, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 105-114

Family sizes of children and family sizes of women

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This paper demonstrates the relation that obtains between the average family size of women and the average family size of offspring of those women. It estimates the value of these two measures for cohorts of American women aged 45–49 in various years from 1890 to 1970. It shows that children born during the post-war baby boom actually derived from smaller families than those born during the low-fertility 1930’s; that under current patterns a woman would have to bear an average of almost two children fewer than were borne by her mother merely to keep population fertility rates constant from generation to generation; and that average family size for nonwhite children exceeds that for white by 50 percent, although the racial difference in family sizes of women is only 19 percent.