Centre for Economic Demography

Lund University School of Economics and Management


SEDD – the Scanian Economic Demographic Database

The Scanian Economic Demographic Database (SEDD) is based on family reconstitutions for nine rural parishes (Ekeby, Frillestad, Halmstad, Hässlunda, Hög, Kågeröd, Kävlinge, Sireköpinge and Stenestad) and one city (Helsingborg) in Scania, the southernmost county of Sweden, in which information in church records on births, deaths and marriages are linked together to form families. From the late 19th century onwards, one of the rural parishes was transformed from a minor rural village to a small industrial town (Kävlinge), while the others preserved their rural characters.

The Scanian Economic Demographic Database is the result of project collaborations between the Centre for Economic Demography (CED) and the Regional Archives in Lund. The co-operation has produced both an event database, in which all basic source material is registered, and an applied research database. The event database is accessible through the Regional Archives in Lund. The description that follows primarily relates to the research database.

Information about land ownership from the poll-tax registers has so far been linked to the families in five of the parishes in order to get better information about the socioeconomic position of the household. In addition, information from the catechetical examination registers on migration and household composition has been added for the same five parishes for the period 1813-1968. Data on male heights from military records have been added after 1830, information in mid-wife reports from 1880, and annual individual income from tax records from 1903. This data, together with local information on food prices and wages, has largely been used in developing methods for analysing environmental impacts on demographic outcomes and has formed the basis for the Swedish part of the Eurasian Project on Family and Population History, supported by Swedish, European, and Japanese funding.

In order to improve the information about social origin, all individuals registered as married in any of the five parishes in the period 1829-1968 have been tracked to their parish of birth where information about parental social status has been added from the church records and the poll-tax registers. This has been a crucial improvement of the database and has formed the basis of a comparative international research project - Early Life Conditions, Social Mobility and Health in Later Life with funding from Swedish sources and NIH/NIA.

At its present stage, the database includes data for 104 000 individuals up to 1968, to which data from central registers for the period up to 2011 has been linked. Data for the city of Landskrona are presently digitized.

The database contains a variety of information on individual as well as household/family level and each individual in the database is under observation from birth/ in-migration and throughout the life span/ until an out-migration occurs. The fact that the database covers almost four centuries, and the way in which it combines economic and demographic data in one database, has made it unique by Swedish comparisons.

Recently a map service for the five parishes has been constructed (SEDDMap). It contains digitized maps from the late eighteenth century to the early twentieth century where all property units, buildings and roads have been digitized from historical maps. Furthermore, a sub-sample of the population, those residing in the parishes 1813 to 1914, has been linked to their respective property units over time. The map service also shows modern maps as well as soil conditions, elevation, and general economic and demographic characteristics of the parishes (access to SEDDMap below).

Demographic variables include

  • Births
  • Deaths
  • Cause of death
  • Marriages
  • In-migration
  • Out-migration
  • Birth-order

Socioeconomic and health variables include

  • Occupation
  • Land holdings (farm size etc.)
  • Type of residence (farm, croft, cottage etc.)
  • Property ownership (freehold, crown, noble)
  • Income
  • Height
  • Health at birth
  • Health at mustering

Household variables include

  • House-hold size
  • Typology of house-hold members (servants, nuclear family, lodgers etc.)


The research database covers information on the total population in five rural parishes c. 1650 to 1968/2011, with one town on the way.

Rural parishes: Halmstad, Hög, Kågeröd, Kävlinge and Sireköpinge.

Urban town: Landskrona

For a general description of the area, in terms of social, economic and demographic developments, see Bengtsson, T. & Dribe, M. (1997) Economy and Demography in Western Scania, Sweden, 1650-1900. EAP Working Series Paper No.10. Kyoto: International Research Center for Japanese Studies.



Data from the Scanian Economic Demographic Database is now publicly accessible. The dataset is a longitudinal economic and demographic dataset containing all individuals living in five parishes in southern Sweden for the period 1813 to 1914. The individuals are followed from birth or in-migration to death or out-migration, and the dataset contains demographic and socio-economic variables on household, family and individual level.

For publications using SEDD data, please click SEDD publication list

For access, please click SEDD public access

Use of data for the period after 1910 requires special permission in accordance with the restrictions stated by the Regional Ethical Review Board, the Swedish Data Inspection Board and Lund University.

For access to the geographical map service, please click SEDDMap.

For more information

On specific issues regarding the SEDD, please contact SEDD.

Data for the period 1813 to 1914 is now publicly accessible. Use of data for the period after 1914 requires special permission.

For more general details on accessibility, please see information below.