Demographic reconstruction of a Greek island community : Naoussa and Kostos, on Paros, 1894-1998
This study focuses on the demographic history of the island of Paros in the period 1894-1998. Two main villages of Paros, namely Naoussa and Kostos, have been chosen as a case study for a more insightful investigation of the demographic behaviour of the island population. The method of family reconstitution has been applied to civil and parish registers of Naoussa and Kostos in order to study in depth issues related to the demographic transition in the island. Moreover, the thesis, by means of aggregate analysis based on official statistics dated back to 1860 and on primary data collected on the field, constitutes a comparative study in four administrative levels: at the level of the nation (Greece), the district (the Cyclades), the prefecture (Paros) and the community (Naoussa and Kostos). In every case the results of the analysis of all levels are compared with each other and especially with that of Greece, placing the island populations in a national context and drawing some conclusions concerning the differences and similarities between island populations and their metropolis. The main findings showed that marital fertility in Paros was natural up to the late 1920s. The level of fertility at the beginning of the twentieth century, however, was rather moderate, mainly due to a relatively prolonged period of breast-feeding. Infant and childhood mortality were lower than the national average in the first decades of the twentieth century, but the difference diminished, or even reversed around 1950. The marriage pattern, which up to the 1980s demonstrated certain characteristics of the Mediterranean pattern, cannot be characterised as typically Mediterranean because of the moderately high levels of permanent celibacy that were exhibited throughout most of the study period. Migration was the main regulatory factor of the demographic equilibrium in the island.