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October 2021

Childhood mortality in Central Spain, 1790-1960: changes in the course of demographic modernization

Author(s): Gimeno, A. S.

Journal/Book: Continuity Change. 2000; 15: 40 West 20Th Street, New York, NY 10011-4211, USA. Cambridge Univ Press. 235+.

Abstract: One of the most significant changes in the course of demographic modernization during the last two centuries has been the improvement in life expectancy. Within this process, childhood mortality has played the leading role, since deaths during the first ten years of life represented more than 50 per cent of overall mortality during the nineteenth century and still represented an important proportion during the first 30 years of the twentieth century. In recent decades, historical demography has focused attention on the analysis of this process, taking account of most of the causal factors. Our article follows this line of analysis and deals with childhood mortality in Central Spain during the last two centuries, analysing mortality by age. We show the importance of the decline in childhood mortality prior to the end of the nineteenth century in Spain and the way in which that decline took place. Consideration is also given to the different stages and rhythms of change during the mortality decline. We show that the decline in the mortality of children over the age of one was more important and faster than the decline in infant mortality.

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