This chapter is an invited contribution to a sister volume of the 2001 Newcastle. A Modern History, and explores the 19th Century demographic history of the ancient counties of Northumberland and Durham. It is published in a new collection concerned with the history and identity of the North East of England and edited by a leading scholar in the field of regional history. The chapter examines regional trends in the main demographic variables – birth and death rates, and migration patterns. These empirical findings are related both to academic debates on demographic change and to previously identified national trends of change. Against this background, a detailed demographic analysis of twelve communities, drawn from mining, suburban, coastal and rural areas is conducted, using data from the census enumeration books of the 1851 and 1901 censuses. Particular emphasis is placed on changing household structures in these contrasting localities and the exploration of the factors behind such variation. The study is the first of this kind to go beyond mining communities in the North East and to purposefully examine contrasts and different trajectories of development within the region. The importance of recognising the conceptual issues arising from a consideration of scale in the study of demographic change is stressed throughout and, in particular, the significance of intra-regional variations for the residents of particular localities. Subsequent to this research, work in progress is exploring more detailed differences within the region, for example, on the role of marriage rates or behaviour within marriage in affecting birth rate reductions in the later nineteenth century. A paper on this topic is to be submitted in December 2007.
|Title of host publication
|Northumbria History and Identity 547-2000
|Place of Publication
|Published - 2007