, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 45–62 | Cite as

The diminution of the physical stature of the English male population in the eighteenth century

  • John KomlosEmail author
  • Helmut Küchenhoff
Original Paper


We re-estimate the height of Englishmen using the sample originally collected by Roderick Floud. We merge the samples from the army and the Royal Marines by weighting the observations in order to reflect the proportions of servicemen in the two branches of the military. In addition to truncated regression, we use cubic spline functions in order to estimate the trend in the physical stature of Englishmen. The results indicate that a very rapid decline in height of c. 1.6 cm per decade accompanied the onset of the industrial and demographic revolutions, implying that the nutritional status of the population deteriorated considerably as it throughout the European Continent.


Living Standards Biological Standard of Living Height Physical Stature England Industrial Revolution Welfare Splines 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Duke UniversityDurhamUSA
  2. 2.Department of StatisticsUniversity of MunichMunichGermany

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