Of the 458 local authorities in England, Wales and Scotland at that time, 424 (92%) agreed to take part.


  % Number
Successful Interviews 90.513,687
Mothers refused 1.9 287
Mothers untraced 7.3 1,109
Forms spoiled 0.3 47
Total confirmed births 15,130


There were two versions of the Maternity Survey:

  • Version A: 'The Maternity Study' - focused more on ante-natal care and the birth process
  • Version B: 'The Costs Study' - focused more on the costs associated with pregnancy

The 424 co-operating authorities were randomly divided into two groups. In no case did a single authority receive both types of questionnaire. 

The response rate for the maternity study was 91.5% and the response rate for the costs study was 89.3%.

  % Number
Version A: Maternity study53.27,287
Version B: Costs study 46.86,400
Total   13,687

A detailed description of the sampling and methodology of the original maternity study is given in Douglas JWB, 'Maternity in Great Britain' (1948). 

The questionnaires can be viewed here.

  • questionnaires/maternity_sample.txt
  • Last modified: 18 months ago
  • by nmpo