Still-births and the measurement of urban infant mortality rates c.1890-1930

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Before they were first compulsorily registered in 1927, still-births could be buried without the registration certificate that was required for all other interments. The purpose of this paper is to assess the possible extent of still-births in a selection of towns and cities in England towards the end of the 19th century. For historical populations it is now accepted that levels of mortality and morbidity were significantly higher for city dwellers compared to their rural counterparts. The highest price of urbanisation, in mortality terms, was certainly paid by the most vulnerable members of society: infants. During the period under consideration, national rates of infant mortality (IMR) fell from around 150 per 1000 live births in 1890 to about 60 per 1000 in the 1930s. However, the variability across the urban system was wide. The question of how far the imperfect system of still-birth recording may have affected these levels of infant mortality will also be discussed. -from Author

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42-52
Number of pages11
JournalLocal Population Studies
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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