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The fall of fertility in Tasmania in the late 19th and early 20th centuries

Moyle, Helen Eve

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The aim of this thesis is to examine the fall of marital fertility in Tasmania, the second settled Australian colony, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In this thesis I use quantitative and qualitative data to investigate when marital fertility fell, how it fell—that is, was the fall due to starting, stopping or spacing behaviours— and why it fell at this time. In looking at why fertility fell, I examine how my findings support theories of why fertility fell during the fertility...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorMoyle, Helen Eve
dc.date.accessioned2015-10-30T03:35:05Z
dc.date.available2015-10-30T03:35:05Z
dc.identifier.otherb38071381
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/16176
dc.description.abstractThe aim of this thesis is to examine the fall of marital fertility in Tasmania, the second settled Australian colony, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In this thesis I use quantitative and qualitative data to investigate when marital fertility fell, how it fell—that is, was the fall due to starting, stopping or spacing behaviours— and why it fell at this time. In looking at why fertility fell, I examine how my findings support theories of why fertility fell during the fertility transition. This study used digitised 19th century Tasmanian birth registration data plus many other sources to reconstitute birth histories of couples marrying in Tasmania in 1860, 1870, 1880 and 1890. This provides an individual-level data base which allows the use of both bivariate and multivariate methods of analysis. The qualitative analysis looks at the historical context of Australia, and of Tasmania specifically, and at historical sources such as witness statements from the 1903 NSW Royal Commission into the Decline in the Birth Rate, articles and items from the late 19th and early 20th century Tasmanian newspapers, stories about couples in the marriage cohorts and two diaries of upper class Tasmanian women. The thesis concludes that fertility started to decline in the late 1880s and the fertility decline became well established during the 1890s. The fall in fertility in late 19th century Tasmania was primarily due to the practice of stopping behaviour in the 1880 and 1890 cohorts, although birth spacing was also used as a strategy to limit fertility by the 1890 cohort. Since the thesis provides evidence to support most of the prominent theories of fertility transition, I conclude that the fertility transition was an integral part of the broader social and economic change that occurred in this period of history.
dc.language.isoen
dc.subjectHistorical demography
dc.subjectfertility
dc.subjectAustralia
dc.subjectTasmania
dc.subjectlate 19th century
dc.subjectearly 20th century
dc.titleThe fall of fertility in Tasmania in the late 19th and early 20th centuries
dc.typeThesis (PhD)
local.contributor.supervisorZhao, Zhongwei
local.contributor.supervisorcontactZhongwei.Zhao@anu.edu.au
dcterms.valid2015
local.type.degreeDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
dc.date.issued2015
local.contributor.affiliationSchool of Demography, College of Arts and Social Sciences, The Australian National University
local.identifier.doi10.25911/5d6e505fa0999
local.mintdoimint
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