skip to primary navigation skip to content

Department of Geography

 

Demography, health and wellbeing

Research in this sub-theme investigates the spatial, social and temporal differentials in migration, fertility, mortality, health and wellbeing. The influences we consider include individuals’ characteristics as well as local, regional and national factors such as the physical environment, health services, institutions, and the influence of culture on behaviour. Our research ranges from the historical demography of medieval and early modern Britain, through substantial work on the late nineteenth century, to obesity in present-day London and early marriage in Nepal. We have a strong focus on demographic, statistical and GIS techniques, but qualitative methods are also important including archival, textual, and interview research.

Research projects

Research projects currently being undertaken on this theme include:

The occupational structure of Britain 1379-1911

The occupational structure of Britain 1379-1911

This research program run by Leigh Shaw-Taylor and Tony Wrigley aims ultimately to reconstruct the evolution of the occupational structure of Britain from the late medieval period down to the late nineteenth century.

Infant and child mortality in London, 1870-1929

Infant and child mortality in London, 1870-1929

This PhD project strives to understand the inequalities of infant and child mortality in London at the turn of the twentieth century, and to add to the debate on historical infant mortality decline. Despite being one urban area, London was – and still is – a ‘mosaic of communities’ with its inhabitants’ experiences varying vastly. It is also a city with considerable historical data availability, therefore providing huge potential for comparative analysis. A mixed method approach that utilises both quantitative and qualitative sources enables individual Londoners and aggregate London registration sub-districts (RSDs) to be compared.

Birth and death in Ipswich 1871-1910

Birth and death in Ipswich 1871-1910

This work utilises rare individual-level data from the Vaccination Birth and Death Registers of Ipswich, Suffolk, 1871-1910, in conjunction with contemporaneous census information for the town's inhabitants, to conduct in-depth analyses of mortality and fertility in this urban community.

Britain's first demographic transition

Britain's first demographic transition

This project will produce the first detailed examination of the historical population geography of the whole of Great Britain across the 1851-1901 period. It will use spatial statistical analysis to re-examine the population history of Great Britain not as the story of two, or three, separate countries, but as a spectrum of experiences over time and space, providing exciting new perspectives on, and understanding of, the demographic history of these islands.

Migration, Mortality and Medicalisation: investigating the long-run epidemiological consequences of urbanisation 1600 - 1945

Migration, Mortality and Medicalisation: investigating the long-run epidemiological consequences of urbanisation 1600 - 1945

How and when did towns and cities transform from urban graveyards into promoters of health between 1600 and 1945?

An Atlas of Fertility Decline in England and Wales

An Atlas of Fertility Decline in England and Wales

How will a new time series of age-specific fertility measured across geographical and social space inform our understanding of the late nineteenth century demographic transition?

Drivers of entrepreneurship and small business

Drivers of entrepreneurship and small business

This research programme aims to reconstruct the British business population mainly for the 19th and early 20th centuries, and also through to the present day. It will also provide large scale 'samples' of entrepreneurs and small businesses that can be used in statistical analysis: for individuals, and for places (parishes, sub-districts, urban units, counties and upwards).

Mortality and epidemiological change in Manchester, 1750-1850

Mortality and epidemiological change in Manchester, 1750-1850

In the new northern industrial conurbation of Manchester, did a fifteen-fold population growth over the century before 1850 impact on survival chances steadily across the period, or only after 1820? What were the underlying causes of the stagnation in life expectancy that England is thought to have experienced during early industrialisation?

Long-run cause of death series for national populations

Long-run cause of death series for national populations

What changes occurred in the level and age structure of cause-specific mortality in the late nineteenth century? An annual cause of death data series for England and Wales 1848-1900 has been compiled to answer this question.

The transformation of the urban epidemiological regime, 1750-1850

The transformation of the urban epidemiological regime, 1750-1850

This transformation of the urban epidemiological regime is the subject of a long-run research project which uses a variety of sources to investigate mortality change in northwest Europe in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Infant mortality by social status in Georgian London

Infant mortality by social status in Georgian London

Were richer children born between 1752 and 1812 in the populous Westminster parish of St Martin-in-the-Fields more likely to die at young ages than poorer children?

Birth attendants and birth outcomes in the Victorian and Edwardian eras

Birth attendants and birth outcomes in the Victorian and Edwardian eras

Did doctors or midwives achieve the best health outcomes for mothers at the turn of the twentieth century, and can regional differences in the number of trained midwives explain striking variations in the geography of maternal mortality?

Housing, mobility and the measurement of child health from the 1911 Irish census

Housing, mobility and the measurement of child health from the 1911 Irish census

Did Belfast families who moved house most often suffer an infant and child mortality penalty, during the first decade of the twentieth century?

Determining the Demography of Victorian Scotland through Record Linkage

Determining the Demography of Victorian Scotland through Record Linkage

What can be learned about changes in Scottish demographic behaviour from linking five decades of Census records to births and deaths?

History of entrepreneurship, and SME policy

History of entrepreneurship, and SME policy

These projects led by Prof Robert Bennett involve two streams: one focusing on small business and entrepreneurship from the nineteenth century to the present; a second stream focusing on small business and entrepreneurship support policies.

The depopulation of Melanesia: an assessment of epidemiological versus psychological factors, and the work of W.H.R. Rivers

The depopulation of Melanesia: an assessment of epidemiological versus psychological factors, and the work of W.H.R. Rivers

Melanesia was one of the last regions of the world to be affected by the process of global integration that, arguably, began in 1492 with European colonisation of the New World. The project involves an attempt to reconstitute the demographic statistics generated for Simbo Island by William Rivers, using his own primary sources, in order to test his suggestion that rapid population decline was more the result of declining fertility rather than catastrophic mortality from introduced disease.

Earlier projects