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The Population of the City of Zagreb Immediately Before and After World War II According to Consumer Registration Forms

Krešimir Ivanda orcid id ; Ekonomski fakultet Sveučilišta u Zagrebu, Zagreb, Hrvatska
Anđelko Akrap orcid id ; Ekonomski fakultet Sveučilišta u Zagrebu, Zagreb, Hrvatska

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 610 Kb


str. 1-29

preuzimanja: 837



The population of the City of Zagreb faced significant changes in major
economic, political and social processes in the first part of the 20th century. The
changes taking place in this period, with the pinnacle around World War II,
changed the fundamental economic and social paradigm, thus affecting many
aspects of demographic behaviour. The objective of this paper is to study major
demographic and socioeconomic changes having affected the population
of the City of Zagreb in the period between 1931 and immediately after World
War II, with respect to the earlier historical circumstances. We have based
our analysis on the historical source named Consumer Registration Forms. Consumer
Registration Forms were an official document used with the purpose of
rationalising consumption in the turbulent times around World War II. They
contain information on individual level and in part on household level, depending
on the type of registration form. There are two types of these forms:
one that began to be distributed in January 1941, and another that began to be
distributed in late August 1945. With due respect, no significant political connotations
were reported in the first phase of distribution in January 1941; the
forms were used for the purchase of basic products, such as food, medicines,
energy, etc. We may therefore assume that the coverage of the population with
Consumer Registration Forms is comparable with the census. Furthermore,
the sheer volume of the Consumer Registration Forms suggests high coverage.
The analysis consists of several descriptive findings since, despite of our
best knowledge and effort, we have found no comparable research on this
topic. We began with estimating the total population of the City of Zagreb in
the months preceding World War II, and in the months following it. We furthermore
estimated other basic demographic indicators, including age-and-sex
structure, mean age, sex ratio, and others. The analysis showed major imbalance
in the age-and-sex structure in the young population as an aftermath of the war.
Our results suggest that there exist major gender differences in the analysed
variables. Clear gender distinction exists in the indicators on economic
activity – women tend to have significantly lower activity in all age groups,
excluding the youngest one analysed. The specific background explains this
exception – young women used the model of home servants as one of the main
pathways in obtaining economic and social independence. The majority of
these women arrived in the years preceding, as immigrants from the neighbouring
counties due to having become excess workforce in disintegrated
agrarian economies. Such model of home servants was common across Europe
in the period between the 17th a nd t he 20th centuries. Family and household
structure showed a rather heterogeneous distribution. A relatively high share
of single households is expected due to continuous and high immigration in
the previous decade. Heterogeneous population structure in pre-war Zagreb
presents a scientifically interesting period and object of interest. We suggest
several ideas for further research of this topic.

Ključne riječi

population of the City of Zagreb; socio-economic structure; family and household structure; war-conditioned age-and-sex structure

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Podaci na drugim jezicima: hrvatski

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