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An Atlas of Fertility Decline in England and Wales

Derbyshire Case Study

Derbyshire geographies

As a pilot, age specific and total marital fertility rates have been roughly calculated for the county of Derbyshire at a variety of geographical scales.

The left hand map shows total marital fertility rates (TMFRs) for the 8 registration districts of Derbyshire. The mining areas in the easterly bulge of the county stand out as having higher fertlity, with lower fertility in cotton industry areas of the north.

The middle map shows the same calculations for sub-registration districts, where the finer scale allows the characteristic fertility of the mining and textile areas within the southern registration districts to emerge.

The right hand graph shows parish level measures: although small numbers mean that some areas must be left blank, the pockets of very high and very low fertility associated with mining and textile work respectively are seen to be more concentrated than the more aggregated geographies depict.

Social and spatial differences in fertility in Derbyshire

Age-specific marital fertility rates (ASMFRs)

Age-specific marital fertility rates (ASMFRs)

Age-specific marital fertility rates (ASMFRs) for Derbyshire show that the wives of professional men led the fertility decline, with a pronounced decline from 1891 with lower fertility at all ages and evidence of parity specific control.

Patterns of fertility decline in Derbyshire were not wholly influenced by the geographic spread of different occupations, however. There is new and compelling evidence for both spatial as well as social influences on fertility decline. Although the fertility of miners in Derbyshire was barely declining by 1911, that of miners living in areas (such as Matlock RSD) with a significant concentration of people working in tertiary occupations exhibited an earlier decline than miners living in mining dominated places.