Height and nutritional status of the infantile population in a Spanish industrial city: the case of Barcelona (1900-1969)


  • Francisco Muñoz Pradas Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona




children growth, biological welfare, industrialization, Barcelona


Because of urban and sanitary reforms implemented in Barcelona from the second half of 19th century mortality declined. Biological changes in the population under 15 years were a relevant explanatory factor. This article analysis published anthropometric statistics with the aim of reconstructing the trajectory of the biological development of that population and diagnosing its nutritional status over seven decades of the 20th century. The main results show (a) Children born before the Spanish Civil War increased their heights (7 to 13 years) less than one centimeter per decade as an average. However, those who were born from the early fifties overcame the two centimeters per decade. b) Malnutrition was mostly moderate (around twenty percent) and showed a significant reduction from the 1950s onwards c) Differences in heights according to gender, social class and residential place remained throughout those decades, although children population experienced a general trend of increase in heights in all ages.


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Author Biography

Francisco Muñoz Pradas, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Departament de Geografia

Profesor Titular de Universitat



How to Cite

Muñoz Pradas, Francisco. 2020. “Height and Nutritional Status of the Infantile Population in a Spanish Industrial City: The Case of Barcelona (1900-1969)”. Revista De Historia Industrial — Industrial History Review 29 (79):47-99. https://doi.org/10.1344/rhi.v29i79.28782.