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|"Eugenics in Austria," Eugenics Review (vol. 26:4), highlighting the moderating influence of Catholicism on eugenic programs
|Cold Spring Harbor,
ERO, Eugenical News, 26
Eugenics in Austria*
1. Vital Statistics
The Federal State of Austria - according to the latest census, taken on March 22nd, 1934 - has a population of 6,750,000 persons. Of that number about 2,000,000 live in Vienna and its immediate surroundings. The main figures about the movement of population during the last sixty years are summarized in the following table:
[end tabular material]
It is interesting to study the changes in the birth-rate in the different parts of the country. This, as may be seen in the following table, was in the period 1871-5 higher in Vienna than in the rest of the country, while to-day the opposite is the case.
&&1871-5 &1901-5 &1932 &1932
Vienna &... &40.2 &29.4 &8.1 &13.6
Lower Austria &... &37.4 &30.2 &14.6 &13.2
Upper Austria &... &31.1 &31.2 &18.5 &14.8
Salzburg &... &31.0 &31.4 &19.1 &14.2
Styria &... &31.4 &29.0 &17.7 &14.5
Carinthia &... &31.4 &32.2 &21.5 &14.1
Tyrol &... &25.4 &30.3 &20.1 &13.2
Vorarlberg &... &30.6 &28.8 &19.6 &12.7
Burgenland &... &39.5 &36.1 &22.3 &15.0
[end tabular material]
The birth-rate of Vienna is extremely low - much lower, for instance, than in London or Paris. Only in Berlin is the rate equally low. In
Berlin, however, the differential birth-rate has nearly disappeared, while in Vienna it still exists, the birth-rate being much higher in the
proletarian parts of the city than in those occupied by the middle classes.
[head flush right]Birth-rate 1932
[subhead flush left]Central districts with middle-class population:
[indent]1. Innere Stadt ... ... 4.6
3. Landstrasse ... ... 5.6
4. Wieden ... ... 4.8
5. Margareten ... ... 5.8
6. Mariahilf ... ... 4.8
7. Neubau ... ... 3.3
8. Josefstadt ... ... 5.1
9. Alsergrund ... ... 5.1
[indent]10. Favoriten ... ... 9.6
11. Simmering ... ... 10.7
16. Ottakring ... ... 7.8
20. Brigittenau ... ... 9.4
21. Floridsdorf ... ... 10.5
[end tabular material]
It must be noted that these are crude rates. The age composition of the various districts may show great differences. Nothing can be
stated exactly until the results of the last census are published, and that will take several years.
The percentage of illegitimate births is very high in Austria: in 1932 it was 27 per cent. In the provinces Salzburg and Styria about a
third of all children are born out of wedlock; in Carinthia the proportion is over 42 per cent.!
The difference between the urban and rural death-rates seems to be much smaller than exists between the two birth-rates. Infant
mortality in Austria was 98 per 1,000 for legitimate and 128 for illegitimate births in 1932. In Vienna the corresponding figures were 66
and 116. Using the method of J. Brownlee I have estimated the expectation of life at birth: it is 55.3 years for males and 59.2 years for
2. Research and Teaching.
Austria has no center[sic] of eugenic research and teaching; but a number of independent scientists are working in the field of heredity
and genetics. Among the most distinguished may be named botanist Tshermak, one of the rediscoverers of the Mendelian laws, the
endocrinologist, Julius Bauer, and the world-famous psychiatrist Wagner-Jauregg. The last-named is chairman of the Society
[footnote appears at the bottom of left column of text]* The author of this article is a regular contributor from Vienna. In a covering letter
he writes; "Although what I have to say is completely objective, I do not think it would be wise, under present conditions, to publish my
Copyright 1999-2004: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory; American Philosophical Society; Truman State University; Rockefeller Archive Center/Rockefeller University; University of Albany, State University of New York; National Park Service, Statue of Liberty National Monument; University College, London; International Center of Photography; Archiv zur Geschichte der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Berlin-Dahlem; and Special Collections, University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
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