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Hierarchical models are characterized by having N living states connected by N–1 rates of transfer. Demographic measures for such models can be calculated directly from counts of the number of persons in each state at two nearby points in time. Exploiting the ability of population stocks to determine the flows in hierarchical models expands the range of demographic analysis. The value of such analyses is illustrated by an application to childbearing, where the states of interest reflect thedoi:10.7287/peerj.preprints.2128v1 fatcat:tp36djkytrh3jl4ppz76qbcgd4