Group Differences in Urban Fertility: A Study Derived from the National Health Survey

Group Differences in Urban Fertility: A Study Derived from the National Health Survey

Group Differences in Urban Fertility: A Study Derived from the National Health Survey

Group Differences in Urban Fertility: A Study Derived from the National Health Survey

Excerpt

For a country at war the population question of most immediate concern is the number of males of military age and their fitness for military service or for other work vital to the needs of the day. Not too remote from this question, however, is the problem of birth rates and their variations in different elements of the population. It has been reported that in the first Selective Service draft, rejections due to physical unfitness and inadequate schooling amounted to about 50 per cent. The physical requirements in a peace-time draft were probably more rigid than at present. Nevertheless, one cannot help linking the high rate of rejections with the disproportionate contributions of impoverished families and communities to the nation's children. In large rural sections of the South, for instance, the areas of highest fertility tend also to be the problem areas with respect to family income, schools, nutrition, and general facilities for the public health.

The urban population is collectively characterized by a low level of reproduction; so low that without replenishment from rural areas it would ultimately fail by a wide margin to reproduce itself. There are, however, internal variations in urban fertility by region, size of city, nativity, color, and socio-economic status. It is with such problems, and particularly that of urban differential fertility along socio- economic lines, that the present report is concerned.

The first rather comprehensive study of class differences in the fertility of urban families in this country was that published by Sydenstricker and Notestein in 1930, based . . .

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