CiteWeb id: 20110054075

CiteWeb score: 91

The available records of the ducal families of the British Isles have been studied in order to determine fertility and mortality among the highest social class. The expectation of life was considerably higher for females than males, but a large part of the difference could be explained by deaths from violence. Mortality fell rather abruptly about the middle of the eighteenth century, and perhaps again in the twentieth century. At other times mortality has fallen gradually. The mortality of the aristocracy was similar in Britain and the Continent. The differences are rather in favour of Britain, especially for children and old people. The mean age at marriage rose from 22 to 29 for men, and from 17 to 24 for women, between the fourteenth and the eighteenth centuries. Thereafter it has scarcely varied. Eldest sons have always married at younger ages than did their brothers. Between about 1760 and 1860, the rate of fertility was remarkbly high. To a large extent, falling mortality accounts for the s...

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