Wednesday, 18 November 2015

England and Wales Deaths 1838 - 1962

The figure shows the trend in deaths per 1000 population from 1838, the first full year of civil registration to 1962.
The statistics are based on death registration statistics from FreeBMD and population figures from the decennial census, interpolated to annual values.
There's a general decline in the death rate from the early 1870s to the early 1920s.
Did your ancestor die in a large epidemic or other fatal episode?
Comparing the area within the labelled peaks to the total area under the curve shows death is much more likely to NOT have occurred in one of these episodes.
The top five events, identified as most prominent compared to the eight adjacent years, are labelled by severity.
1. The influenza pandemic which peaked in the last quarter of 1918 and first quarter of 1919.
2. Deaths associated with the Irish Famine occurring primarily from 1846 to 1849. In Lancashire, close to Ireland, deaths peaked in the second and third quarter of 1847. Nearly 20% of deaths in England and Wales were in Lancashire in the third quarter of 1847 whereas 15% was typical.
3. Deaths were greater in the last quarter of 1940 and first quarter of 1941, during the Blitz. But it was the first quarter of 1940 that saw the year's peak for deaths. The cause isn't clear. There was an outbreak of influenza but the strain was not classified as especially fatal.
4. Influenza was prevalent from late 1889 to early 1892.
5. There appears to be no single cause for this peak which is only slightly more prominent than the typical year to year variability for the first half of the record. The high rate of infant mortality, 150 per thousand births prior to 1900, means that a year with more births would also be one with more deaths, a trend evident in the registration data.


Peggy Gish said...

Is it ok to pass this to my Qualicum Beach Family History Society, BC for emailing or the newsletter to members? Who should be credited? Thanks Peggy Gish QB.

JDR said...

Thank you for your interest Peggy. All my blog posts are made under a creative commons licence. As long as you give an appropriate source to the blog you're clear.