THE DECLINE OF INFANT MORTALITY IN ENGLAND AND WALES 1871-1948: A MEDICAL CONUNDRUM. MICRO LEVEL STUDY OF BEXLEY URBAN SUB-REGISTRATION DISTRICT 1893-1898.

Green, Sue M (2002). THE DECLINE OF INFANT MORTALITY IN ENGLAND AND WALES 1871-1948: A MEDICAL CONUNDRUM. MICRO LEVEL STUDY OF BEXLEY URBAN SUB-REGISTRATION DISTRICT 1893-1898. The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000fbcd

Abstract

It is the aim of this thesis to examine the infant mortality rate within the Bexley Sub-Registration District in the years 1893-1898, in order to test the theories put forward by other writers, as to the factors bearing upon it. Whereas the statistics produced by the Registrar General are only available down to the sub-registration district or town level, this research uses vaccination, parish and cemetery registers to identify the actual individuals concerned and the streets and houses in which they lived. The births and infant deaths are considered by sex, legitimacy, social status, locality and such external factors as sewerage and water supply, in order to examine whether or not there is a direct link between any or all of these factors and the infant mortality rate.

The key conclusion from this research is that there is no single factor accounting for levels and changes in the infant mortality rate, rather it is affected by a combination of different factors. Certainly children born outside marriage consistently experience a higher infant mortality rate than those born within it, possibly because single parents (almost invariably women) have reduced incomes with implications for diet, housing, sanitary conditions etc. Social status and locality do not appear, from this study, to influence the infant mortality rate greatly. The infant mortality rate amongst male children is, however, consistently higher than that for females. My main contention is that sanitary conditions and water supply were the most important factors, a contention supported by both the statistical and documentary evidence available at this micro-level.

Viewing alternatives

Download history

Metrics

Public Attention

Altmetrics from Altmetric

Number of Citations

Citations from Dimensions

Item Actions

Export

About

Recommendations