Now showing 1 - 2 of 2
  • Publication
    The fertility of the Irish in the United States in 1910
    (University College Dublin; Centre for Economic Resarch, 2004-01) ; ;
    In most western societies, marital fertility began to decline in the nineteenth century. But in Ireland, fertility in marriage remained stubbornly high into the twentieth century. Explanations of this focus on the influence of the Roman Catholic Church in Irish society. These arguments are often backed up by claims that the Irish outside of Ireland behaved the same way. This paper investigates these claims by examining the marital fertility of Irish Americans in 1900 and 1910. We find that Irish fertility patterns did not survive the Atlantic crossing. The Irish in America had smaller families than couples in both rural and urban Ireland. But Irish immigrants still had large families relative to the native-born population in the U.S. This higher marital fertility of Irish immigrants cannot be attributed to differences in other population characteristics. Conditional on observable characteristics, Irish immigrants had larger families.
  • Publication
    Fertility in South Dublin a century ago : first look
    (University College Dublin, School of Economics, 2001-11) ; ;
    Ireland’s relatively late and feeble fertility transition remains poorly-understood. The leading explanations stress the role of Catholicism and a conservative social ethos. Previous studies rely on evidence that is not sufficient to support firm conclusions. This paper reports the first results from a project that uses new samples from the 1911 census of Ireland to study fertility in Dublin and Belfast. Our larger project aims to use the extensive literature on the fertility transition elsewhere in Europe to refine and test leading hypotheses in their Irish context. The present paper uses a sample from the Dublin suburb of Pembroke to take a first look at the questions, data, and methods. This sample is much larger than those used in previous studies of Irish fertility, and is the first from an urban area. We find considerable support for the role of religion, networks, and other factors stressed in the literature on the fertility transition, but the data also show a role for the social-class effects downplayed in recent discussions.