Spatial Analysis of Child Mortality in the late 19th and early 20th century Urals: Ethno-Religious and Socio-Economic Factors
Supported by Russian Foundation for Basic Research, grant No 19-09-00292
Reproduction of the population requires successful nursing and up-bringing of children and is an important factor for stable social development and the future well-being of the least socially protected elderly in the population.The proposed project is aimed at the fundamental scientific and detailed study of infant care and infant mortality in a central region of Russia during the period of the demographic transition. Perm province in the late 19th - early 20th centuries sadly had the highest infant mortality rate in the Russian Empire. The problem of all previous studies of this phenomenon is related to the fact that the authors traditionally computed average statistical values that liken the "average temperature of patients in the hospital", which do not give an opportunity to assess the real situation for selected regions and population groups.The sources will include the entire range of available statistical and narrative materials created by zemstvo staff. Nominative sources include metric books with their information on births and deaths and the database "Urals population register", prepared by the research team on the materials of the Ekaterinburg’s metric books. Contextual materials will be collected during field research in the environment of the older generation in different ethno-confessional groups of Sverdlovsk Region with the aim of collecting information on the childhood diseases, the extent of their prevalence, the attitude of the population towards them and the methods of caring for children.A number of electronic resources dedicated to the historical demography of the late imperial Urals will be created and implemented during the project; a detailed dynamic "demographic portrait" of Perm province of the late 19th - early 20th centuries; a set of research approaches and methods including computer technology, cluster analysis, record linkage, mapping and statistical analysis will be used.The project is aimed at quantitative and qualitative analysis of infant mortality in all regions, counties and settlements in the Perm province at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century, that is, the study of the dynamics of the phenomenon in the region, as well as the causes and factors that caused it.The results obtained will provide an answer to the question about which factors contributed to the reduction of infant mortality in the Urals; identify endemic "safe" and "dysfunctional" clusters; fill a gap in European studies on Eurasia, where the data for Russia are either not represented, or are average and lack specification of regional characteristics. It will thus give impetus to similar studies in other Russian scientific centers. Database, created on the basis of materials transcribed from the metric books along with other products produced will be publicly available on the website "Urals Population Register (http://urapp-urgi.urfu.ru) and attract the attention of practitioners involved in the study of family history and genealogy.