Fertility and child mortality in the Sardinian demographic transition. Micro-level evidence for Alghero (1866-1935)

Lucia Pozzi, Università degli Studi di Sassari
Marco Breschi, Università degli Studi di Sassari
Stanislao Mazzoni, Università degli Studi di Sassari

The reduction in infant and child mortality rates has been considered one of the key factors prompting fertility decline. However, our knowledge in this regard is still limited; the relationship between early life mortality and fertility, indeed, is complex since involves multiple dimensions that are difficult to disentangle. Furthermore up to now research on this topic has not permitted to measure adequately the interaction mechanisms involved, since it has mostly relied on aggregate data. This paper aims to explore this complex relationship during the Sardinian demographic transition on the basis of an individual level data set reconstructed for the north western community of Alghero for the years 1866-1935. Sardinian experience is particularly interesting because the island, where infant mortality rates were amongst the lowest in the country, has known the most delayed fertility decline process.

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