Continuity and Change in Spatial Patterns in UK Fertility: The Case of London

Hannaliis Jaadla , University of Cambridge
Alice Reid, University of Cambridge
Eilidh Garrett, Cambridge University

In 2018 the Borough of Camden in west London had a Total Fertility Rate (TFR) of 1.10 children per woman, the lowest TFR of all local authorities in England and Wales, while Barking and Dagenham in east London had the highest at 2.28 (ONS Birth Summary Tables 2018). It is striking that this strong east-west pattern in London’s fertility has persisted for at least 150 years: the fertility decline which formed part of the first demographic transition is generally not thought to have started until the 1870s, but in 1851 Mayfair in London already had below replacement fertility but many areas of east London had TFRs of over five children per woman ( This paper will explore the evolution of this geography over time and discuss whether the factors driving the observed pattern of fertility are the same today as in the nineteenth century, and consider possible reasons for its persistence.

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 Presented in Session 26. Historical Family Demograhy