Growing incomes, growing people in nineteenth-century Tasmania

Kris Inwood, Hamish Maxwell-Stewart, Deborah Oxley, Jim Stankovich

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16 Citations (Scopus)


The earliest measures of well-being for Europeans born in the Pacific region are heights and wages in Tasmania. Evidence of rising stature in middle decades of the nineteenth century survives multiple checks for measurement, compositional, and selection bias. The challenge to health and stature seen in other settler societies (the 'antebellum paradox') is not visible here. We sketch an interpretation for the simultaneous rise of Tasmanian stature and per capita gross domestic product based on relatively slow population growth and urbanisation, a decline in food cost per family member available from a worker's wage, and early recognition of the importance of public health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-211
Number of pages25
JournalAustralian Economic History Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Nutrition
  • Prisoners
  • Standard of living
  • Stature
  • Tasmania

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