Thursday, April 8, 2010

What Happened In the 1920s?

Via Calculated Risk, here's a chart of births per year in the United States:

This is the raw number of births, not births per person or births per woman of child-bearing age or whatnot. Presumably the steep decline in the 1960s and 1970s is a combination of the end of the baby boom and the rise of second-wave feminism. But what really interests me is the earlier decline in the 1920s, which began only a few years after the end of WWII WWI and continued through the Great Depression. What's going there? First-wave feminism? A change in the ethnic mix of immigrants? Influenza?

Update: A reader writes in to point out that the 1920s saw the beginnings of non-Pill birth control advocacy. This gets swept way in popular history because of the more popular Suffrage Movement, a post-war anti-feminist "backlash" (I hate that term), and the relationship between the early contraception advocates and eugenics.


chris said...

poverty for most people?

Nicholas Beaudrot said...

But it started in the roaring twenties, before shit hit the fan ...