An estimate of local adult mortality based on family cards

By Alain Blum

Because of migration and underregistration of deaths, it is impossible to discover accurately the level of mortality in a given place during the 17th and 18th centuries. This is all the more regrettable, since it would appear that mortality did, indeed, vary considerably from village to village, as has been highlighted by contemporary authors, such as R. Price[**] or J.A. Mourgue[***].
Thus, to obtain an estimate of local mortality, either limiting hypotheses (constant underregistration, or restriction to children, independence of migration and mortality) have to be made, or else a single age group chosen, for which it becomes possible to make more accurate calculations. In the present paper [****], Alain Blum[*****] has opted for the second alternative and has obtained very accurate results for the mortality of adults, by taking into account any indication denoting their presence before they disappear either through death or migration.

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