Call for Contributions: Special Issue on Early Child Mortality in Europe (1800-1950)

We are delighted to invite contributions for a special issue dedicated to exploring the patterns and causes of early child mortality (ages 1-4) across Europe during the period from 1800 to 1950. This issue is part of the collaborative SHiP+ network initiative, which aims to provide a nuanced understanding of historical demographic trends using unique, individual-level cause-of-death data from various European populations.


Child mortality decline, a significant element of the demographic transition, held prominence in Southern Europe and various major European urban centres during the late nineteenth century. Notably, in certain regions, child mortality rates surpassed those of infant mortality, a phenomenon that has been relatively understudied. Research has predominantly focused on infant mortality, which remained alarmingly high in some parts of Europe until the early twentieth century.

Research focus

Our primary objective is to ascertain and compare dominant cause-of-death patterns during childhood across diverse populations of Europe during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Additionally, we aim to spotlight child mortality, emphasizing its significance within the context of the mortality transition and the variations observed among different populations, including northern/western versus southern/Mediterranean Europe, as well as urban versus rural populations.

A unique aspect of this special issue is that all researchers adopt the same approach when analysing their specific city: coding causes of death using the newly established ICD10h (which is based on the ICD10), grouping diseases, and conducting descriptive statistics are all done in the same way. We therefore have developed a new classification of child causes of death named childcat, extending the previously developed classifications infantcat and histcat. A previous special issue focusing on infant mortality is in the process of being published.

Currently, scholars in our network are studying the following cities: Amsterdam, Antwerp, Copenhagen, Hermoupolis, Palma, and Venice. Each city displays distinct patterns, particularly concerning infant mortality, in addition to child mortality.

We invite scholars with access to longitudinal individual-level cause-of-death data, regardless of whether they have used the ICD10h before, to express their interest.

Submission Details

Please express your interest along with any queries you may have to both and

Upon communication, we will provide further guidelines along with more details about the special issue, including timeline and format. 

Please respond to our call by July 31st, including a short description of your dataset, and the study population. 


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