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Some Factors Influencing the Ratios of Children to Women in American Cities, 1930

Warren S. Thompson
American Journal of Sociology
Vol. 45, No. 2 (Sep., 1939), pp. 183-199
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2769808
Page Count: 17
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Some Factors Influencing the Ratios of Children to Women in American Cities, 1930
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Abstract

Owing to the absence of birth data adequate for fertility studies in small homogenous areas, this study is based on the ratios of children to women in the census tracts of 8 cities in the eastern and north-central-states. Through the use of arrays and correlations, attempts were made to determine the factors present with different levels (with respect to maintenance) of ratios of children to white women. In general it was found that low rents and high ratios of children to white women and vice versa were found in the same tracts; low proportions of women employed and high ratios; but high proportions in manufacturing and high proportions married were found with high ratios of children to white women. The degree of relationship, as shown by the correlations, varied to quite an extent between cities but was more consistent for these four factors than for several others which it was thought might show some significance. The proportion of white women in the younger age groups showed a significant inverse relation to ratios of children to women in 5 of the 8 cities and a significant direct relation in I. The proportion of white women foreign born showed a significant direct relation to ratios of children to women in 6 of the 8 cities and a significant inverse relation in I. The proportion of homes owned appeared to be significant as a factor associated with the ratios of children to women in only I city and there the association was direct. Living in one-family dwellings had a significant direct relation to ratios of children to women in 3 cities. Density was not available for 2 of the cities but appeared to be a very significant factor in I city-high density, high ratios-and somewhat significant in another; but showed a significant inverse relationship in still another city. It was impossible because of the size of the tracts and the small number in most cities to study the effect of one factor alone on ratios of children to women, because several of these factors showed even higher intercorrelations than either showed with the ratio of children to women.

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