Mortality estimations for Rio Grande do Norte in a context of demographic pre-transition

<p></p><p>Abstract For periods prior to the beginning of the demographic transition, there are few quantitative studies about the impact of mortality on the population. Based on this absence, this article estimates mortality indicators for Rio Grande do Norte in the context of demographic pre-transition, using nineteenth-century data from statistical population maps (1801 and 1805) and census (1872 and 1890). In order to deal with population and death data, Brass’s Growth Balance method (1975) was used, as well as Coale and Demeny’s life tables (1996), functions extracted from The Human Mortality Database and indirect standardization technique. As a result, it was verified that mortality in Rio Grande do Norte was more intense in child and elderly population, over 50 years old, which represent the most vulnerable populations to adverse conditions such as droughts and infectious diseases. Life expectancy at birth is observed at 32.6 years old, a value very close to Mortara’s (1941) estimates for Brazil between 1870 and 1890. Further studies are suggested for the demographic and major pre-transition period as well as the use of demographic techniques in studies focused on the Brazilian past.</p><p></p>