Sex differentials in mortality in nineteenth-century England and Wales

Hinde, Peter (2010) Sex differentials in mortality in nineteenth-century England and Wales. Southampton , GB, Southampton Statistical Sciences Research Institute, 59pp. (S3RI Applications & Policy Working Papers, A10/04).


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This paper examines sex differentials in mortality in England in the 1860s, focusing on the impact of particular causes of death. I first decompose the sex differential in the expectation of life at birth by age, showing that regional variation in the sex differential is principally due to mortality at ages five years and above, with females enjoying a fairly consistent advantage over males in infancy and early childhood. The impact of causes of death is then studied, using death registration data from the Registrar General of England and Wales for the 1860s. The analysis first focuses on 11 Registration Divisions of England and Wales. Mortality was most favourable to females in London, and least favourable to females in parts of the Midlands. The causes of death which have most impact on the sex differential are pulmonary tuberculosis (or phthisis), ‘other violent deaths’ and deaths associated with childbirth. In particular, the overall sex differential is sensitive to the relative mortality of males and females from pulmonary tuberculosis. These results are illustrated by an analysis of eight smaller areas of England and Wales which have distinctive occupational and economic characteristics. One conclusion of the analysis is that the overall sex differential in mortality was often as responsive to the nature of the mortality environment which men faced as to the experience of women. The tendency of previous work to view the sex differential through the lens of ‘excess female mortality’ has obscured this point.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Keywords: mortality, historical demography, sex differentials, life expectancy, registration data, decomposition, England and Wales
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > Southampton Statistical Sciences Research Institute
ePrint ID: 162637
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2010 13:33
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 13:28

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