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New Estimates of Nuptiality and Marital Fertility in France, 1740-1911

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This paper produces new annual estimates of the Princeton indices of overall fertility, nuptiality, marital, and non-marital fertility for France from 1740 to 1911. To do so, it first develops a method to reconstruct (back-project) a closed female population by age (above age 10) and marital status from a good terminal census and registration data on deaths and marriages by age and marital status. The new estimates differ somewhat from those of van de Walle for the period 1830 to 1870, but are in agreement with other evidence. From this new longer perspective we observe that slow declines in nuptiality from 1740 to 1820 gave way to a marital fertility transition beginning in the 1790s. After 1820, nuptiality rose but the marital fertility decline dominated the movement of total fertility. These general trends were punctuated by plateaus in marital fertility from 1800 to 1820 and 1850 to 1875, and in nuptiality from 1875 to 1895.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: INRA-HEDM, 63 bd de Brandebourg, 94205 Ivry, France and Population Research Center NORC and University of Chicago, 1155 E. 60th St, Chicago.

Publication date: July 1, 1994

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