Was Fertility Decline Determined by Child Mortality Levels? Factors behind Divergent Regional Transitional Patterns in Early 20th Century Spain

Fernando Gil-Alonso, Universitat de Barcelona

The decades before the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) were a key period in Spain’s fertility and mortality modernization. Even though declines in both phenomena accelerated, their spatial impact were not the same throughout the country. In fact, the greatest regional fertility and (child) mortality differences are found in this period, particularly in the 1920s and 1930s. This paper uses Spanish 1930 and 1940 censuses, and specifically the retrospective questions posed to ever married women on the number of children ever-born, and on those dead, to analyze fertility and child mortality declines in the decades before the Spanish Civil War. Geographical analysis (differences in regional transitional patterns specifically) and phenomena interdependences are the main research focal points. Preliminary results obtained using cluster analysis draw several well-differentiate regional demographic systems and give relevant information on the specific causes that contributed to Spain’s demographic modernization.

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Presented in Poster Session 3