The Quetelet Center for Quantitative Historical Research is an interfaculty and interdisciplinary service centre that offers advice and expertise on the use of historical data that can be studied statistically or in map form.

Researchers from all disciplines and the general public can come to us with questions about the use of quantitative and quantifiable sources on Belgium's past.

In the spotlight

HISSTER / BLOG POST / JUNE 2020

The excess mortality due to Covid-19 In Belgium made April 2020 the deadliest April month since World War II. In the past, common flu epidemics also caused increased mortality rates. Patrick Deboosere, demographer at the VUB’s Interface Demography, shows how these epidemics were dealt with in Belgium and uses figures from the HISSTER database.

Read more

HISSTER & STREAM / PUBLICATION & VIDEO / MAY 2020

The coronavirus is currently spreading across the world. Yet, it is not the first epidemic to sweep the globe. The Black Death and the Spanish Flu are well known, but what other disease outbreaks have shaped Belgian history? Isabelle Devos (Ghent University, History Department) brushes up your knowledge in 2500 words and a short video.

Read more

HISSTER /BLOG POST / APRIL 2020

In an article in the newspaper De Standaard on 20 April, the journalist Marc Reynebeau states that the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918-19 cost the lives of almost 300,000 Belgians and discusses why in the past there was so little attention paid to the epidemic in Belgium. Based on a study of the literature and the HISSTER database of the Quetelet Center, Isabelle Devos (History Department, Ghent University) questions these numbers and points to the need for historical criticism when using figures.

Read more

LOKSTAT & POPPKAD / SCIENTIFIC PUBLICATION / FEBRUARY 2020

During the 1840s, Belgium underwent a deep crisis after a series of crop failures. The effects of the recession varied greatly from region to region. Esther Beeckaert and Eric Vanhaute (Department of History, Ghent University) investigate these regional differences and come to an explanation for the varying impact of the crisis.

Read more