The aim of this study was to assess the impact of social and occupational status on the BMI of the gentry and peasantry in the Kingdom of Poland at the turn of 19th and early 20th centuries. Use was made of data on the height and weight of 304 men, including 200 peasants and 104 gentlemen, and 275 women, including 200 from the peasantry and 75 from the gentry. Gentlemen were characterized by a greater body height than peasants (169.40 cm and 166.96 cm, respectively), a greater body weight (67.09 kg and 60.99 kg, respectively) and a higher BMI (23.33 kg/m2 and 21.83 kg/m2, respectively). Landowners and intelligentsia had a greater BMI than peasants (23.12 kg/m2 and 24.20 kg/m2 vs 21.83 kg/m2, respectively). In the case of women, there were no statistically significant differences in mean height, weight and BMI by their social position, and in BMI by occupational status. Underweight occurred less frequently in the gentry and more frequently in the peasantry (0.97% and 2.04%, respectively). Overweight was five times more common in gentlemen than in peasants (26.21% and 5.10%, respectively). Differences in the BMI of gentlefolk and peasants resulted from differences in diet and lifestyle related to socioeconomic status.