NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Publications by Avery M. Guest

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June 2010Fertility in New York State in the Civil War Era
with Michael R. Haines: w16135
This paper analyzes a five percent systematic sample of households from the manuscripts of the New York State Census of 1865, the first in the United States to ask a question on children ever born. The sample of seven counties (Allegany, Dutchess, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Steuben, Tompkins, and Warren) was selected to provide a diversity of locations, settlement dates, and types of agricultural economy. The parity data indicate a strong decline in marital fertility during the first part of the 19th Century; little evidence of fertility control within marriage is found for the oldest women in the sample, but analysis of parity progression ratios indicates that control had emerged by the midpoint of the 19th Century. Fertility decline was initially most evident in the urban, more economical...

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