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1. Population Structures

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Chapter Summary

This chapter begins with the observation that there has long been great cross-cultural diversity in the basic population structures of marriage, living arrangements, fertility, and mortality. This great cross-cultural diversity has existed both between and within countries and geographical regions. This extensive heterogeneity characterizes the past, the present, and the pathways of historical population change. The chapter focuses on some of the basic elements of certain major geographical and cultural regions. Demography has long been interested in this international heterogeneity. Scholars from Northwest Europe and its overseas populations made extensive comparisons between this region and other places in the world. The social and economic changes in northwest European society, including educational expansion, the growth of cities and income, and industrialization were believed to have produced the mortality and fertility declines of the 1800s and early 1900s in Northwest Europe. The influence of mortality on age structures is more complicated.

Keywords: cross-cultural demography; early mortality; later marriage; population structures; total fertility rate



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