Trends, Differentials, and Determinants of White Nuptiality in the United States, 1850-1880

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Abstract

I rely on the 1850-1880 IPUMS samples to construct national and regional estimates of male and female age at first marriage and the proportion remaining lifelong bachelors and spinsters for synthetic cohorts of the white population. National estimates of nuptiality have been made recently by Catherine Fitch and Steven Ruggles for most census years between 1850 and 1990, but the results are limited to the native-born population (Fitch and Ruggles 1999). National estimates for the foreign-born population and regional estimates of the timing and incidence of marriage are made here for the first time. In addition to describing trends and differentials in nuptiality, I test several theories of marriage timing in rural areas with multivariate logistic regression models. The results suggest that many of the factors typically associated with marital fertility trends and differentials-availability of inexpensive farmland, literacy, nativity, occupation-are correlated with age at first marriage.
Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2002

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