Mobility, Social Class and Fertility Transition in England and Wales, 1851–1911

Eilidh Garrett, University of Essex
Hannaliis Jaadla, University of Cambridge
Alice Reid, University of Cambridge

We use individual level census data for England and Wales from 1851–1911 to investigate the interplay of socioeconomic status, spatial mobility and geographical context determining observed patterns during the fertility transition. Prior research on the fertility transition in England and Wales has demonstrated substantial variation in fertility levels and declines by different social groups, however, these findings were generally reported at a broad geographical level, disguising local variation and complicated by residential segregation along social class and occupational lines. Our findings show that before the onset of fertility transition, large part of the socio-economic differences in fertility can be explained by the structural differences across communities. However, class differentials in fertility widen during the transition, with upper and middle classes and textile workers as forerunners in this process. After 1880s, these patterns remain even after taking into account the spatial unobserved heterogeneity and individual characteristics.

Presented in Poster Session 2