The contribution of urbanization to changes in life expectancy in Scotland, 1861–1910

Catalina Torres, Vladimir Canudas-Romo, James Oeppen

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Abstract

During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, urban populations in Europe and North America continued to be afflicted by very high mortality as rapid urbanization and industrialization processes got underway. Here we measure the effect of population redistribution from (low-mortality) rural to (high-mortality) urban areas on changes in Scottish life expectancy at birth from 1861 to 1910. Using vital registration data for that period, we apply a new decomposition method that decomposes changes in life expectancy into the contributions of two main components: (1) changes in mortality; and (2) compositional changes in the population. We find that, besides an urban penalty (higher mortality in urban areas), an urbanization penalty (negative effect of population redistribution to urban areas on survival) existed in Scotland during the study period. In the absence of the urbanization penalty, Scottish life expectancy at birth could have attained higher values by the beginning of the twentieth century.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPopulation Studies
Volume73
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)387-404
ISSN0032-4728
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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life expectancy
urbanization
mortality
urban area
twentieth century
urban population
industrialization
decomposition
penalty
effect

Keywords

  • Scottish population history
  • decomposition methods
  • life expectancy
  • urban penalty
  • urbanization

Cite this

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title = "The contribution of urbanization to changes in life expectancy in Scotland, 1861–1910",
abstract = "During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, urban populations in Europe and North America continued to be afflicted by very high mortality as rapid urbanization and industrialization processes got underway. Here we measure the effect of population redistribution from (low-mortality) rural to (high-mortality) urban areas on changes in Scottish life expectancy at birth from 1861 to 1910. Using vital registration data for that period, we apply a new decomposition method that decomposes changes in life expectancy into the contributions of two main components: (1) changes in mortality; and (2) compositional changes in the population. We find that, besides an urban penalty (higher mortality in urban areas), an urbanization penalty (negative effect of population redistribution to urban areas on survival) existed in Scotland during the study period. In the absence of the urbanization penalty, Scottish life expectancy at birth could have attained higher values by the beginning of the twentieth century.",
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The contribution of urbanization to changes in life expectancy in Scotland, 1861–1910. / Torres, Catalina; Canudas-Romo, Vladimir; Oeppen, James.

In: Population Studies, Vol. 73, No. 3, 2019, p. 387-404.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - The contribution of urbanization to changes in life expectancy in Scotland, 1861–1910

AU - Torres, Catalina

AU - Canudas-Romo, Vladimir

AU - Oeppen, James

PY - 2019

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N2 - During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, urban populations in Europe and North America continued to be afflicted by very high mortality as rapid urbanization and industrialization processes got underway. Here we measure the effect of population redistribution from (low-mortality) rural to (high-mortality) urban areas on changes in Scottish life expectancy at birth from 1861 to 1910. Using vital registration data for that period, we apply a new decomposition method that decomposes changes in life expectancy into the contributions of two main components: (1) changes in mortality; and (2) compositional changes in the population. We find that, besides an urban penalty (higher mortality in urban areas), an urbanization penalty (negative effect of population redistribution to urban areas on survival) existed in Scotland during the study period. In the absence of the urbanization penalty, Scottish life expectancy at birth could have attained higher values by the beginning of the twentieth century.

AB - During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, urban populations in Europe and North America continued to be afflicted by very high mortality as rapid urbanization and industrialization processes got underway. Here we measure the effect of population redistribution from (low-mortality) rural to (high-mortality) urban areas on changes in Scottish life expectancy at birth from 1861 to 1910. Using vital registration data for that period, we apply a new decomposition method that decomposes changes in life expectancy into the contributions of two main components: (1) changes in mortality; and (2) compositional changes in the population. We find that, besides an urban penalty (higher mortality in urban areas), an urbanization penalty (negative effect of population redistribution to urban areas on survival) existed in Scotland during the study period. In the absence of the urbanization penalty, Scottish life expectancy at birth could have attained higher values by the beginning of the twentieth century.

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KW - decomposition methods

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