Volume 22 - Article 26 | Pages 813–862

Comparisons of infant mortality in the Austrian Empire Länder using the Tafeln (1851-54)

By Gianpiero Dalla Zuanna, Fiorenzo Rossi

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Date received:23 Jul 2009
Date published:04 May 2010
Word count:11300
Keywords:Austrian Empire, data quality, infant mortality


In this paper we measure differences in infant mortality among the central European populations of the Austrian Empire during the mid-19th century using data published in the Tafeln zur Statistik der Österreichischen Monarchie (Statistical Tables of the Austrian Monarchy). Our aim is mainly methodological, i.e., to illustrate the extraordinary richness of this data, and to discuss whether the quality of the material on infant mortality published around 1850 in the Tafeln guarantees comparability between regions. This article demonstrates that – with several exceptions – the quality of the material on infant mortality published in the Tafeln around 1850 guarantees reliable comparability between the Empire’s Länder. Data on sex, age at death, and legitimacy were all recorded with great accuracy. This article – of a methodological nature – provides only a few examples of potential analyses which might be carried out using such rich and detailed territorial data. The geography of mortality in the first three years of life varied by age, but according to intervals different than those usually employed when studying early mortality. Four ages can be identified (first month, months 1-5, months 6-17, and months 18-35) with a geography of differing mortality. In all likelihood, in these four age groups, mortality differences between Länder were motivated by diverse reasons.

Author's Affiliation

Gianpiero Dalla Zuanna - Università degli Studi di Padova (UNIPD), Italy [Email]
Fiorenzo Rossi - Università degli Studi di Padova (UNIPD), Italy [Email]

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