Wealth and health in 19th Century Sweden. A study of social differences in adult mortality in the Sundsvall region
Abstract The present article analyses social inequality in mortality in the 19th century Sundsvall region, an area that experienced rapid industrialization after 1850. The purpose of the study is to investigate whether there were social differences in mortality in this context and whether these differences increased during the industrial break-through. The expected advantages for higher social classes could not be confirmed in this environment. Instead, the best survival was found among those belonging to the agricultural sector. We found a strongly gendered pattern, with much higher mortality for and small health differences among men, while the results indicate increasing social inequality in female mortality during industrialization. The spatial pattern of mortality was pronounced and living with a partner had a strong impact on survival, particularly for men. We finally discuss the role of gender and class expectations in relation to lifestyles for the social patterning of mortality.
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