Przeszłość Demograficzna Polski (Jan 2015)

Wpływ I wojny światowej na stan i strukturę ludności miasta Krakowa. Badanie przy użyciu wariantowych projekcji demograficznych

  • Bartosz Ogórek

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 37


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The article assesses the effects of the First World War on the population of Cracow, visible in the state and structure of the town’s population. The collected statistical materials (mainly the publications of the City’s Statistical Office) have been used to carry out an annual projection of the size and structure of the city’s population, separately for each sex for the years 1890–1921. The procedure, sometimes called cohort-component method population projection, is based on sectional (periodical) tables of mortality. In that way four projections have been constructed, which allows to separately assess the impact of the war mortality and reproduction on the state and structure of the population and to visualise a hypothetical growth of the city’s population, which would have taken place if the war had not broken out. Thanks to that it is possible to state that the potential population losses of Cracow in 1921 amounted to 8.45% of the 1910 population. Within those losses 7% were civil losses, and only 1.45% were the killed and the missing. The impact of the war on the population was much stronger through intensified mortality, and not through limited reproduction. The ratio between losses caused by changes in mortality and reproduction for the population of Cracow was 70:30. The use of demographic projections has also allowed to identify populational groups especially prone to the increased war mortality. Both in women and in men the biggest part of civil victims of the war were children and youngsters aged 3 to 19 years old and people over 50 years old. The war situation influenced also the values of the synthetic demographic indicators. The life expectancy for women decreased by 25% in 1918 (the record year), and the overall reproduction rate by 47%. In addition to strictly research conclusions, the article has a methodological value, as it shows how the use of demographic projections allows to present the effects of war in the sphere of the population.