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The continuation of the antebellum puzzle: stature in the US, 1847–1894


This article explores whether the antebellum decline in heights continued in the second half of the nineteenth century by using a data set of more than 58,000 US Army recruits born between 1847 and 1894. The main finding is that heights continued to decline during the Civil War by about 0.4 in. (1.0 cm) and stagnated for an extended period of time before they began to increase among the birth cohorts of the late 1880s. Recruits from the South remained the tallest despite the Civil War, while those from the Northeast were the shortest. Height was positively correlated with proximity to protein-rich nutrients during childhood and with geographic mobility, and was negatively correlated with urbanization and infant mortality rates.

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Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal European Review of Economic History.

Volume (Year): 15 (2011)
Issue (Month): 02 (August)
Pages: 313-327

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Handle: RePEc:cup:ereveh:v:15:y:2011:i:02:p:313-327_00
Contact details of provider: Postal: Cambridge University Press, UPH, Shaftesbury Road, Cambridge CB2 8BS UK
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