The Nutritional Status of Manufacturing Workers and Craftsmen in Central Spain in the Eighteenth Century


  • Héctor García Montero Bocconi University



Nutritional status, central Spain, eighteenth century, height, inequality


This article analyses the relative level and evolution of the net nutritional status of manufacturing workers and craftsmen born in the last third of the eighteenth century in central Spain. It uses the anthropometric and occupational data included in the records of the general conscription carried out during the Napoleonic invasion. The findings are interpreted in light of the recent contributions regarding the evolution of the economy and industrial output of central Spain during the second half of the eighteenth century. Significant differences can be observed between different professions and economic sectors, largely explained by income levels, the possible selection for some occupations in accordance with physical characteristics, and access to animal proteins. Furthermore, the data also reveals an overall decrease in height and an increase in inequality between professions during the period.