The 19th century was truly bad for Mexico and for Mexicans

From an international perspective, Mexicans' height in the mid-eighteenth century was "not too short"…The declining trend over the second half of the eighteenth century was nothin exceptional in international perspective either.  The early nineteenth century, however, was a watershed as the trends diverged: height recovered or stagnated in France, Spain, and other countries, but it continued to decline in Mexico: by the 1830s, Mexicans had finally become "too short."  …I have proposed that population growth, and more frequent El Niño events, and real grain prices reduced the availability of food and had a likely detrimental effect on living standards.

That is from an essay by Amílcar Challú, from the new and excellent book Living Standards in Latin American History: Height, Welfare, and Development, 1750-2000, edited by Ricardo D. Salvadore, John H. Coatsworth, and Amílcar Challú.


Comments for this post are closed