Long Live the Family

“Long Live the Family. The Rise of Familial Health Advantages in Sweden 1813–2022”

The project is motivated by the wide gap in the length of life by socioeconomic status: the social gradient in mortality. In Sweden, the gap in the length of life by socioeconomic status emerged in about the 1950ies for women and 1970ies for men. Even in the absence of a population-level social gradient in mortality, patterns of health and survival are and were shared in families. We investigate how mortality and health are transmitted across generations in families that are doing particularly well in ancestral generations. We identify families with beneficial survival in comparison to the population, and address the timing and mechanisms of the emergence of a social gradient in mortality in Sweden.

The project is executed together with Isa Barraclough, doctoral candidate at the Department of Economic History.