Journal of Economic History

Papers Presented at the Forty-Second Annual Meeting of the Economic History Association

Heights of Native-Born Whites During the Antebellum Period

Robert A. Margoa1 and Richard H. Steckela1

a1 Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104


This paper uses data on height by age drawn from Civil War muster rolls to analyze the nutritional status of the native-born white population during the antebellum period. Preliminary regression results reveal significant differences in adult heights across occupations, regions, urban-rural and migrant status, and birth cohorts. The economic and demographic implications of these findings are also explored.