Slike strani
PDF
ePub

Tables. The diminution, then, of the actual numbers at each older life is attributable to some other agency than mere mortality; and the difference between the given and the calculated number, is a function at least of the correction which must be applied to the numbers of slaves living, in order to ascertain the relative mortality of the class.

There is another circumstance, too, connected with this which would affect the factor of relative mortality; viz. the preponderance in number of the slaves under the age when the stability of human life is in general the greatest. Thus, by the census of 1820, (the last which defines the number at this term, ) those under 14 years of the free and the slave, were respectively 0,338 and 0,362 of the aggregate of each class. To deduce a factor, then, from the aggregate merely, would be to burden the latter class disproportionately with the hazards and accidents and mortality, that belong to the period of infancy and childhood.

In conclusion upon this point of the influence of race, it only remains to present the elements of the correction by which the relative mortalities in the General Table, may be made applicable to the white race only.

We have then from the three last censuses, the numbers for the following statement:

POPULATION.
White.

Black,
1820,

49.291 14.693 1830,

61.615 18.911 1840,

81.147 21.116 1850, calculated, 107.037 21.296

RATIO.
White. Black

1 : 0,299
1 : 0,307
1

: 0,261
1

: 0,197

1

[ocr errors]

:

a

Mean ratio of White to Black population, .

0,266 The mean ratio of the relative mortalities of the two races has been already given, as 44 to 36,9 or 1:0,839.

Dividing and summing these proportions, we have a final ratio between the two, of 1: 1,0403; or in general 4 per centum, as the correction to

4 be applied to the several terms in the columns of relative morulity (additively or subtractively, according as the first or the last may be employed) in order to give at a mean the relative mortality of the while race only. Applying this to the ultimate mean in the General Table, of 1 in 37,5 for the aggregate population; we have 1 in 39, as the probable proportion attributable to the whites. If we use the same elements in a suitable manner, we shall have 14,7 per cent., as the correction to be applied conversely for the exclusive mortality of the other race. Used with the ultimate mean as before, we have 1 in 32 very nearly, as the relative mortality among the colored people alone.

These calculations and corrections may seem at first sight to be tedious on the one hand and to have been fastidious on the other; but they are, in fact, rendered necessary by the limitations which, as I have already remarked, the forın of our Health-returns iinposes upon the elements of another question of interest more extensive than our own community merely-mean, the influence of Ser upon mortality. The deaths reported are divided into male and female; but this division is

NUMBER OF DEATHS.
Males.

Females,
6352

5013 10532

9115 10213

9574

not made with distinction of races; and therefore, I have been obliged to supply, by comparative and inferential methods, the defect of the existing data themselves.

Not to cumber these already greatly extended pages with numerical details that are not absolutely essential, I have grouped the results of all the years for which there are returns, according to the tolerably symmetrical periods into which the deficiencies divide them, into the following Table of the absolute and proportionate Deaths of the Sexes for different periods.

PROPORTION.

Male. Female. First Period, 1826–1831,

1

0,78920 Second Period, 1833—1840,

0,86546 Third Period, 1843-1848,

0,93743 The numbers in the last column accuse a gradually increasing ratio in deaths of females; which is also borne, when regard is had to the probable population of the two sexes respectively at the given periods. I have established such probability upon the following statements taken from the census.* 1920. 1830.

1940. 1850 calculated. Number. Propor. Number. Propor. Number. Propor.

Number. Propor. Males, . 31.489 1. - 37.949 1.

47.371 1.

59.755 1.Females, 32.485 1,03164 42.577 1,12195 55.042 1,16193 69.880 1,16941

Taking the above proportions, two and two, successively, we obtain a mean; which may be assumed to govern for the intervals, and so becomes applicable to the foregoing periods, to correct the proportion of deaths by combining them with the ratio of the respective population. We thus arrive at the following Table of the proportionate Mortality of Females (that of Males being Unity) for

the Periods just now given.
1926-31.
1533-40.

