The Fertility of American Women

By Wilson H. Grabill; Clyde V. Kiser et al. | Go to book overview

PREFACE

This book is about human fertility in the United States. It is concerned with trends in reproduction since Colonial times. It is also concerned with past and present variations in fertility rates by such factors as geographic and urban-rural residence, color, nativity, and age, and a variety of indicators of socio-economic status, such as occupation, education, income, and monthly rental value of the home.

Being a census monograph, this book is based mainly on census data, and more particularly on those of 1910, 1940, and 1950, concerning average number of children ever born and average number of children under 5 years old in relation to factors of the type listed above. However, the book is not restricted to census materials Much use is made of the birth registration data (as, for example, in Chapter 9) and of special studies, such as those concerning the prevalence and effectiveness of contraceptive practice, the role of religion in family size, and the bearing of social and psychological factors on fertility.

Although the three authors did much team work in the preparation of this monograph, each one is responsible for certain chapters: Mr. Grabill is primarily responsible for Chapters 2 to 4, 8, and 10 and Appendix A, which include the description of historical trends in fertility, variations in fertility by residence, nativity, and ethnic groups, trends in marriage in relation to fertility, and the outlook for fertility; Dr. Kiser has chief responsibility for Chapters 1 and 5 to 7 on fertility differentials by occupation, education, and other socio-economic variables; and Professor Whelpton is responsible for Chapter 9 on cohort fertility and Appendix B. Chapter 11 was jointly prepared.

We are indebted, first of all, to the many people who have contributed to the collection and tabulation of the census data and other materials that have been utilized, to the Census Bureau and the Social Science Research Council for their planning of the census monograph series, and to the Population Council and the Milbank Memorial Fund for their grants which made it possible to secure the special fertility tabulations from the 1950 Census.

We wish to thank Dr. Conrad Taeuber for his constructive review of the entire manuscript and invaluable suggestions. Thanks are also due to Dr. Paul Webbink of the Social Science Research Council for reviewing the plans and the text, to Mrs. Mildred Russell of the Bureau of the Census for the editorial preparation of the manuscript and the tables for printing,

-ix-

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