The decline of population growth among the Hutterites.
The Hutterites are an Anabaptist sect in the northwestern U.S. and Canada who live communally and hold property in common. Their growth rate declined from 4.1% in 1880-1950 to 2.9% in 1965-77 to 2.4% in 1977-80. The drop in the growth rate parallels the Hutterite decision in the 1930s to utilize modern technologies in their mode of production. As technological improvements are constantly adopted, the trend toward a much smaller division of labor is intensified. The mechanization of hog raising, egg production, and milk production, for example, has changed these jobs into 1-man operations. Unemployable and idle young men are a source of social problems, 1 undermining the social order of the community. Compared with 20 years age, many Hutterites tend to marry 4-5 years later. A lack of status jobs postpones social advancement which postpones marriage. A decrease in the average population per colony seems to indicate the extent of the structural changes that have occurred, and these changes, together with a decline in the growth rate, constitute the Hutterite response to technological change.