Infant Mortality Among German Settlers in the Nineteenth-Century Russian Empire

Stuart Gietel-Basten , Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Georgia Verropoulou, University of Piraeus

Currently, very little is known about regional patterns of infant mortality rates [IMR] – or mortality more generally – in the Russian Empire during, and before, the mid-nineteenth century. The objective of this study is to identify trends of IMR in a part of the historical Russian region of Bessarabia for the period 1833-1885. The study utilises church records of births (N=21,984) and deaths (N=7,194) from the German colony of Glückstal, a village near modern-day Grigoriopol in Transnistria (Moldova). Three methods of calculating IMR are performed. Results show IMRs steadily declining over the nineteenth-century from around 150 to 110. Furthermore, These figures are lower than has been reported for the region. The comparison of different methods of calculating IMRs suggests birth registration may be incomplete, hence the need for nominative linkage. The findings challenge the widely held view of very high IMRs across the Russian Empire in the nineteenth century.

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 Presented in Session 11. Health & Mortality 2