The U.S. Demographic Transition
17 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2002 Last revised: 18 Nov 2007
Date Written: January 2002
Between 1800 and 1940 the U.S. went through a dramatic demographic transition. In 1800 the average woman had 7 children, and 94 percent of the population lived in rural areas. By 1940 the average woman birthed just 2 kids, and only 43 percent of populace lived in the country. The question is: What accounted for this shift in the demographic landscape? The answer given here is that technological progress in agriculture and manufacturing explains these facts.
This paper is published in the American Economic Review (May 2002, Papers and Proceedings) v. 92, n. 2: 153-159.
Keywords: fertility, technological progress, agriculture, manufacturing
JEL Classification: E1, J1, O3
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation