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What Was The Average Family Size In The 19th Century?

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Robin Burden answered
On average, woman during the 19th century had seven children - and some had more than twelve.

Although the exact figures will vary depending on geographic location and local culture, it's safe to say that families of the 19th century were much larger than those of today.

The average family size of the 19th century Taking the United States as an example, there's one major factor that contributed to the decline in large families: The advent of birth-control.

Globally, the trend for larger families was also affected by the lower mortality rates that late-19th century medicine and scientific understanding brought about.

Socio-economic factors also had an impact on how many children a woman would have. For example, although modern parents might see having many children as very costly, 19th century working class families relied on their children to work from a young age, and to help support the family unit.

In the past, women often had many children with the expectation that not all of them would survive for more than a few years.

Many children died before they reched adulthood, and the average life expectancy during the 19th century was only 40 years. This is markedly different to modern statistics, which show that people are now expected to live well into their 60's and beyond.

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