The U.S. demographic transition
Between 1800 and 1940, the United States went through a dramatic demographic transition. In 1800, the average woman had seven children, and 94 percent of the population lived in rural areas. By 1940, the average woman birthed just two kids, and only 43 percent of the populace lived in the country. The question is: What accounted for this shift in the demographic landscape? The answer given here is that technological progress in agriculture and manufacturing explains these facts.
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"A Reformulation of the Economic Theory of Fertility,"
NBER Working Papers
1793, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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