Infant mortality in mid-19th century Amsterdam: Religion, social class, and space

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This study uses a unique historical GIS dataset compiled from birth, death, and population register records for infants born in the city of Amsterdam in 1851 linked to micro‐level spatial data on housing, infrastructure, and health care. Cox's proportional hazards models and the concept of egocentric neighbourhoods were used to analyse the effects of various sociodemographic characteristics, residential environment, water supply, and health‐care variables on infant mortality and stillbirth. The analyses confirm the favourable position of the Jewish population with respect to infant mortality as found in other studies and show the unfavourable position of orthodox Protestant minorities. Infant mortality rate differences are much smaller between social classes than between religions. The exact role of housing and neighbourhood conditions vis‐a‐vis infant mortality is still unclear; however, we ascertained that effects of environmental conditions are more pronounced in later stages of infancy and less important in the early stages of infancy.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2232
Pages (from-to)1-21
JournalPopulation, Space and Place
Issue number4
Early online date10 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - May 2019


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