Socioeconomic Fertility Differentials in a Late Transition Setting: a Micro-Level Analysis of the Saguenay Region in Quebec

Socioeconomic Fertility Differentials in a Late Transition Setting: a Micro-Level Analysis of the Saguenay Region in Quebec

Socioeconomic Fertility Differentials in a Late Transition Setting: a Micro-Level Analysis of the Saguenay Region in Quebec

Socioeconomic Fertility Differentials in a Late Transition Setting: a Micro-Level Analysis of the Saguenay Region in Quebecs

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Référence bibliographique [17170]

Vézina, Hélène, Gauvreau, Danielle et Gagnon, Alain. 2014. «Socioeconomic Fertility Differentials in a Late Transition Setting: a Micro-Level Analysis of the Saguenay Region in Quebec ». Demographic Research, vol. 30, no 38, p. 1097-1128.

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Fiche synthèse

1. Objectifs


Intentions :
«This paper [aims] to study […] socioeconomic reproductive differentials prior to and during the fertility transition in Saguenay.» (p. 1097)

2. Méthode


Échantillon/Matériau :
«Data for this study comes from the BALSAC database, which contains all church and civil records for the Saguenay region from the onset of colonization at the end of the 1830s up to 1971: that is 432,000 births, 91,000 marriages, and 122,500 death records (BALSAC Project 2013). […] To conduct the present study, we retrieved information on the reproductive history of all women married in the Saguenay region from the beginning of the settlement (first marriage recorded in 1842) up to 1971; only women’s first marriages were selected (N=87,838).» (p. 1102)

Type de traitement des données :
Analyse statistique

3. Résumé


«In Saguenay, as in other similar regions, the fertility transition was even more delayed than in more urbanized parts of Quebec and can be dated to as late as 1940-1949 for couples married in the 1920−1929 period. There are various reasons for this: the region was quite remote from the main cities of Montreal and Quebec; its rural sector remained very important until the 1930s; its population was almost exclusively French Catholic and less-educated than the Quebec average. […] Descriptive analyses of fertility indicators clearly demonstrate that the fertility transition in the Saguenay region had nothing to do with postponing marriage or first births but was concentrated at the end of reproductive life. In this frontier region colonized in the mid-19th century, women married in their early 20s, and only under the harsh conditions of the Depression in the 1930s did they marry somewhat later. Fertility rates decreased at older ages, following a clear socioeconomic gradient from non-manual to skilled workers, to lower and unskilled workers, and then to farmers. What we know from the decline among the Catholic population in Quebec suggests that most couples adopted stopping practices once the family size was considered satisfactory, which often transformed into what looks like spacing practices given the rudimentary methods allowed by the Church during this period.» (p. 1124)