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British demography, c1850-c2000: how and why was Scotland different?

28th January 2016 1pm, Edinburgh room 1/G/8, Ladywell House

Michael Anderson, University of Edinburgh

This paper presents some key findings from my nearly completed book-length work, provisionally entitled Scotland's Population Histories in a British context: contrasts and comparisons, from the mid-nineteenth to the early twenty-first centuries. Much of the book describes and analyses the huge variations in demographic experience between different areas of Scotland, but in this paper I focus on the often dramatic, temporally persistent, and spatially pervasive contrasts between Scotland and England not only in rates of overall population change but also in all three of its underlying components: fertility, mortality, and net migration. The second half of the paper seeks explanations for these persistent and pervasive differences, and it concludes by asking: to what extent can they only in great part be accounted for by genuinely 'Scottish-level' effects?