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.

Hence the average years of future life-time of the total population, and the rate at which it is annually expended, are obtained:—

Mean population 1901-1910.Total life capital of the population.Average life capital of the population.Proportion per cent. of life capital expended in a year.Corresponding figures in 1691-1900.
Average life-capital.Percentage expended annually.

It is thus found that the value of the future life-time of the population in 1901-1910 shows a
small increase upon that of the population in the preceding decennium.
A question of some importance then arises for determination: has the increase in the expectation
of life been sufficient to compensate for the marked diminution of the birth-rate in the period covered
by the two life-tables ?

life were added by births. As will be seen, however, from the following figures, the relative addition by births has been increased to 134years.

Sex.Births in 1901-1910.Mean future lifetime.Years of life added by births in 1901-10.Years of life expended by the population 1901-1910.Years added for 100 years expended.

The increase may seem small, but it is to be borne in mind in considering this result, that there
is evidence that London, during the past 20 years, has been losing its younger married population
(see above, page 110) and if correction for that fact could be made there seems reason to suppose that
the relative addition by births would have shown greater increase.
Reverting to the contrast which has been made of the mortality-rates (i.) in successive decennia
in London, (ii.) in selected healthy districts and the whole of England and Wales in the same decennium
it is of interest here to compare similarly the birth-rates of the life-table populations: it is found that
for every 100 females aged 15-45 the births in England and Wales numbered 97.0 as compared with
the corresponding rate of 86.5 in the selected healthy districts in 1891-1900; while, in London, the
first life-table population gives a corresponding birth-rate of 100.9 and the present life-table 91.4 per
100: thus it appears that improvement in the healthiness of a community is accompanied with a
corresponding decrease in the birth-rate, equally whether the rates compared are contemporaneous or
for successive periods. These figures do not, of course, take into account the differences there may be
in the proportion of the females 15-45 years who are married: they merely show the actual comparative
reproduction-rates of the life-table populations.

be delayed until these tables are published. The expectation of life in various towns or countries for the period 1891-1900, may be compared with London for the same period, and taking the London expectation as the standard at each age, the excess (+) or defect (—) in expectation elsewhere is, for males, as follows:—

Age.Salford.Berlin(a)Norwich.Brighton.England and Wales.Scotland.Germany(a)
0-7.68—3.03+ 2.89+ 3.94+ 3.15+ 3.73—0.42
5—3.58+0.35+ 3.64+2.34+ 1.90+ 0.76+ 1.67
10—3.45+ 0.56+3.34+ 1.96+ 1.79+0.76+ 1.82
15—3.40+ 0.57+ 3.37+ 1.89+ 1.81+0.94+ 1.91
20—3.20+0.70+ 3.46+ 1.96+ 1.89+ 1.30+2.10
25-2.86+ 0.80+ 3.73+2.16+ 2.05+ 1.79+2.42
35-2.81+0.77+3.41+2.20+ 1.99+ 2.05+2.34
45—2.73+0.61+ 2.68+ 1.89+ 1.55+ 1.59+ 1.72
55—2.31+0.46+ 1.82+ 1.68+ 1.03+ 1.09+ 1.05
65-1.46+0.33+0.78+ 1.25+0.58+0.81+0.36
75—0.72+0.15+0.09+0.58+0.14+ 0.47—0.11

Although the expectation at ages above 5 years in Berlin exceeds that of London, the high
infantile mortality brings the expectation of life at birth below the London figure by more than three
The px, lx and mx curves for 1901-1910 in London are shown on the diagram facing page 112:
corresponding curves for 1891-1900 are not here reproduced, as in the small scale necessitated to show the
whole life-period the differences between the two curves would only be apparent at the two extremes
of life.
(a) Statistik des Deutschen Reichs, Band 200 (Deutsche Sterbetafeln fiir das Jahrzehnt 1891 bis 1900.)