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Height and Inequality in Spain: A Long-Term Perspective

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Document pages: 43 pages

Abstract: This article analyses the intergenerational evolution of nutritional inequality in Spain between 1840 and 1984. With male height data (N=358,253), the secular trend of biological well-being and intergenerational anthropometric inequalities are studied based on the coefficient of variation, height percentiles and socioeconomic categories (students, literate non-students and illiterate). The results reveal that the nutritional inequalities were very large in the mid-nineteenth century. Anthropometric inequalities diminished among those born between 1880 and 1919 and increased again, although only moderately, from the cohorts of the 1920s. From the 1930s there was a cycle of sustained increase in height. Despite nutritional improvement, the data suggest that nutritional inequalities increased during the Franco regime, affecting the low-income population segments particularly.

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