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Original scientific paper

The Impact of Social Status on Demographic Changes: Ragusan Nobility and the Process of Demographic Transition

Nenad Vekarić orcid id ; Institute for Historical Sciences of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts in Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Full text: english pdf 234 Kb

page 57-70

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The analysis of natural movement within the noble circle shows that the process of demographic transition of the elite ranks of the Dubrovnik population started with the mortality transition as early as the seventeenth century. The third decade of the eighteenth century witnessed the closing phase of the process, natality transition, and by the middle of the eighteenth century the process was already completed. In the first half of the eighteenth century the average age of the nobility increased by more than six years. The process of demographic transition in this social group ended by the time it started in the other contingents of the Dubrovnik population. The course of the process of demographic transition within that Ragusan social group indicates a clear positive correlation between economic power (high living standard) and positive demographic movements, revealing that the causes of the process of demographic transition had been at work at least a century earlier than generally assumed until now. The speed with which the broader population absorbed the new achievements was slow: on the overall level of the Dubrovnik population it lagged behind the elite rank a whole century, while on the broader Croatian level a time lag of two centuries has been observed.


demographic transition, nobility, Republic of Dubrovnik, natality, mortality

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