Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 4-18-2021


Socioeconomic status, or SES, is the measure of one’s individual/familial social and economic position in society in relation to others. The higher one’s SES, the better their financial and social standing and, consequently, the better chance for a healthy and long life. This was especially the case for infants and children in the 19th century, when the United States lacked social safety net programs. During the latter part of the 19th century, deaths in urban areas like Rochester increased, due to growing populations and reduced sanitation. This study focuses on the correlation between socioeconomic status and the death of children from birth into childhood, in 19th century Rochester, through an analysis of death records from Mt. Hope Cemetery and census records. By looking at the correlation between death rates and social status, it is predicted that SES played a role in the death rates of children in 19th century Rochester.