Mortality Transition in Moscow Population: Disentangling the Epidemiological Transition and Societal Change

Alexey Shpenev , University of Pennsylvania

The population of Russia has historically been a sizeable size of the world population. However, the lack of data sources prevents detailed analysis of its population dynamics prior to the second half of the 20th century. More rich data is available for subsets of the Russian population. In this paper, I analyze the mortality transition in Moscow and attempt to estimate the role of universal (epidemiological transition) and context specific (the revolution and civil war) factors that account for the rapid increase in Life Expectancy in the city. While Moscow population demonstrates a pattern consistent with the epidemiological transition, drastic social changes in 1914 – 1920 affect the process of the transition in non-trivial ways. The increase in life expectancy is to a large extent attributable to the closing down of the Moscow Orphanage. Sanitary improvements in Moscow and the introduction of the sewer system affect both mortality from water-borne and other causes.

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 Presented in Session 11. Health & Mortality 2