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Popul Stud (Camb). 1996 Nov;50(3):485-524.

Fertility in England and Wales: a fifty-year perspective.

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Department of Social Policy and administration, London School of Economics and Political Science.


This paper provides a detailed account of fertility levels and trends in England and Wales since 1938, with a briefer coverage of a much longer time-span. The paper is concerned both with the measurement of fertility and with understanding the observed fertility behaviour. We lament and correct the failure of demographers to apply measurement tools available since the 1950s to the analysis of fertility in England and Wales, with a particular emphasis on adjustment of period measures and period parity progression ratios and show how some of the grosser errors of analysis and interpretation might have been avoided by earlier use of these approaches. We also relate these estimates to more recent ones. Once a clearer account of trends has been established, the paper goes on to reinterpret and explain the baby boom and baby bust. The conclusion looks at future prospects for fertility.

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