A New Proposal for Measuring Marital Fertility in Historical Populations

Jesús J. Sánchez-Barricarte

Abstract


In this paper, a critical analysis is made of some of the indices used in numerous historical studies on the decline of fertility. More concretely, it is demonstrated how the Total Marital Fertility Rate (TMFR) and the Ig and I’g indices of marital fertility designed by Coale (1986) not only are not good indicators of a population’s level of marital fertility, but also in some cases (for example, when there is an important delay in female mean age at marriage) can even indicate an increase in marital fertility when in reality it is decreasing. Likewise, a new index for measuring marital fertility (known as the Navarre Index) is presented which takes into account women’s average age at marriage as well as their mortality rate during their reproductive period.

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Canadian Studies in Population | E-ISSN 1927-629X

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