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The Female Population of France in the 19th Century: A Reconstruction of 82 Departments

The Female Population of France in the 19th Century: A Reconstruction of 82 Departments

Copyright Date: 1974
Pages: 502
  • Book Info
    The Female Population of France in the 19th Century: A Reconstruction of 82 Departments
    Book Description:

    In analyzing the social and economic factors underlying the decline of fertility in nineteenth-century France. Etienne van de Walle found that official statistics for the period were incomplete and inaccurate. He thus undertook a full reconstruction. In this volume, he presents a detailed discussion of the methodology used to correct and to supplement these official statistics, along with the results of the reconstruction of 82 French départements, and French and English summaries of his findings.

    By computing standardized indices of fertility and nuptiality for each of the 82 départements, the author extends the period for which standardized demographic indices are available. His methodology, which evaluates and corrects the biases and defects of the official statistics, provides a model for similar background studies in the future.

    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: 978-1-4008-7156-8
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Foreword
    (pp. v-vi)
    Ansley J. Coale

    This book presents the statistical base for an analysis of the decline of fertility in France. In a sense, it is a by-product—albeit an important one—of the overall European Fertility Project that is being conducted under the auspices of the Office of Population Research at Princeton University. Originated in 1964 and funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health, the Project seeks to uncover greater understanding of the circumstances under which a major fertility decline occurs through a detailed examination of fertility trends in 700 European provinces over the last century....

  3. Preface
    (pp. vii-x)
  4. Table of Contents
    (pp. xi-xii)
  5. List of Tables
    (pp. xiii-xv)
  6. List of Maps and Figures
    (pp. xvi-xx)

    • Chapter 1: The Background
      (pp. 3-12)

      Toward the end of the 19th century, the fertility of most countries of Europe was launched upon a course of sustained decline. The near-simultaneity of this change in Europe is somewhat hidden by the substantial regional differences in nuptiality that existed at the time. Marriage was generally later, and a smaller proportion of all persons got married in Western Europe than in Eastern Europe, so that important differences in the crude birth rate continued to be observed into the 20th century. But a discernible decline in marital fertility occurred between 1870 and the First World War in an overwhelming majority...

    • Chapter 2: The Data
      (pp. 13-55)

      In this chapter, we describe the censuses and vital registration from which we draw our information for France in the 19th century. This is the time when most European States set up their statistical systems, in the absence of accepted rules and standard practices. The general recognition of a need for detailed censuses and for their detailed publication was a phenomenon of the 19th century. Of course there are isolated examples of censuses in the 18th century, but they require careful scrutiny before they can be accepted at face value. Typically, they are not detailed, and their publication may occupy...

    • Chapter 3: Reconstruction of the Female Population by Age
      (pp. 56-98)

      The available data have been described in the previous chapter, and some preliminary indications have suggested that both censuses and vital registration were deficient, at least in some regions and at some times during the 19th century. This chapter attempts to reconstruct estimates of the female age distribution and the female birth series, parallel to the official ones, i.e. using the same geographical classification (the départements) and the same dates as the published censuses and vital registration. Despite all its defects, the French material is exceptionally complete in its coverage. There are frequent censuses: every five years over most of...

    • Chapter 4: Reconstruction of the Female Population by Marital Status
      (pp. 99-122)

      In the preceding chapters we showed that the French population statistics revealed serious biases during the 19th century, and in particular that census age distributions were not reliable. It was possible, however, to reconstruct the population by age by relying extensively on the vital registration. In this chapter, we shall extend the reconstruction procedure to the marital status distribution. It was shown earlier that the censuses err also on the subject of marital status. Once the population has been reconstructed by age, we must find a way to allocate women within each age-group by marital status. This appears necessary a...

    • Chapter 5: The Total Female Population of France
      (pp. 123-144)

      The principles applied to the reconstruction of the population of the départements can also be used with the total population of France. One aim of this chapter is to present, for France as a whole, the method of reconstruction and its results in more detail than space allows for the départements, and to describe the format of five standard tables of results. Similar tables for each département are presented in the second part of the book, but the individual comments will be restricted to a few lines. AU the population figures for France are expressed in hundreds. The two last...

