Fertility Behavior of American Women

  • Larry L. Bumpass
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 11)


The recent low fertility of U.S. women has been much heralded. The crude birth rate for 1972 was 15 (below that of the Depression) and the period total fertility rate is below replacement. The crucial question is whether this low fertility is merely a transitory product of delays in marriages and births or whether basic long-run changes have occurred. Although predictions are highly vulnerable, I think recent declines reflect a revolution in the fertility regime. I will outline the argument upon which that conclusion is based and then report briefly on findings which are relevant to points in that argument and concern the relationship between employment and fertility expectations among recently married women.


American Woman Birth Interval Crude Birth Rate Fertility Control Female Role 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • Larry L. Bumpass
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Demography and EcologyThe University of WisconsinMadisonUSA

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