The Societies of Europe - The European Population, 1850-1945

Description of the Data on CD-ROM


by Franz Rothenbacher

As a supplement to the handbook, the CD-ROM provides data for further analyses of demographic developments, population and household structures in Western and East-Central Europe. The CD-ROM includes not only the printed country tables in computerized form, it also contains additional data tables with basic data on demographic developments and the population by age, sex and marital status for one-year age groups that may be used for specific research purposes and statistical analyses. Thus, with the help of the CD-ROM, the reader can study population questions with respect to main trends in demographic developments, the population by size and composition according to region, sex, age and marital status, shifts in the population structure and the composition of households - for individual countries or comparatively.

Before using the CD-ROM, the reader should first consult the handbook. The General Introduction (Chap. I.1) presents the background and history of the project and outlines the overall structure of the handbook. Especially, the introductory chapter Demographic Measures and Demographic Statistics (Chap. I.6) presents the main concepts and methods used for the collection and analysis of demographic data covered in the tables and the graphs. Four introductory chapters on Population and Territory, Population Growth and Demographic Transition, Marriage, Legitimacy, Divorce, and Households and Families (Chap. I.2-I.5), examine the main trends from 1850 - 1945 and cross-national differences between European population movements, as well as providing comparative tables. For analyses of particular countries, the handbook’s Country Profiles (Chap. II.1-II.21) introduce the reader to nation state formation and territorial changes, population structures and movements, and the systems of national demographic statistics. Statistical sources and relevant literature are listed in one Bibliography at the end of the volume. All tables of the individual country profiles are included on the CD-ROM, but graphs are presented in the book only. Finally, we have standardized the numbering, indicators, and presentation of the Country Tables and Figures.

table CD.1 Tables and time series on CD-ROM (Excel)

The handbook provides important background information for the use of the data contained on the CD-ROM. To make proper use of the electronic tables and databases included, users of the electronic version are asked to consult the handbook, in particular the sections ‘State Formation and Territory’, ‘The National System of Demographic Statistics’ and ‘Boundary Changes’. The CD-ROM thus complements, but does not substitute for the handbook, while it also includes a wealth of supplementary data. Besides the computer-readable tables which are included in the handbook, additional tables on population developments and structure that could not be published due to space limitations are included on the CD-ROM. The data comprise first: the absolute values used for calculating the demographic indicators (annual data for mid-year population, live births, deaths, marriages, divorces, etc.); second: the absolute values on the population by age, sex and marital status in one-year age groups for each population census. It is important to note that these latter data have been included for the time period 1850 to 1990. These additional databases allow further analysis by the reader, be it research on the demographic development of one individual country, or new comparative analyses of some selected variables.


The handbook and CD-ROM cover all Western European countries, plus the East-Central European countries of Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland. Thus, it includes all of the European Union member states. For most countries, data are available from 1850 until 1945. For Czechoslovakia and Poland, data series start after the end of World War I. In Italy, national data became available in the 1860s after unification. As regards Austria and Hungary, data are available for two different territorial states: for the larger territory until World War I, and the retrospectively recalculated figures for the territory of the republic resp. kingdom. In contrast to statistics in other fields, population statistics in Europe remained national until 1945; there was no equivalent to ‘European population statistics’, which began to be compiled with the foundation of the European Union after the war. Thus only national data are presented in the handbook and on the CD-ROM. On the CD-ROM, users will find easy access to these national areas by clicking on the left banner:


Countries covered (1850-1945): Belgium, Denmark,
Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Luxemburg, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, England and Wales, and Scotland; Austrian Empire (1850-1913); Austrian Republic (1871-1945); Czechoslovakia (1919-45); Hungarian Empire (1865-1918); Hungarian Kingdom (1869-1945); Italy (1861-1945); Poland (1900-45); Northern Ireland (1922-45).

Type of information

The CD-ROM provides information on four main aspects of population structure and development for each country, or at the regional level.

Population structure and density

Development of national population structures by population size, sex, marital status and age according to population censuses (with the age being given as detailed as possible, mostly in one-year age groups).
Development of population distribution and population density by regions according to population censuses.

Vital statistics

Annual series on mid-year population, population growth and net migration, fertility, legitimacy and illegitimacy, general and infant mortality, nuptiality and divortiality.

Life expectancy

For each country one table on life expectancy by sex for selected ages.

Households and families

Basic data and indicators for the years of the population censuses on households by type, members, size, composition, in some cases also by region and profession of household head.

Types of data

The following types of data are available on this CD-ROM; they allow browsing, printing, and/or further computation depending on the data format:


Handbook appendix tables (1-6) (PDF and Excel formats)
See Table CD.1
Additional tables (I-II) (PDF and Excel formats)
Table I: Annual basic data on population movement
Table II: Age, sex and civil status at census dates


Country chapter section on ‘The national system of demographic statistics’ with information on the history and organization of population statistics and a definition of statistical concepts (PDF format).
Handbook appendix table (7) (PDF format) on the availability of demographic statistics.
The complete ‘Bibliography’, comprising full documentation of the statistical sources used for compiling the tables and databases (PDF format).

more Information
Data on CD-ROM