Publication Date


Degree Program

Department of Sociology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


Stratification variables - such as educational attainment, income, poverty, race, women in the labor force, and metropolitan residence - as they relate to demographic change and response theory and economic analysis theory were examined. The theoretical perspectives were supported in the findings because the variables related to economic status highly correlated with fertility levels. This study used the United States Census Bureau and Kentucky Vital Statistics data to examine changes in fertility in Kentucky counties from 1970 to 1990 and to test whether fertility rates (GFR and children ever born) for the years 1970, 1980, and 1990 varied according to the stratification variables. It was hypothesized that educational attainment, income, women in the labor force, and metropolitan residence would have negative relationships with fertility levels. Poverty and race were hypothesized to have positive relationships with fertility levels. Correlations and regressions were conducted to examine the relationships among the variables. Poverty, income, women in the labor force, and educational attainment produced high intercorrelations with one another and with fertility levels. Race and metropolitan residence did not have significant effects on fertility levels.



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