    • Chapter 6: Patterns of Bias in the Départements
      (pp. 145-169)

      This chapter examines what, if anything, can be said about systematic defects of the data or of the reconstruction in the départements of France. We shall successively examine the registration of births, the population by age, and the population by marital status. In particular, we shall look for regional patterns and correlations.

      Reconstruction of the départements has yielded new numbers of female births and estimates of the extent of their deficiencies in the published statistics. The quality of the birth series varies with time; there was serious underestimation at the beginning of the century, but the errors were only occasional...

    • Chapter 7: Main Trends of Fertility and Nuptiality by Département
      (pp. 170-189)

      In this chapter, we attempt to summarize some of the fertility and nuptiahty trends revealed in the study. At this stage, we abandon the critical approach followed in the previous chapters, and assume that the results reflect the changes that occurred in French départements during the 19th century. Of course, the regional coherence of the results, which were derived separately for individual départements, will reinforce their credibility. We shall consider in turn: the trends in the birth rate for the period before 1831 (when we have no separate evidence on marital status); and the trends inIgandIh(respectively,...

    • Chapter 8: Some Additional Results of the Reconstruction on Mortality and Migration
      (pp. 190-202)

      In the process of reconstructing the population, the number of deaths of the period are used to determine a mortality level in the model life tables. When applied by age to the population at timet, the mortality rates$5{q_\infty }$at a level in the tables produce the number of deaths registered for the five-year intercensal periodttot+5. The survival factors chosen in the model life tables at this level of mortality are used in the population projection which yields the reconstructed population.

      Estimates of the level of mortality (expressed in terms of expectation of life at birth...

    • Conclusion
      (pp. 203-206)

      We have reached the end of our task in this book. We have described a systematic reconstruction of the female population of the French départements, based on the official statistics of the 19th century. We presented the methods of reconstruction, indicated the main defects of the data and described the main regional trends of fertility and nuptiality. Subsidiarily, we presented some estimates of mortality and migration for the départements. The detailed results of the study are presented in Part Two.

      The production of a new set of demographic indicators only provides new material for a study of the fertility decline...


    • 1. Technical Notes on the Reconstruction of Individual Départements
      (pp. 209-225)

      Ain: The population in 1801 and 1806 and the births and deaths from 1801 to 1814 were inflated by the ratio of the total population (both sexes) of the Gex arrondissement to the total population of Ain in 1821 to account for a border change in 1815. Note a substantial discrepancy between the reported and the estimated population under 15 years of age both in 1901 and 1906; every reported age-group is almost 10 percent greater than in our estimate. The feature is discussed in Chapter 6, p. 156. Bad censuses: 1856, overreporting at adult ages, particularly at 35 to...

    • 2. The Data, by Département
      (pp. 226-467)
    • 3. Présentation de l’Ouvrage au Lecteur Français
      (pp. 468-472)

      Le bref résumé qui va suivre vise à rendre l’ouvrage accessible au lecteur français. Nous indiquons ici dans quel chapitre il pourra trouver les développements méthodologiques qui expliquent et justifient les estimations présentées dans la seconde partie de l'ouvrage, et nous décrivons Ie contenu des tableaux qui la composent.

      L’objet du présent volume est une reconstruction de la population féminine des départements français, à l’exception des suivants: Alpes-Maritimes, Bouches-du-Rhône, Belfort (Territoire de), Meurthe-et-Moselle, Rhône, Savoie, Savoie (Haute-), Seine, et Seine-et-Oise. L’exclusion de certains départements a été imposée par les problèmes techniques soulevés soit par l’immigration massive vers des zones urbaines,...

  9. References, including Official Statistical Sources
    (pp. 473-480)
  10. Geographical Index
    (pp. 481-483)