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Height and standards of living during the industrialisation of Spain: The case of Elche

  • Biology
  • Medicine


The purpose of this article is to present new evidence on living standards during the Spanish industrialisation process by means of secular trends in height. The data pertain to Elche, a town in the Valencia region of southeastern Spain that witnessed early and rapid industrial development in the context of Spain s delayed industrialisation and experienced strong immigration during the twentieth century. Thus, the relationship between biological standards of living and industrialisation and urbanisation is explored. The data suggest that the first stages of industrialisation in the late nineteenth century did not bring much improvement to workers living conditions. The consequences to health and nutrition of Spain s Civil War and its aftermath are also examined. Finally, we comment on the process of general convergence in height that took place at the end of the period considered.

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