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Reassessing the Standard of Living in the Soviet Union: An Analysis Using Archival and Anthropometric Data

  • Elizabeth Brainerd (a1)

This article uses anthropometric and archival data to reassess the standard of living in the Soviet Union. In the prewar period, the population was small in stature and sensitive to the political and economic upheavals experienced in the country. Significant improvements in child height, adult stature, and infant mortality were recorded from approximately 1945 to 1970. While this period of physical growth was followed by stagnation in heights, the physical growth record of the Soviet population compares favorably with that of other European countries at a similar level of development in this period.

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