Data on deliveries are based upon the Integrated System of Social Surveys (POLS) conducted by Statistics Netherlands over the period 2007-2009. All female survey participants aged between 15 and 50 were asked, whether they had given birth in the two years prior to the survey and, if so, how often. So in fact, the survey deals with deliveries in the period 2005-2009. For each delivery, they indicated the location and who assisted them during the delivery process.
POLS is a sample survey and therefore subject to a margin of error. Depending on the extent of the survey, several years have been put together. In 2004, a moving average of 3 years was introduced.
For the location of the delivery, there were three possible answers:
1. at home
2. at home, but after having given birth the mother was admitted to hospital due to medical complications
3. initially at home, but eventually the mother gave birth in hospital as complications arose
4. in hospital in an outpatient department
5. admitted in hospital (i.e. a stay of at least 24 hours)
Home births refer to response categories 1 and 2. Deliveries in hospitals or outpatient departments refer to response category 4. Hospital admissions are included in response categories 3 and 5.
In 2009, 94.6 thousand boys and 90.3 thousand girls were born. The average weight at birth in 2007/2009 for boys was 3,525 grams and their average height was 50.8 cm. The corresponding figures for girls were 3,372 grams and 50.1 cm.