Document Type



A dominant thesis in Anthropology is that traditional foraging groups have low fertility. In this study a methodological examination is made of the requirements for determining forager fertility. These include the characteristics of the demographic measurements employed, cross cultural conceptual problems when the concepts of conventional demography are employed, and the various kinds of field approaches used to collect and use the data. It is hypothesized that there will be a positive correlation between the length of time in the field as demanded by the various methodologies and the level of fertility found. Nine cases of traditional forager fertility investigated in the last twenty years are examined. The hypothesized correlation is found (r = +.72). The conclusion is drawn that the total fertility rate of traditional foragers has a range of seven to nine live births. The low total fertility rate of a number of studies is an artifact of their methodology and/or a foraging group which cannot be considered traditional.