Swiss Fertility and Socioeconomic Indicators (1888) Data

Standardized fertility measure and socio-economic indicators for each of 47 French-speaking provinces of Switzerland at about 1888.


(paraphrasing Mosteller and Tukey):

Switzerland, in 1888, was entering a period known as the demographic transition; i.e., its fertility was beginning to fall from the high level typical of underdeveloped countries.

The data collected are for 47 French-speaking “provinces” at about 1888.

Here, all variables are scaled to \([0, 100]\), where in the original, all but "Catholic" were scaled to \([0, 1]\).


Files for all 182 districts in 1888 and other years have been available at

They state that variables Examination and Education are averages for 1887, 1888 and 1889.


A data frame with 47 observations on 6 variables, each of which is in percent, i.e., in \([0, 100]\).

[,1] Fertility \(I_g\), ‘common standardized fertility measure’
[,2] Agriculture % of males involved in agriculture as occupation
[,3] Examination % draftees receiving highest mark on army examination
[,4] Education % education beyond primary school for draftees.
[,5] Catholic % ‘catholic’ (as opposed to ‘protestant’).

All variables but ‘Fertility’ give proportions of the population.


Becker, R. A., Chambers, J. M. and Wilks, A. R. (1988) The New S Language. Wadsworth & Brooks/Cole.

  • swiss
library(datasets) # NOT RUN { require(stats); require(graphics) pairs(swiss, panel = panel.smooth, main = "swiss data", col = 3 + (swiss$Catholic > 50)) summary(lm(Fertility ~ . , data = swiss)) # }
Documentation reproduced from package datasets, version 3.6.2, License: Part of R 3.6.2

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