A delayed and gradual fertility transition. New micro-level evidence for Alghero, Sardinia (1866-1936)

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

Unlike other regions, the demographic history of Sardinia is relatively unexplored. Nominative studies are almost absent, especially for the pre-demographic transition period. The most deep analysis on fertility decline is still that offered by Massimo Livi-Bacci within the framework of the Princeton Project, at the macro-level. According to the results of this project, Sardinian has been the Italian region with the slowest and most gradual fertility transition. In the 50s, fertility levels in the island were the highest in the country: TFR was slightly lower than 4 children per woman while, for the country on average, rates ranged around 2.3. In clear contrast with its previous reproductive history, today Sardinia is the Italian region with the lowest fertility level. The objective of this paper is to retrace, by using a large data-set, reconstructed at the individual and nominative level for the community of Alghero, the very original path towards fertility control followed by the Sardinian population. In particular, our analysis will cover also the decades following the 1st World Ward, a central period in the Italian demographic transition up to now never explored at the micro-level.

Presented in Session 11: History