Biohistory Seminar: "Social and cultural differentials in fertility before the fertility decline in Copenhagen through the 1880 census" – University of Copenhagen

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Biohistory Seminar: "Social and cultural differentials in fertility before the fertility decline in Copenhagen through the 1880 census"

Bárbara A. Revuelta-Eugercios will present her ongoing work with Anne Løkke on exploring social and cultural differences in fertility behaviour prior to onset of the fertility decline in Copenhage, particularly focusing on what social patterning and the differences between migrants and natives can tell us about the processes of diffusion of fertility processes and how socio-economic inequality affected health outcomes.

While the contours of the demographic transition in Denmark are known since very early, there is still a large gap on research on the individual’s experience. Some studies have already shown for Denmark the complexities that individuals bring to the analysis of demographic phenomena but, in general, the longitudinal databases are hard to come by they are very time-consuming to build.

This study exploits a unique source that permits us to study individual behavior through the retrospective fertility questions in the census of 1880. In that year, additional questions on details on marriage, children still alive and children dead were included in the census sheets of Copenhagen and provide one of the first examples of the use of census for gathering more demographic information on the population. Thanks to the digitation efforts done by the volunteers for the Rigsarkviet, information for the whole population is available and we are able to study the fertility behavior of the more than 20,000 couples that lived in the city that reported their fertility histories.