Regional development and mortality decline in Spain (1860-1950)

Francisco Muñoz-Pradas, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Xavier Cussó-Segura

This paper aims to explore the main determinants of the modern epidemiological transition in Spain from a spatial viewpoint. Data coming from vital statistics, censuses and other published sources have been analysed through standard multivariate and mapping techniques. Preliminary results show, first, how the slope of the line fitted to a bivariate plot between mortality and economic indicators shifts as economic development goes forward, but this evolution seems quite independent of the phases of economic growth. Second, the analysis of provincial data around 1860 and 1950 show that in the 19th century, mortality determinants are not only purely environmental and fertility behaviour have an important role in understanding spatial patterns of mortality. Nearly a century later, the material benefits of the economic development and the consequences of public health interventions have a positive effect; but, fertility is still playing a major role in the determination of mortality levels for children.

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Presented in Session 74: Mortality and reproduction