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Fertility and mortality

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Chapter Summary

The size and structure of populations are never static. This was true in the case of pre-modern Japan, too. As far as the scant data allow us to say, pre-modern Japan was characterized by regional differences in fertility and mortality which reflected differences in ecology, mediated by economy, as well as social and historical conditions. In this chapter, the changes in mortality and fertility are describes, starting with mortality, since, as the model of the demographic transition postulates, the process starts with a decline in the death rate of a given population. The level of mortality is one of the most fundamental factors of the living conditions of every society, and changes in mortality precede changes in fertility. The analysis of fertility is far more complex than that of mortality whereas biological constraints play a minor role.

Keywords: demographic transition; fertility rate; mortality; pre-modern Japan



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