The geography of early childhood mortality in England and Wales, 1881-1911

Alice Reid, University of Cambridge
Hannaliis Jaadla, University of Cambridge

Using published mortality statistics from Quarterly, Annual and Decennial Reports of the Registrar General and the individual-level census data from the Integrated Census Microdata (I-CeM) project, this study will illustrate spatial and temporal variations in infant and early childhood mortality from the 1850s until 1911. It is well known that there is considerable spatial variation in infant and early childhood mortality and that the trajectories of decline in early age mortality both displayed different trends and were differentiated by place. Up to now, the most detailed spatial analyses of nineteenth century mortality on a large scale used decennial data for the 614 registration districts in England and Wales (Woods and Shelton 1997). However, studies of selected smaller areas have shown that even registration districts can contain considerable variation in the risk of death due to variations in population density, occupational and industrial make-up, environmental hazards and local-disease environments (Garrett et al 2001, Garrett and Reid 1994, 1995, Reid 1997). Therefore, this paper will use newly generated data for infant mortality for the over 2,000 registration sub-districts of England and Wales to examine changes in infant and early childhood mortality during the second half of the nineteenth century. It will also explore differences in the relationship between infant and early childhood mortality over space and time and consider different methods for estimating early childhood mortality (age 1-4) for sub-registration districts.

Presented in Session 95: Trends and impact of infant/child mortality in the past