1843-48. Proportion of Deaths,

0,75920
0,86546

0,93743 Proportion of Population,

1,07679
1,14194

1,16567 Proportionate Mortality,

0,73292
0,75789

0,80420 The mean of these three last terms, is 0,765 very nearly; and we are warranted, therefore, in assuming that for every 1000 males who may have died during the last twenty-three years in Baltimore, there have died also, but 765 females.

A similar result, though not numerically the same, will be evidenced if we resort for its determination to the proportions belonging to the two years (1830 and 1840) where we have a direct enumeration of

.

• The sum of the numbers for 1820 and 1830 in this statement, will be found to differ slightly from the aggregates given before in the General Table, and used for the interpolations. It was not until I came to this part of the enquiry, that I had occasion to resort to the details of the census, and to be aware of the inaccuracies which occur in the additions there for those years. The differences, however, are not sufficiently serious to have required my going over my work again; and I only mention them here as a caution to future enquirers.

1830.

875

the sexes to compare with the number of deaths in each. For illustration, I offer such a comparison in the following Table of the Relative Mortality of the Sexes in 1830 and 1840.

1840. Population. Deaths. Rel. Mor. Prop. Population. Deaths. Rel. Mor. Prop. Males, . 37.949 1211 1 in 31,3

1000 47.371 1209 1 in 39,2 10) Females, . 42.577

1 in 45,7 643 55.042 1027 1 in 53,6 731 Aggregate, 80.526 2056 1 in 33,6

102.313 2236 1 in 45,8 The proportionate mortality of females is smaller in this than in the preceding statement; as might be expected to occur in years, both which are above the average mortality. Taking, however, the actual proportion of the aggregate deaths of males and females, (viz. 100 : 79) and the average female population at $ above the male; we shall have 20 per cent., as the correction to be applied, in the sense of diminution, lo the aggregate relative mortality of the General Table, in order to have the factor for the relative mortality of the female sex; and 15 per cent. nearly, the correction to be used conversely for ascertaining the characteristic factor for the male sex, in each year given in the Tables.

And, I suppose, with these may be combined the correction already given for the difference in race, in order to ascertain the relative mortalities of the white and colored females respectively, as well as those of white and colored males, froni the aggregate ratio in the Table. Using these, with their appropriate signs, upon the aggregate factor of mortality already deduced, viz. 1 in 37,5, we are enabled to make the following paradigm : Relative mortality of aggregate population,

1 in 37,5 Do. Do. white males,

1 in 31,9
Do. Do. white females,

1 in 45
Do.
Do. colored males,

1 in 30,4
Do. Do. colored females,

1 in 43,5 These numbers are as approximate as can be deduced, until the returns distinguish the sexes as well as the deaths of the colored population. From what has been said, it will plainly appear that the distinction of caste in regard to this race, (i. e. whether emancipated or not) although of interest in itself, is not, if we must choose between the two, of equal importance to be retained.

The great difference of mortality shewn here in favor of females, transcends very much that recognized hitherto in Europe; when the ratios are taken upon the aggregates of each sex respectively at all ages. There, the proportion of deaths, male and female, is inversely very nearly the same as of male and female births; the difference in both cases being about 5 per cent. on the male factor. Here, the difference appears to be nearly four times as great. If one were called on to account for this difference, it could only be in part by referring to the different social position of the female sex on the two continents. For instance, in England and Wales even, but more especially in Continental Europe, females are habitually employed in severe bodily labor and exposures which are here rarely required from them; and this, without regard to the peculiar infirmities and indispositions to which the weaker sex is characteristically liable. But on the other hand, it may be answered, and

.

with reason, that this consideration only applies to the lower classes, born amid and therefore, it may be alleged, for labor; while the physical education of females in the upper classes throughout Europe, but especially in England, is vastly more calculated for healthy developement and therefore longevity, than the habits of either class here.

But however this may be, it is very well known and admitted that the disparity of male and female mortality is very much under the domain, (at least under the influence) of age; and it is much to be desired, therefore, that our own Health-returns should discriminate between the sexes in this particular. Such a discrimination would add nothing to the labor of ascertainment; for sex is much more unmistakeable than age; and the proverbial antipathy of females to developements on this last point, may be supposed to control only the living and to cease at and after death.

