Sunday, 26 June 2016

Home Child Ages

This graph shows the distribution of ages on arrival of the approximately 100,000 home children who came from Britain to Canada between 1869 and 1947. It shows a double peak, one largely prepubescent (47.8% age 13 and less), the remainder post pubescent. The median age in the 19th century and for the first 25 years of the 20th was 13 years For the next decade, following implementation of the UK Empire Settlement Act which required that immigrants be passed school leaving age, the median age was 16.

Why the dip at age 12? For each year in the periods 1870 - 80, 1889-91 and 1903-15 and 1923-30 there were fewer children age 12 than both age 11 and age 13.

Home child data sources matter. Compilations were made for different purposes. They may refer to a calendar or fiscal year.

These statistics are based on entries in the Library and Archives Canada home children database using only entries from ships passenger lists as extracted by John Sayers and cooperators in a BIFHSGO project. It includes a long tail of older people, such as chaperones, and some who were on the list with names crossed out. Data was taken for up to 2,000 entries per year for the decade (0) and mid-decade (5) years, plus a few other years thought to mark significant changes. Data for other years are estimated by linear interpolation constrained by the total number that arrived that year. Data for the Fairbridge immigrants to British Columbia, who arrived between 1935 and 1947, was added with ages extracted from the British outgoing ships passenger lists. Age data for a few other young immigrants in the late 1930s are not available.

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