The Decline of Fertility in Germany, 1871-1939

The Decline of Fertility in Germany, 1871-1939

Copyright Date: 1974
Pages: 325
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  • Book Info
    The Decline of Fertility in Germany, 1871-1939
    Book Description:

    This is the second in a series of monographs on the historic decline of European fertility to be issued by the Office of Population Research at Princeton University. It is a detailed statistical description and analysis of the transition from high to low birth rates which took place in Germany between Unification and the beginning of World War II. It assembles an exceptionally comprehensive amount of evidence that will be of great importance to social historians as well as sociologists and demographers. John E. Knodel relies on modern yet simple methods of measuring the main demographic trends in Germany and uses straightforward methods to test the plausibility of the many hypotheses that have been advanced to explain the great falls in fertility that occurred throughout the western world in the late nineteenth century.

    Originally published in 1974.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-6984-8
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Foreword
    (pp. vii-viii)
    Ansley J. Coale

    This book is the second in a series of country studies that are part of a cooperative investigation that began in 1964 at the Office of Population Research in Princeton. The purpose of the project, which is supported by the National Institutes of Health, is to examine the circumstances under which fertility declined in each of the more than 700 provinces of Europe. Accurate records of births, deaths, and of the size and composition of populations are more widely prevalent and extend over a longer period of time in Europe than in any other equally large or diverse part of...

  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-x)
    John E. Knodel
  4. Table of Contents
    (pp. xi-2)
  5. Chapter 1: Introduction
    (pp. 3-37)

    Since the beginning of the nineteenth century most European countries have experienced major economic, social, and demographic transformations which collectively social scientists today label modernization. The Industrial Revolution, which had begun towards the end of the eighteenth century in Great Britain, spread throughout much of Europe in the century that followed. The changes that occurred during this modern period of history were much broader, however, than those directly involved in the emergence of modern industry. Among the most important of the concomitant developments was the shift from moderately high birth and death rates to substantially lower ones. By the economic...

  6. Chapter 2: Trends in German Fertility and Nuptiality
    (pp. 38-87)

    This chapter presents and discusses in some detail the trends in the basic demographic indices described in the previous chapter for Germany between the mid-nineteenth century and the beginning of World War II. Because of its size, Appendix Table 2.1, which contains the basic indices for all administrative areas (as well as for states and provinces consisting of more than one area) is presented in Appendix 2A. The indices were calculated for all years during the period between 1867 and 1939 for which sufficient census tabulations and vital statistics were available. For some periods the requisite data were available for...

  7. Chapter 3: Social Differentials in the German Fertility Decline
    (pp. 88-147)

    An important step in gaining a fuller understanding of the fertility transition in Germany is to identify social factors that differentiate subpopulations within Germany with respect to the timing and extent of their participation in the fertility decline. The previous chapter examined in detail geographical differences in demographic behavior using as the units of analysis fertility and nuptiality measures for administrative areas. We now turn to the task of delineating differential fertility trends for sociologically denned population aggregates. Our choice of variables to be used in categorizing the German population for this purpose is restricted largely to those for which...

  8. Chapter 4: Demographic Change and Fertility Decline: Infant Mortality
    (pp. 148-187)

    In Germany, perhaps the most frequently and intensely debated issue in theGeburtenrückgangliterature during the early decades of this century was the relationship between declining infant mortality and declining fertility. E. Würzburger (1912, 1914), the most outspoken proponent of the importance of infant mortality, argued for many years that concern over declining fertility was unwarranted since the reduction in the birth rate was simply the result of a commensurate reduction in infant and child mortality. He stressed the importance of the number of children reaching maturity rather than the number of births in any consideration of declining fertility. Even...

  9. Chapter 5: Demographic Change and Fertility Decline: Emigration, Migration, and Urbanization
    (pp. 188-222)

    Germany’s decline in birth and death rates was accompanied by a radical redistribution of the population through migration. The implications of changes in residence involving long distance moves are of considerable consequence for both the individual and the society in which he lives. The rural to urban migration which involved the movement of millions of persons has been particularly significant. Not only did the population of existing cities swell but many formerly rural areas became urban or suburban in character. This phenomena was not unique to Germany, of course, but prevailed throughout most of Europe during the last century (Weber,...

  10. Chapter 6: The Social Context of the German Fertility Decline
    (pp. 223-245)

    In the previous chapters we have dealt with the role of several social factors in connection with the decline of fertility in Germany. Urbanization and migration can be considered social processes as well as demographic ones, and the social differentials in fertility explored in Chapter 3 contribute to our understanding of the general social context in which the fertility transition in Germany took place. In this chapter we will examine the relationship of several additional social factors with marital fertility as well as reintroduce some of the variables we have previously considered.

    The integral link between the demographic transition and...

  11. Chapter 7: Summary of Findings
    (pp. 246-262)

    Between the mid-nineteenth century and the onset of World War II, German society experienced sweeping changes which together transformed Germany into a modern industrial state. This book focuses on one aspect of Germany’s modernization — the transition in fertility from high, pre-modern levels to low, modern levels. It describes the fertility decline in detail and analyzes its components within the context of the social, economic, and demographic conditions that characterized Germany during this period.

    Vital registration statistics and census reports published by the national and state statistical bureaus serve as the primary source of data for this study. In general...

  12. Appendix 1a: The Choice of a Regional Classification for Germany
    (pp. 263-265)
  13. Appendix 1b: Comparison of the Demographic Indices with Conventional Measures Based on the German Experience 1800-1925
    (pp. 266-269)
  14. Appendix 2a: Democraphic Indices for Germany — If, Ig, Ih, Im, and Im, — for Each Administrative Area and for Each Province or State Consisting of More than One Administrative Area
    (pp. 270-275)
  15. Appendix 2b: Notes on Data Adjustments Involved in the Computation of the Basic Demographic Indices in Appendix Table 2.1
    (pp. 276-278)
  16. Appendix 3: Rural-Urban Marital Fertility for Selected German States and Administrative Areas
    (pp. 279-287)
  17. Appendix 4: (Tables 4.1, 4.2, & 4.3)
    (pp. 288-291)
  18. Official Statistical Sources
    (pp. 292-293)
  19. Other References
    (pp. 294-300)
  20. Index
    (pp. 301-306)