Vital Statistics (VS) refer basically to births, marriages and deaths occurred in the Spanish territory. The main source of information are the different Civil Registers, which send the INE their records of births, marriages and deaths every month.
The VS is one of the longest standing statistics performed by the INE. The first volume was published in 1863 by the Kingdom's General Statistics Council (containing data for the 1858-1861 period obtained from parish records). Since then, information has been published without interruption, except for the 1871-1885 period when the Civil Register was implemented. From then on, the Register has been the source used to obtain data for these statistics.
Birth is identified since 1975 with the biological concept "live birth," which is used most frequently in the demographic field.
A late foetal death is death prior to the complete expulsion or extraction from its mother of a product of viable conception. This statistic considers that late foetal death refers to a foetus that dies after six or more months of gestation.
Labour refers to the expulsion or extraction of a product of viable conception from the womb; therefore, this excludes abortion or the expulsion of a non-viable foetus.
The concept marriage refers to the legal marriage, i.e. marriages inscribed in the Civil Register.
The statistical concept death used traditionally in Spain comprised the deaths of all persons that had lived for more than 24 hours. As of 1975, this concept has been broadened to include live births that die before the first 24 hours.
These indicators provide information on different demographic phenomena. Specifically, they offer data on life expectancy at birth, mortality and birth rates, child mortality, natural increase (difference between births and deaths), average number of children per mother, average age at maternity and at birth of first child, percentage of children born to unmarried mothers, fertility rate, marriage rate, average age at marriage and average age at first marriage.