The biological standard of living during the decline of Andalusian industrialisation: The case of Antequera


  • Antonio D. Cámara
  • José Miguel Martínez Carrión



Anthropometric history, Industrialisation, Biological living standard, Andalusia, 19th century


Anthropometric history has shed light on some of the consequences of industrialisation and urbanisation on living standards across different areas of Spain. Yet the impact on the biological living standards of specific segments of the population together with the magnitude of intra-urban differences continues largely unexplored in this country. This paper presents and discusses male height differentials by occupation and urban districts in Antequera (Andalusia, southern Spain) among cohorts born 1859-1880, thus matching the halt of the growth experienced
by wool-based manufacturing and its subsequent decline. Anthropometric and sociodemographic data come from military enlistments held between 1879-1899, which included more than 5000 young males aged 18-20. Descriptive analyses and multivariate linear regression analysis are conducted. Results illustrate the influence of two components of inequality and poverty in past urban industrial societies: income levels and physical environment. The peasantry exhibits the lowest height averages. Within this group, those living in the industrial periphery of the town display shorter mean statures.


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