Besides the interest for the physiologist and statist in this improvement in the form of our Health-returns, there is an additional stimulus to it in the new and lately widening field for the employment of capital in Life-assurance; where data of this sort, derived from and applicable to our own community, would be peculiarly acceptable. Up to this time, the assurance of lives here has been, in great part or entirely, based upon observations made elsewhere under circumstances of numbers, climate, locality, social and national habits, &c., very different from what operates here; if they do not accurately apply, then, there can be no occasion for surprise. And rarely, if at all, in any of the Institutions for this purpose, is there any regard paid to the sex of the applicant; although it is not to be doubted but that according to different periods, female life is now more, now less, insurable than that of males.

In illustration of this, and to indicate the existing state of knowledge on the subject, I have prepared and present here a summary of the observations on it by Mr. Quetelet, for Belgium. I do not think it necessary to retain the minute differences of ages which this writer has given, being desirous rather to groupe the results in their greatest generality of physical aspect; and I have equally omitted the distinction between inhabitants of towns and of rural districts, since although it is at some periods very emphatic yet in the aggregate means there is, after all, very slight difference. Table shewing the Proportionate Mortality of Males and Females at different

epochs of life. Age.

Female Denths.
Still-born,

1,52
From 0 to
1 year.

1,22
1 to

1,0 5 to 14

0,92
14 to 18
0,79

1.
18 to 26
1,06

1.
26 to 30

0,93 0,75

0,97 50 to 60

1,13
60 to 70
1,01

1.
70 to 80
0,39

1.
80 to 100
0,80

1

Male Deaths.

1. 1. 1. 1.

5

[ocr errors]

:

:

30 to 40
40 to 50

1. 1. 1. 1.

:

Although it is not probable that precisely these numerical proportions would hold good with us, yet they are in general so conformable to the laws of physical developement as to leave little doubt of their exemplification wherever the sexes are collected in sufficient numbers together. Thus, even before age is counted at all, the male fætus, larger than the female, more capacious in his requirements and more demanding in his needs, is all the less likely to have those needs supplied from that maternal being whom sickness, accident, compliance with the taste and fashion of society, and a thousand things may tend to render weaker still. So, during the period of lactation, the male infant is more likely than the female, to find his natural nourishment stinted. These probabilities are evinced in the proportions of the Table; hy which, before or at birth one-half, and before one year old one-fourth more males than females die. From one to five years, when children are less iinmediately dependent on the mother, the difference of sex disappears; the more rapid developement of the girl supplies a vigor equal to the boy's. Thence, from second dentition to puberty, the girl's weaker frame causes her to succumb the more readily. From puberty to the period when her organization is completely developed and she is said in most countries to be of age, the burden of her double system causes a marked disparity in her chance of life. Between 18 and 26 years (the average epoch of marriage) the period of the passions, it is the stronger, wilder sex, that pays for its greater irregularities and more frequent gratifications with a greater outlay of life; while from 26 to 50, the period of secundity, the perpetuation of the race is too often purchased with the existence of the mother. From 50 to 70, the woman has lost the most of her characteristic pathological type; if her organism is more frail, it is at least less exposed to hardship or trial; and, with a weaker physical constitution, her habitually greater temperance and domesticity afford her a higher chance for existence. From this last age, the two sexes may be said to have become confounded; persons of either arrive at and surpass it, in virtue of individual strength of constitution or of accessory habits and circumstances which create and support a claim for life; and although the absolute number of female deaths exceeds that of males, their relative mortalities are nearly or quite the same.

These considerations upon the varying relations of the sexes at disferent epochs carry us by an easy transition to one of the most important modifications of the subject, I mean, the influence of Age upon mortality. This, which has hitherto been the chief element employed by mathematicians in their discussions upon the probabilities of Life, and it may be said, the one exclusively referred to in the practical application of those probabilities to Assurance of Lives, must (as is plain from what has been said) now be combined with other elements in order to attain a safe and reliable conclusion as to the type of the human race and the laws of life and mortality which govern average Man. It was, therefore, necessary that the consideration of the principal of these other points should precede what is to be said on this, which will be taken up in the next Number.

« PrejšnjaNaprej »