Infant mortality in Ottawa, Canada, 1901

Assessing cultural, economic and environmental factors

Michael E. Mercier, Christopher Boone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Infant mortality is widely recognized as an indicator of poor living conditions. Scholars have identified economic, housing, environmental, and more recently, cultural determinants of infant mortality. Using individual-level data and record linkage this paper documents and explains the geography of infant mortality in Ottawa in 1901. Infant death in Ottawa mirrored the geography of poor living conditions in the city. The poorest and most densely settled community in Ottawa was Lowertown, a mostly French-Canadian part of the city with a disproportionate share of the city's infant deaths. In addition to environmental factors, infant mortality was linked to economic standing. Poorer families in Lowertown were more likely to have one of their infants die than better off families. After controlling for economic standing, however, cultural factors were stronger predictors of infant deaths. French-Canadian families in Lowertown had a greater risk of infant deaths than did families of other backgrounds irrespective of material circumstances. Supporting conclusions drawn elsewhere, this paper suggests that the interaction of particular cultural practices, such as shorter periods of breast-feeding among French-Canadians and a poor sanitary environment, resulted in high infant mortality rates in Ottawa.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)486-507
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Historical Geography
Volume28
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2002
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

infant mortality
cultural factors
economic factors
environmental factors
infant
environmental factor
Canada
death
economics
living conditions
geography
housing
Economics
Ottawa
Infant Mortality
determinants
mortality
family
interaction
community

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Archaeology
  • Geography, Planning and Development

Cite this

Infant mortality in Ottawa, Canada, 1901 : Assessing cultural, economic and environmental factors. / Mercier, Michael E.; Boone, Christopher.

In: Journal of Historical Geography, Vol. 28, No. 4, 10.2002, p. 486-507.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{5aeef44dfc5c4c54acea3b587d244bed,
title = "Infant mortality in Ottawa, Canada, 1901: Assessing cultural, economic and environmental factors",
abstract = "Infant mortality is widely recognized as an indicator of poor living conditions. Scholars have identified economic, housing, environmental, and more recently, cultural determinants of infant mortality. Using individual-level data and record linkage this paper documents and explains the geography of infant mortality in Ottawa in 1901. Infant death in Ottawa mirrored the geography of poor living conditions in the city. The poorest and most densely settled community in Ottawa was Lowertown, a mostly French-Canadian part of the city with a disproportionate share of the city's infant deaths. In addition to environmental factors, infant mortality was linked to economic standing. Poorer families in Lowertown were more likely to have one of their infants die than better off families. After controlling for economic standing, however, cultural factors were stronger predictors of infant deaths. French-Canadian families in Lowertown had a greater risk of infant deaths than did families of other backgrounds irrespective of material circumstances. Supporting conclusions drawn elsewhere, this paper suggests that the interaction of particular cultural practices, such as shorter periods of breast-feeding among French-Canadians and a poor sanitary environment, resulted in high infant mortality rates in Ottawa.",
author = "Mercier, {Michael E.} and Christopher Boone",
year = "2002",
month = "10",
doi = "10.1006/jhge.2002.0442",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "28",
pages = "486--507",
journal = "Journal of Historical Geography",
issn = "0305-7488",
publisher = "Academic Press Inc.",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Infant mortality in Ottawa, Canada, 1901

T2 - Assessing cultural, economic and environmental factors

AU - Mercier, Michael E.

AU - Boone, Christopher

PY - 2002/10

Y1 - 2002/10

N2 - Infant mortality is widely recognized as an indicator of poor living conditions. Scholars have identified economic, housing, environmental, and more recently, cultural determinants of infant mortality. Using individual-level data and record linkage this paper documents and explains the geography of infant mortality in Ottawa in 1901. Infant death in Ottawa mirrored the geography of poor living conditions in the city. The poorest and most densely settled community in Ottawa was Lowertown, a mostly French-Canadian part of the city with a disproportionate share of the city's infant deaths. In addition to environmental factors, infant mortality was linked to economic standing. Poorer families in Lowertown were more likely to have one of their infants die than better off families. After controlling for economic standing, however, cultural factors were stronger predictors of infant deaths. French-Canadian families in Lowertown had a greater risk of infant deaths than did families of other backgrounds irrespective of material circumstances. Supporting conclusions drawn elsewhere, this paper suggests that the interaction of particular cultural practices, such as shorter periods of breast-feeding among French-Canadians and a poor sanitary environment, resulted in high infant mortality rates in Ottawa.

AB - Infant mortality is widely recognized as an indicator of poor living conditions. Scholars have identified economic, housing, environmental, and more recently, cultural determinants of infant mortality. Using individual-level data and record linkage this paper documents and explains the geography of infant mortality in Ottawa in 1901. Infant death in Ottawa mirrored the geography of poor living conditions in the city. The poorest and most densely settled community in Ottawa was Lowertown, a mostly French-Canadian part of the city with a disproportionate share of the city's infant deaths. In addition to environmental factors, infant mortality was linked to economic standing. Poorer families in Lowertown were more likely to have one of their infants die than better off families. After controlling for economic standing, however, cultural factors were stronger predictors of infant deaths. French-Canadian families in Lowertown had a greater risk of infant deaths than did families of other backgrounds irrespective of material circumstances. Supporting conclusions drawn elsewhere, this paper suggests that the interaction of particular cultural practices, such as shorter periods of breast-feeding among French-Canadians and a poor sanitary environment, resulted in high infant mortality rates in Ottawa.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0036820086&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0036820086&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1006/jhge.2002.0442

DO - 10.1006/jhge.2002.0442

M3 - Article

VL - 28

SP - 486

EP - 507

JO - Journal of Historical Geography

JF - Journal of Historical Geography

SN - 0305-7488

IS - 4

ER -