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Nutrición Hospitalaria

On-line version ISSN 1699-5198Print version ISSN 0212-1611


VAREA, Carlos et al. Height cohorts and district of residence in the city of Madrid during the 20th century. Nutr. Hosp. [online]. 2018, vol.35, n.spe5, pp.83-90.  Epub July 06, 2020. ISSN 1699-5198.


in recent decades, an interesting literature has accumulated regarding the biological living standard in Spain at the end of the 19th Century and during the 20th Century. Adult height has been one of the most studied variables, specifically its temporal change at the national and provincial levels, the impact of the Civil War and the subsequent dictatorship, and the differences between urban and rural areas. We want to contribute to this general overview with the presentation of a project about an intra-urban perspective of the city of Madrid.


We present the stature data of the male population of two Madrid districts, Salamanca and Vallecas, for the period 1936-1986 (year of measurement).


In these years, height increased by 5.58 cm, from 166.40 to 171.98 cm, with significant differences observed between both districts as well as a simultaneous decrease of that difference, for those born in 1915 and 1953 from 3.09 to 1.2 cm. The negative effect of the Civil War and the years of autarky are also observed in this urban sample.


Considering these data together with those available for other demographic and socioeconomic variables, before and after the period studied, we can conclude that the division by districts represents an effective stratification in the biological living standard of the population of the city of Madrid. These results constitute a first intra-urban approximation using height to the debate on inequality and biological living standards in Spain during the 20th Century.

Keywords : Plasticity; Inequality; Anthropometric history; Secular changes; Social determinants of health.

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