London's Pulse: Medical Officer of Health reports 1848-1972

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London County Council 1912

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for London County Council]

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Annual Report of the London County Council, 1912.
A comparison of these figures with those of the first life table shows the same features in the general
trend of the interpolated populations to be common to both decennia. There is in both marked evidence
of the attraction which London offers to young adults of both sexes, resulting in an influx of population
apparently even more than sufficient to compensate for losses by deaths. Reference may here be made
to the diagram facing this page, which shows the interpolated populations and deaths together with
the original grouped figures from which they have been calculated. The increase in the population
between 14 and 25 years of age appears to be relatively more pronounced in the later decennium and
this is probably largely accounted for by the outward movement of families of young married persons,
for it is seen from the census of 1891 that the proportion at that time of the population between the
ages of 15 and 25 years who were married was 15.1 per cent., while in 1911 the proportion had fallen to
10.7 per cent.
It is probable that the method of graduation used tends to exaggerate the increase of the population
shown after the fourteenth year: upon this point it is of interest to refer to the census figures for 1911
given in vol. VII, page lix, where the enumerated population of London in single years of life for each
sex is given. The figures show considerable variations from one year to another and the actual age
at which the population for 1911 attained a maximum after the fourteenth year is scarcely to be
satisfactorily determined from them. Mr. King's graduated figures given on the same page show a
maximum about the 25th year, but the increase up to that year is much less marked in the census
figures for 1911 than in the figures shown above for the decennium 1901-1910. This difference is
partly accounted for by the addition made to the London population in respect of inmates of
institutions (see p. 106).
at age
periods in

For the purposes of comparison the mortality-rates of London by sexes at ages for the last six decennial periods are here shown.

Age-group.Death-rates per 1,000 living at difierent age-periods in successive decennia since 1851.Decrease or increase in death-rates at age-periods in successive decennia.
1851-60.1861-70.1871-80.1881-90.1891-00.1901-10.1851-60 to 1861-70.1861-70 to 1871-80.1881-80 to 1881-90.1881-90 to 1891-00.1891-00 to 1900-10.
0—83.1186.9177.8673.0971.9753.55+ 3.80—9.05—4.77—1.12—18.42
5—9.709.377.425.934.973.46—0.33—1.95—1.49—0.96— 1.51
10—4.524.243.572.922.461.98—0.28—0.67—0.65—0.46— 0.48
15—6.255.825.054.053.472.88—0.43—0.77—1.00-0.58— 0.59
20—8.318.236.955.444.593.80—0.08—1.28—1.51—0.85— 0.79
25—10.5010.8610.138.657.365.69+0.36—0.73—1.48—1.29— 1.67
35—16.2917.1416.6414.9614.2210.89+0.85—0.50-1.68—0.74— 3.33
45—24.6825.6825.3723.8723.1419.15+ 1.00—0.31-1.50-0.73— 3.99
55—42.4343.8543.2041.3340.6834.45+ 1.42—0.65-1.87-0.65— 6.23
75 +186.48184.51176.81169.36166.45152.71-1.97-7.70-7.45-2.91-13.74
All ages25.7026.5524.3822.1020.8816.89+ 0.85—2.17—2.28—1.22— 3.99
0—72.9576.3267.6663.2661.9945.66+ 3.37—8.66—4.40—1.27—16.33
5—9.218.856.735.825.173.48—0.36—2.12-0.91—0.65— 1.69
10——0.08—0.62-0.56—0.41— 0.44
15—5.435.104.363.582.942.39—0.33—0.74-0.78—0.64— 0.55
20—6.486.225.464.403.462.76—0.26—0.76—1.06-0.94— 0.70
25—8.758.808.046.825.654.17+ 0.05—0.76—1.22—1.17— 1.48
35—12.8112.8412.3211.4210.688.05+0.03—0.52—0.90—0.74— 2.63
45—18.0618.5218.0817.2317.1213.75+0.46—0.44—0.85—0.11— 3.37
55—33.2733.4532.9530.7731.0125.46+0.18—0.50—2.18+ 0.24— 5.55
65—69.5967.2366.6363.3863.4453.56-2.36—0.60-3.25+ 0.06— 9.88
75 +167.46164.71159.50150.26150.73135.28—2.75—5.21—9.24+0.47-15.45
All ages21.8222.3420.6018.8317.8814.25+0.52—1.74—1.77—0.95— 3.63

It will be observed that the decrease in the mortality during the last twenty years has been
much greater at all ages and for both sexes than in any two consecutive decennia back to 1851-60, the
first decennium for which satisfactorily complete data are available; but generally speaking the ageperiods
in which the decrease is most marked are those at which mortality-rates are highest, namely, in
infancy and after maturity. It might be supposed that the decrease in mortality in infancy was
greatest in the first year of life, but this is found not to be the case. If the mortality rates in years of
life for the first ten years, as shown by the first life-table calculations, be compared with the similar
figures for the present life-table, it will be seen that the greatest improvement proportionately in the