MPIDR Technical Report

Demographic analyses of church records: the case of infant mortality in the Hanseatic City of Rostock in the 19th century

Mühlichen, M., Scholz, R. D.
MPIDR Technical Report TR-2015-002, 17 pages.
Rostock, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (May 2015)


This technical report documents the individual level data preparation of burial and baptismal registers of the church books of St. James in the Hanseatic city of Rostock, Germany, in order to analyze infant mortality in the 19th century. In addition to describing the digitalized registries, data quality, and the construction of variables, this paper presents a new classification of occupations that is also applicable to other historical data sets. The merging of the baptismal and burial data into an event history data set is outlined exemplarily for the time period of 1815 to 1829. Using this data basis, the development of infant and perinatal mortality is illustrated.
Keywords: Germany, historical demography, infant mortality, social groups
The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.