The Fertility of American Women

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

CHAPTER 7 ADDITIONAL SOCIO-ECONOMIC FACTORS IN RELATION TO FERTILITY

With data from various sources it is possible to consider briefly the relation of cumulative fertility rates and fertility ratios to certain socio- economic characteristics besides occupational and educational status. The 1950 Census provides data on fertility in relation to labor force status of women. Data are available from the 1940 Census concerning the relation of fertility to monthly rental value of the dwelling unit. Several reports based upon the Current Population Survey have included analyses of fertility ratios and cumulative fertility rates in relation to income of the husband and family income as well as to occupation, education, and rental value of the home.1 Finally, there are some data from studies conducted by individuals and private agencies concerning the relation of fertility to religion, degree of practice and success of family limitation, and certain psychological characteristics.


A. Labor force status of women in relation to fertility

As used in the 1950 Census, the labor force includes all persons 14 years old and over classified as employed or unemployed by census definition and also members of the Armed Forces (Appendix A).

Our present concern is with the labor force status of women. As expeered, the percentage of the women in the labor force varies sharply with marital status, residence, age, and color, in 1950, approximately one- third (32 percent) of all white women 15 to 49 years old, were in the labor force. The proportion was slightly over half (53 percent) for the single women and approximately one-fourth (26 percent) for the ever-married women. The proportion in the labor force was 22 percent for the "married once and husband present" group and 42 percent for the "other ever married" group (table 94).

Rental and value of home data were collected from a sample of households in 1950 but this sample differed from the fertility sample, so the data could not be used in the fertility tabulations.

Likewise the 1950 Census also collected some data on income for a sample of people. However, sampling design was such that no analysis of children ever born to married women by income of the husband or by total family income is possible. In short, husbands, wives, and household heads were not jointly in the samples for which additional questions were asked.

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