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

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Walthamstow 1903

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for Walthamstow]

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Hoe Street Ward has practically the same rate as in 1902; James'
Street 1.6, High Street 2.5 higher; and Wood Street 2.5 and the
Northern Ward .6 lower rates, presuming that the assumed populations
of the different Wards are correct. Judged by these rates Hoe Street
and the Northern Ward populations are fairly accurate, High Street
Ward is under and Wood Street over-estimated.
James' Street Ward had 23 and Wood Street 33 fewer births than in
1902, while High Street had 42, Hoe Street 4, and the Northern Ward
100 more than in 1902.
During the year 1,065 deaths were registered as occurring in this
district. Ten were of non-residents, and eliminated in reckoning the
death-rate, while 103 deaths occurring in the Workhouse, 17 deaths at
the Sanatorium, and 3 of residents outside the district are added.
The total number of deaths belonging to the district was 1,178 ;
males, 552 : females, 626.
Only a few deaths were registered without a Coroner's or medical
practitioner's certificate. No doubt many children, born alive and
dying within a short time are certified as still-born, to save the expenses of
The corrected general death-rate for the district is 11.08 per 1,000, or
2.48 per 1,000, below the average (13.56) for the previous 10 years, and
is the lowest recorded death-rate.
The death-rate for England and Wales for 1903 was 15.4, or 4.32
greater than that of Walthamstow, and for the "76 Great Towns" the
death-rate was 16.3, or .5.22 in excess of your district.
As the populations of different districts vary considerably in their
composition as to age and sex, and their death-rates in consequence,
to make comparable the rates of one locality with another, these
differences have to be taken into account and allowed for.
The Registrar-General began in 1883 to apply a method of correcting
the recorded death-rates of the Great Towns forage and sex distribution.
The principle adopted is the construction for each town of a
standard death-rate, i.e. a rate calculated on the hypothesis that the
deaths at each age-period, in each sex, occur at the same rates as those
obtaining not in the town itself, but in England and Wales, during the
latest available decennial period.
The standard death-rate thus found for each town is divided into
that of England and Wales, and thus is found a factor for correcting, or
the figures by which the recorded death-rate should be multiplied in
order to correct for variations of age and sex distribution.
Applying this method to the census of 1901 for this district the following
Table is formed :—

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