Infant mortality in rural Transylvania: a case study on four parishes in the second half of the 19th century
Autor: Izabela Georgiana COROIAN
Cuvinte-cheie: historical demography, infant mortality, neonatal mortality, gender differences, epidemiological diseases, airborne diseases, Reformed-Calvinist and Orthodox parishes.
In the 19th century Europe was still confronted with high levels of mortality, especially infant mortality. The death of infants is the most susceptible to any changes in a society. As a result, infant mortality is one of the main themes in the majorities of studies in historical demography research, because it provides information on certain characteristics and cultural habits of communities. Towards the end of the 19th century it started to decline in almost all countries mainly because of reduction in infectious diseases.
In many communities in Transylvania, infant mortality represents over 25% of the total deaths registered. The main causes of death were debility, airborne and epidemiological diseases.
This paper will contribute to the study of infant mortality from Transylvania. The analysis is based on four rural parishes, two Reformed-Calvinist and two Orthodox and the sources consist of parish records that were included in the Historical Population Database of Transylvania. The paper will trace the influence of different factors such as gender, ethnicity, confessions and occupations on different segments of infant mortality, neonatal mortality and postneonatal mortality, and try to establish some patterns of this event. In addition, the analysis will include a discussion of the causes of death.