Monasteries and Universities in Europe over the long-run

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Max Roser (2017) – ‘Monasteries and Universities in Europe over the long-run’. Published online at OurWorldInData.org. Retrieved from: https://ourworldindata.org/monasteries-and-universities-in-europe-over-the-long-run/ [Online Resource]

This page lists the data on the number and foundations of monasteries and universities in Western Europe published in Buringh and Van Zanden (2009) – Charting the “Rise of the West”: Manuscripts and Printed Books in Europe, A Long-Term Perspective from the Sixth through Eighteenth Centuries. In The Journal of Economic History, 69, 02, 409–445.

Estimated number of monasteries in Western Europe, 6th – 15th century – Van Zanden (2009)1
Century6789101112131415
Central Europe00001679458718695690
Bohemia00001732113119107113
Great Britain2364604634374375261325153014471333
France58698812401636209150518104856481897554
Belgium053687088175313364361335
Netherlands0247132068189336679
Germany0138622824112916522873311029672752
Switzerland10193771104144247321337333
Austria12117099113186344406413372
Italy29130649570499520722990340534163333
Iberia58117170537134025493290322330032876
Western Europe119320943168438563431248520125219482127020369
New foundations1013102112841533239767768888383615161226
Increase in %8658444891631764

The following table paints a detailed picture of the early rise of universities in Western Europe. By clicking on the top row, you can sort the cells and track the shift of higher learning from the mediterranean countries to the North. In the 15th century, there were 17 universities in Italy and 9 in the Iberian countries. Thereafter there were no new universities in these two regions, and only one new institution in France. But in the northern countries – especially in Germany and Central Europe – the rise of universities intensified and more universities were founded as time went on.

Cumulative distribution of foundation dates of universities in Western Europe, 1200-1800 – Buringh & Van Zanden (2009)2
Century< 1212131415 (I)15 (II)16 (I)16 (II)17 (I)17 (II)18 (I)18 (II)
Central Europe00033566891011
Bohemia000111122222
British Isles012235577777
France014101315151516161616
Belgium000011111111
Netherlands000000035555
Germany0003611141720222424
Switzerland000001111111
Austria000111123444
Italy1410171717171717171717
Iberia004779999999
Latin West1620445266708089939697