Infant Mortality Rate

Graph A. depicts the average size of an individual Schwartz family according to the number of children per couple. There is a noticeable explosion in this size from 1664 to 1718-45 as well as a serious decline leading into the nineteenth century. Nearly all of the Schwartz men are labeled as fishermen or peasant farmers, so their relatively large family sizes make economical sense in that many children were needed in order to help make ends meet. Another explanation for the large family size is the high rates of infant mortality (see Graph G.), since many children would be hard pressed to survive to their fifth birthday, much less marry.
Indeed, the commonalty of the names Tobias, Johannes, and Josephus for men and Anna Maria and Catharina
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gives mortality rates: of particular interest is the first category of 0-5 years old, or the infant mortality rate of the family. I hypothesize that the data resembles a “W” for several reasons. Firstly, newborn babies are most susceptible to diseases, especially when not properly nourished, so that their mortality rate will naturally be higher than the rest of the majority of age groups. Secondly, the small ‘bump’ in the 18-23 year-old range can most likely be attributed to accidents or war, since these ages are where people are most likely to engage in risky behavior. Lastly, the over 48 year-old age group is higher because, similarly to infant, elderly persons have less vigor and energy, their bodies succumbing more easily to famine, disease, and climate. The dip in longevity during the 1745-72 period in graph H. can be explained by the lack of death records available and/or disease or famine that struck the Schwartz particularly hard during this …show more content…
The most popular months of conceptions seem to vary considerably by period, from March and December in 1664-91 to October by 1772-99. This is revealing because March births tell us that the Schwartz have sexual relations right around the otherwise abstinent Advent season, while October births mean that they waited until after Advent for their copulation. The most popular month for marriages, on the other hand, are much more uniform across the five periods with January having the highest incidence. This tells us that, to the local parish’s credit, the priest kept with basic Church doctrine on proper marriage time. Of note are the most popular months for mortality incidences. Though the highest months vary by period, people are more likely to die during either the colder months of January, February, October, and November or the warmer months of March and July. This occurs because infants and the elderly are more susceptible to weather extremes than the rest of the population, so they most likely die in greater numbers around this time.
Though the data this presented comes from incomplete records, the Schwartz family seems to have several demographical similarities with the rest of Germany. For instance, the indexes in the Statistical Packet reveal that while the Schwartz experienced an increase in total family size, both marriage and birth rates were

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