Long-term trends in height in rural Eastern Andalusia (1750-1950)

Antonio D. Cámara

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24 Citations (Scopus)


This work aims to enhance the period on which modern Spanish anthropometric history has developed its analysis. Data on height from adult males born between the mid 18th century and mid 20th century are presented. Data are from different conscription documentary sources and referred to two rural communities of Eastern Andalusia. Two approaches (general trends and time-cohort series) have been carried out. Also, crude height and age-standardized height at 21 are compared to assess the effect of age changes at recruitment. This anthropometric dataset is endorsed through additional demographic and socioeconomic information to provide a background on the potential interaction of variables explaining the trends in height. Moreover, nominative analysis allows tracking along the implications of nutritional status shifts in social terms. Results show successive up-and-down cycles of height until mid-19th century and a structural crisis during the last half of that century, particularly affecting rural lower classes within both communities. Attention is addressed on the steady demographic growth process, physical constraints acting over Mediterranean agrarian systems, as well as some institutional measures that likely disrupted the reproductive strategies of a significant part of rural population. © 2009 SEHA.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHistoria Agraria
Issue number47
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009


  • 18th- 19th centuries
  • Andalusia
  • Anthropometric history
  • Living standards
  • Rural population


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