Total fertility rates and age-specific marital fertility rates are estimated for the urban and rural black populations during the last fourteen years of the nineteenth century. The data source is a 1-in-750 sample of households from the 1900 .census manuscripts. The results show sharp differences in the levels of urban and rural reproduction, as well as differences in the timing of the well-known black fertility transition. Calculation of Coale-Trussell m-values suggests that, up to 1899, rural blacks were essentially a “natural fertility” population while urban residents apparently had a history of family limitation. These findings support the inference that at least some segments of the black population were practicing birth control before the turn of the twentieth century.

The text of this article is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.