The U.S. Demographic Transition

17 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2002 Last revised: 18 Nov 2007

Jeremy Greenwood

University of Pennsylvania - The Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science and Economics (PCPSE); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Ananth Seshadri

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 2002

Abstract

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

Greenwood, Jeremy and Seshadri, Ananth, The U.S. Demographic Transition (January 2002). FRB of Cleveland Working Paper No. 01-18. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=297952 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.297952

Jeremy Greenwood (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - The Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science and Economics (PCPSE) ( email )

133 South 36th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6297
United States
215-898-1505 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://jeremygreenwood.net

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Ananth Seshadri

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Economics ( email )

1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
United States
608-262-6196 (Phone)
608-263-3876 (Fax)

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