The gender gap in the biological living standard in Spain. A study based on the heights of an elite migration to Mexico, 1840-1930 Articles uri icon

publication date

  • May 2021

start page

  • 1

end page

  • 11


  • 41

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1570-677X

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1873-6130


  • This paper examines the evolution of the statures of Spanish male and female migrants who entered Mexico between the mid-nineteenth and the mid-twentieth century. Using the information contained in the National Registry of Foreigners created by the Mexican government, the paper also estimates the evolution of the gap between male and female migrants' heights. The inclusion of women and their heights in the registry allows the estimation of both male and female heights and the analysis of their evolution for a group of comparable individuals. The results show that Spanish migrants to Mexico grew taller between 1840 and 1930, and also reveal their character as a highly qualified group, with heights similar to those of the Latin-American elites and considerably higher than the statures of those who remained in Spain. In the long term, the differences between men and women decreased from more than 10 cm in the cohorts born in the mid-nineteenth century, to around 8┬┐centimetres in the early twentieth century, coinciding with a period of profound economic and social transformations.


  • Sociology


  • gender gap; heights; migrations