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Social change and early fertility decline in Catalonia

Changements sociaux et baisse précoce de la fécondité en Catalogne (en anglais)

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Abstract

This article attempts a description of the fertility and nuptiality patterns of a group of selected localities in Catalonia from the late eighteenth century to the mid-nineteenth century. The pattern of fertility transition in Catalonia can be described as starting from nuptiality conditions of early and quasi-universal marriage. The pattern of nuptiality is preserved throughout the process in its essentials. The transition, then, was largely limited to a decline in marital fertility. The evidence suggests an onset occurring in the 1830s, closer to the French experience than to that of any other Western European country. Finally, the analysis of the 84 local areas supports the proposition that structural factors had a significant effect on both the mid-nineteenth century level of marital fertility and the rate of decline during the 70-year period under study.

Résumé

Cet article tente de décrire la fécondité et la nuptialité d'un groupe de communes catalanes de la fin du XVIIIème siècle au milieu du XIXème siècle. Le début de la baisse de la fécondité en Catalogne est marqué par un mariage précoce touchant presque toute la population. Ce type de nuptialité sera préservé, pour l'essentiel, tout au long du processus de transition. De ce fait, cette transition est essentiellement limitée à une baisse de la fécondité légitime. Les résultats indiquent un début de transition dans les années 1830, plus proche de l'expérience française que de celles des autres pays d'Europe de l'Ouest. Finalement, l'analyse de données sur 84 communes soutient l'hypothèse que les facteurs structuraux de cette baisse ont un effet significatif tant sur le niveau de fécondité légitime au milieu du XIXème siècle que sur la baisse de la fécondité durant la période de 70 ans étudiée ici.

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Benavente, J. Social change and early fertility decline in Catalonia. Eur J Population 5, 207–234 (1989). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01796817

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Keywords

  • Structural Factor
  • Local Area
  • Social Change
  • Public Finance
  • Eighteenth Century