestation counts as miscarriage. This is the definition usually employed in tables from international organisations such as the United Nations and Eurostat. In the last few years the boundary between miscarriage and still birth has been changed to 22 weeks in some countries. In tables from these countries the reference point is either 22 weeks (domestic figures) or 28 weeks (international figures). It should be noted that birth institutions in Iceland have since 1992 set the limit at 22 weeks gestation and 500 g weight.

2. Time

2.1 Reference periods

Statistics compiled annually.

2.2 Process time

Process time is six months; from end of year until June.

2.3 Punctuality

Statistics on still births are published annually in the Statistical Yearbook of Iceland. Further information is available from the database of the Information Department of Statistics Iceland.

2.4 Frequency of releases

Statistics on still births are published annually in the Statistical Yearbook of Iceland.

3. Reliability and security

3.1 Accuracy and reliability

At a review of birth reports from the last five years it emerged that no report was missing.

3.2 Sources of errors

Internationally, data collection on still births has been considered rather poorly carried out. Definitions of still births have changed over time and in older data it can be difficult to distinguish between still births and miscarriages even though accurate definitions are available. Today information on the length of gestation (based on ultrasound scan and latest period) is declared to Statistics Iceland and forms the basis of the compilation of tables. Thus information on this area can today be considered highly reliable.

3.3 Measures on confidence limits/accuracy

Confidence limits are not calculated.

4. Comparison

4.1 Comparison between periods

Annual parish censuses were discontinued with the founding of the National Register of Persons in 1952, from which information on still births has been gathered since. The definition of consensual union of parents in population reports was changed in 1986. Before this time reports on the subject relied on the National Register of Persons as well as birth reports; it was not considered consensual union unless parents were domiciled at the same address. From 1986 reports on the consensual union of parents relies entirely on birth reports, where information on the subject is received directly from the mother.

4.2 Comparison with other statistics

4.3 Coherence between preliminary and final statistics

No preliminary statistics are published for still births.

5. Access to information

5.1 Forms of dissemination

  • News, released on Statistics Iceland's website
  • Statistics, categorised statistical web tables
  • Statistical Series, Hagtíðindi
  • Statistical Yearbook of Iceland, Landshagir
  • Population statistics until 1980, in the series Hagskýrslur Íslands
  • Hagskinna. Icelandic historical statistics

5.2 Basic data; storage and usability

Data stored in digital format by the Population Statistics Department of Statistics Iceland. No access is provided to data relating to individuals, though it is possible to have it especially processed.

5.3 Reports

5.4 Other information

Further information is available from the Information Department or the Population Statistics Department of Statistics Iceland.

© Hagstofa �slands, �ann 27-1-2009