The relationship between socio-economicstatus and fertility among married women is examined, using data from the 1/1,000 sample from the 1960 United States Census of Population and the 1960 Growth of American Families Study. Both sets of data indicate that the negative relationship between socio-economic status and fertility is still prevalent but may reflect different patterns of child-spacing rather than completed fertility. Labor force participation among these women is found to be negatively related to the number of children ever born. To determine the degree of involvement in this type of non-familial role, the work index or proportion of one’s married life engaged in the labor force is developed. The work index is found to be a particularly sensitive measure of involvement in the worker role vis-a-vis their fertility. The working hypothesis of this study, that such non-familial activity has a different effect according to one’s socio-economic status, is borne out. Participation in the labor force results in a relatively larger reduction in the fertility of upper status women than for those of lower status. However, this relationship apparently holds true only for those women from rural backgrounds but not for those from large urban areas.

You do not currently have access to this content.