Monday, July 25, 2011

Medieval Demographics, a question

Where can I find a population distribution of different ages for medieval societies? For example data that looks like age 60-65 is 1.3%, age 55-60 is 6.3%. In some of the projects I am working I am detailing entire villages and it would help to have a baseline to work from.

10 comments:

Patrick Tingler said...

I don't know of anything off the top of my head that has it laid out like that. If you have access to a large academic library, you might be able to find a journal article that looks at a specific town or village. Also you might try searching for the subjects "Europe -- Population -- History", "England -- Population -- History", "Demography -- History", or keyword search "medieval demography" and see if you can find what you are looking for. Those searches turned up "England's Population: A History since the Domesday Survey" a 2003 book which might also have a bibliography that you can mine.

Todd said...

For specific information I would agree with Patrick. I remember coming across information in history journals when I was an undergraduate, but that was 20 years ago.

I did find some information by searching Google with the following search string "medieval life expectancy":
http://www.hyw.com/books/history/Fertilit.htm

Wikipedia's entry on Medieval demography has several citations that may lead you to other sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medieval_demography

A search of Google Scholar may turn up some results as well:
http://scholar.google.ca/

Joseph Browning said...

I have a graph from "An Economic History of Medieval Europe" that may help you roughly estimate what you're looking for.

E-mail me at josephbrowning@gmail.com and I'll send it your way.

Padre said...

I was talking with a friend of mine who happens to be Medievalist at SLU, he said Josiah Cox Russel did a book years and would probably be a good place to begin.
Try looking in Google books for his works

DHBoggs said...

basically, you are asking for the impossible. Historian have made guesses about demographics that acraheologists have pretty mcuh torn to shreds. You really have to look at very specific cases and time periods. The kind of data you are looking for can only be gotten (with any amount of accuracy) through cemetary data and it will very greatly deepend on location and circumstance.

Rob Conley said...

@DHBoggs they get their data from graveyard studies. They can determined what age a person died at and based on records and carbon dating when they died. They get a death rate and from that estimate what the population make up was.

I will post more details but it looks like today's third world population pyramids. The main difference is that infant mortality rate for 0 to 5 years was way worse.

Rob Conley said...

Way worse for medieval societies.

Jason said...

It's based on 3E but there is this


"Total population, size, classification, and business distributions are based on "Medieval Demographics Made Easy" by S. John Ross.
The optional D&D notations including wealth, power centers, and racial demographics are based on the Dungeon Master's Guide, version 3.0"
http://www.lucidphoenix.com/dnd/demo/business.asp?poptype=set&pop=0

Ragna said...

Cannot help with that one, but I am going to take advantage of the topic to say that the "Medieval Demographics Made Easy" link in the right frame is not working any more :(

Silentjudas said...

I second John Ross's creation

http://www222.pair.com/sjohn/blueroom/demog.htm

And I also say check out Fief and Town

http://www222.pair.com/sjohn/fief.htm