Social Differences in Infant Mortality in 19th Century Rostock. A Demographic Analysis Based on Church Records
Keywords:Infant mortality, Rostock, Historical demography, Church records, Event history analysis
The article examines the historical development of infant mortality in the Hanseatic city of Rostock, with a special focus on the question of how socio-economic factors influenced infant mortality in the early 19th century. Compared with the rest of Germany, the city exhibited an exceedingly low infant mortality level, in particular in the first third of the century. Our analyses show that the occupation of the father had a significant influence on the survival probability of a child in the first year of life in the early 19th century. Newborn children of fathers in lower ranked occupations exhibited a greater mortality risk in the first year of life than the offspring of fathers with occupations of higher status. The analyses are based on the registries of burials and baptisms of St. James’s Church (Jakobikirche) in Rostock, which are largely preserved and much of which has been digitalised. Based on these individual data, this is the first event history analysis model conducted in the context of infant mortality in a German city in the 19th century. This article is also the first to reveal Rostock infant mortality rates for the entire 19th century according to sex, thus closing two research gaps.