On the Vanguard of the Fertility Transition: “Yankee” Women in the American Midwest, 1870-1880.

J. David Hacker, University of Minnesota

Women in New England, a census region in the United States settled by English Puritans in the seventeenth century, were on the vanguard of the fertility transition, not just in the United States, but in the world. This paper estimates the influence of "Yankee" birth, ancestry, and religion on fertility independent of economic and demographic factors. To do so it relies on area fixed-effects regression analysis of marital fertility among 533,457 women of both Yankee and non-Yankee heritage living in the Midwest region of the United States in 1870. Data are obtained from a panel of married couples linked between the 1870-1880 IPUMS full-count datasets by the IPUMS Multigenerational Longitudinal Project (IPUMS MLP). This dataset has a unique combination of features--including the direct measurement of individuals' wealth--that allows the effect of Yankee ancestry to be measured independent of other factors.

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 Presented in Session 173. Cultural Factors in Demographic Behaviour