A statistical approach to poverty at the Barcelona Area, 1720-1860

Miquel Valls Fígols, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Joana-Maria Pujadas-Mora, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Anna Cabré, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

From the eighteenth century, Catalonia begins a process of Protoindustrialization that will end with an industrial process in the second half of the nineteenth century. Barcelona will become the most industrial capital of Spain. The demolition of the walls around Barcelona started as late as 1854. In the enclosed space of what is today the old city, Industrialisation took place. The present contribution focus on the changes in the levels of poverty and its specific location along the process of Protoindustrialization and Industrialization from 1720 to 1860 in the Barcelona Area using the so declared poor in the marriage licenses of the Diocese of Barcelona collected at the Barcelona Historical Marriage Database (BHMD). Results show that: 1) Levels of poverty increased throughout the period, particularly in the last 20 years with the begins of industrialization process. 2) The most impressive, it’s the spatial concentration of poverty. The municipalities around Barcelona (BCN-Area) almost double the percentage of poverty going from 24 to 42%. 3) This concentration of poverty, in the inner city of Barcelona, was in the parishes where the industry was located. Thus poverty may be linked to the process of Industrialization. 4) The rural parishes with the largest number of agricultural occupations, show lower levels of poverty. 5) The parishes with high population growth during Industrialization are the ones that experienced bigger increases in poverty levels, and 6) The labourers and textile workers raised their levels of poverty throughout the studied period.

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Presented in Poster Session 2