Social Consequences of Business Cycles

By Maurice Beck Hexter | Go to book overview

CHAPTER II
THE BIRTH-RATE

A. The Trend

TABLE 1 presents the Monthly Live Birth-Rate in the City of Boston for the period January, 1900, through December, 1921.1 These data are presented graphically in Chart 1. It is easy to notice that the highest Monthly Live Birth-Rate occurred in December, 1907, when it reached 31.70. August, 1900, is very close to this peak month with a rate of 31.55. Next follows March, 1907, with its rate of 31.43. The lowest month during these twenty-two years was June, 1919, when the rate was 20.90 per 1000 population; close by is January, of the same year, with its rate of 21.40. There is, therefore, a difference of 1080 births per 100,000 of population between the peak month and the lowest month. In other words, the lowest month during this span of years represents a decline of 34.07 per cent (over one third) compared with the highest month.

A glance at Chart 1 shows that there has been a steady decline in the Monthly Live Birth-Rate during the past twenty-two years. The straight line running through the plotted rates is the trend line, or the line of "best fit," which has been secured by the Method of Least Squares. It is readily recognized that for this span of years a straight line gives a good "fit."2 The equation to the line

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1
Throughout this whole discussion Tables referring to Actual Data, Seasonal Fluctuations, and Cyclical Fluctuations are placed in the body of the Study. Other Tables, important for future students in this field, are placed in the Appendix.
2
For birth-rates over a longer span of years a straight line will probably not suffice. Ogburn and Thomas, loc. cit., p. 332, for a span of fifty years

-9-

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Social Consequences of Business Cycles
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Introduction vii
  • Author's Preface xiii
  • Contents xv
  • List of Charts xvii
  • List of Tables xxi
  • Part One 1
  • Chapter I - Introductory 3
  • Chapter II - The Birth-Rate 9
  • Chapter III - The Stillbirth-Rate 38
  • Chapter IV - The Death-Rate 48
  • Chapter V - The Number of Marriages 65
  • Chapter VI - The Number of Divorce Libels 86
  • Chapter VII - Summary of Part One 105
  • Part Two 123
  • Chapter VIII - Cyclical Correlations 125
  • Chapter IX - Social Aspects of the Origin Of Business Cycles 167
  • Appendix 177
  • Index 199
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