Journal Article

Does a turbulent history lead to turbulent life expectancy trends? Evidence from the frontier Baltic States

Vallin, J., Jasilionis, D., Meslé, F.

Historical Methods: A Journal of Quantitative and Interdisciplinary History1-19 (2017)


Keywords: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, historical demography, mortality, trends


After the time of the Great Duchy of Lithuania and that of their inclusion to Russian Empire, the three Baltic countries get their first independence after WW-I, but WW-II forced them to enter the Soviet Union for almost five decades before getting their second independence and resuming with market economy, to finally join the European Union. Such strong historical changes caused major impacts (either positive or negative) on the implementation of the health transition in the region, quite interesting to document, but they also produced dramatic changes in the quality and the accuracy of information required to compute mortality indicators. The aim of this paper is to briefly summarize existing knowledge on mortality in the Baltic region for the past two centuries, but focusing more precisely to what were the consequences of getting in and then getting out of the Soviet system in terms of health and survival.