Late fertility transition in Sardinia (Villagrande, 1851-2013)

Michel Poulain, Tallinn University and Université Catholique de Louvain
Anne Herm, Tallinn University
Gianni Pes, Università degli Studi di Sassari

Sardinian population experienced a late fertility transition and high level of marital fertility has been reported until the 1950’s. For the village of Villagrande in Ogliastra still involved in agro-pastoral activities with traditional life style still prevalent, we reconstruct about one thousand completed families with mothers born between 1880 and 1965 and their children identified till 2013. The original results confirm that the natural fertility regime is prevalent till 1950 with a TFR25 of 6 children per mother. Thereafter the drop occurs in two steps, a fall to 4 children between 1952 and the end of the 50’s and a more important fall starting in 1965 till 2 children per mother. Anthropological surveys allowed identifying the main drivers of these important changes: improved well-being associated with better social security and development of the pension system, opening of the village to the external world and later the impact of compulsory education till 14 years for children that were used to help their parents. This interesting demographic and anthropological investigation is dealing with one of the last European populations where the couples that reduced their fertility are still alive.

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Presented in Session 114: Demographic transition from micro-perspective, 18-20th century