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Social class-specific secular trends in height among 19-year old Polish men: 6th national surveys from 1965 till 2010

M. Lopuszanska-Dawid, H. Kołodziej, A. Lipowicz, A. Szklarska, A. Kopiczko and T. Bielicki

Economics & Human Biology, 2020, vol. 37, issue C

Abstract: The results presented in this study concern the assessment of the secular trend of body height in 10 % a random national sample (N = 134,224) representing all regions of Poland in 8 homogeneous social groups over 45 years in Poland (1965–2010). Very significant political, social and economic changes in Poland occurred in the period studied. The political revolution that began in Poland at the turn of the 1980s and 1990s dramatically changed the picture of social inequalities in the country. It rapidly transformed (in different directions and to a different degree) the economic situation, working conditions, lifestyles and the prestige of particular social classes and professional groups. A positive secular trend was observed in 19-year-old participants in the period analysed in all homogeneous socio-professional groups, however, with different intensity in each group. The highest body height increases in 1965-2010 were observed in the sons of farmers with post-primary father’s education (7.77 cm). The lowest were observed among the sons of professionals, only 5.45 cm. Although social distances between extreme socio-economic groups significantly decreased (from 4.89 cm in 1965 to 2.76 cm in 2010), social gradients of body height, despite the improvement in the standards of living of the entire society remained exceptionally stable and unchanged for nearly half a century.

Keywords: Stature; Conscripts; Economic transformation; Social inequality; Secular changes; Poland (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:ehbiol:v:37:y:2020:i:c:s1570677x19301789

DOI: 10.1016/j.ehb.2019.100832

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