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Washington, December 4, 1908. Sir: In response to your order I have the honor to submit herewith for your information a brief analysis of the vital statistics of the District of Columbia for the calendar year 1907, together with certain tables bearing thereon.

The public health of the community is dependent in a large measure upon the careful and correct collection of statistics bearing upon births and deaths, and upon the uniform classification of the causes of death. A proper analysis of these statistics enables us in a degree to determine relative mortality, and also to determine the causes which produce any variation in death rates. To those who are interested and working toward the improvement of sanitary conditions of a community, a very great assistance is given by the accurate registration of the causes of death. Sanitation in this age is a science and is largely dependent upon the registration of deaths and the causes of death, and upon results of investigation of insanitary conditions which are factors in the production of disease. It is by these means, in conjunction with census returns, the effect of age, sex, occupation, climate and location, and knowledge bearing upon health and disease that facts may be reduced to figures. In earlier times imperfect medical science, careless physicians, and the absence of a uniform system of classification and nomenclature of disease made deductions uncertain and doubtful, but these sources of error and uncertainty have been remedied to a certain extent, and let us hope that the improvement is steadily going on. Correct vital statistics are also dependent upon correct enumeration of population and its classification according to age, sex, occupation, etc., as well as a complete registration of births.

The population of the District of Columbia, according to the census taken April 10, 1907, under the direction of the superintendent of the police, was 329,591. The whites numbered 233,403, and the colored population 96,188. This represents an increase in the population since 1906 of 3,156. The increase in the white population was 1,936, and in the colored population 1,170. These latter figures indicate a greater proportion of increase among the colored people of the District than among the whites, and is in noticeable contrast to the previous year (1906) when the colored population was actually less in number than in 1905. The percentage of increase in 1907 for the white race was 0.85, and for the colored race 1.22. The above populations have been used as a basis in the computations of statistical tables, which follow.

The following is a summary of the population, arranged by age and

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The deaths from all causes in the District of Columbia during the year ended on December 31, 1907, numbered 6,343, which indicates a general death rate for the entire District of 19.245 per 1,000 inhabitants. This death rate is in a small degree lower than the rate for 1906, which was 19.348 per 1,000, and also lower than the average rate for the past ten years, namely, 19.687. The number of white deaths was 3,629, and represents a death rate for the white race of 15.549, a little higher than last year, and the number of colored deaths was 2,714, a race death rate of 28.215, which is lower than during 1906. Both these death rates are lower than the average for the past ten years, which are 16.12 and 28.51, respectively.


The following statement shows the death rates for males and for females during the calendar year 1907:

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A comparison with the preceding year shows a decrease in the white male and female death rate, and an increase in the colored race for both sexes. There is also observed an increase in the death rate of the males as a whole, and a decrease in the rate for the females taken together.


The average age of all decedents during 1907 was 38 years, 8 months, and 26 days. The average age of the white decedents was 44 years, 10 months, and 14 days, which is nearly two years and eight months above the average of 1906. The average age of the white females was 46 years, i month, and 19 days. This age is something over four years in excess of the average for 1906, and the average age for the white males, while not so markedly higher as with the other sex, was still nearly a year and a half in excess of the average age of 1906.

The average age of the colored male decedents was 30 years, 9 months, and 23 days, and shows an increased age at death of nearly

three years.

The colored female decedents averaged 30 years, 3 months, and 3 days of age. This is a little over eight months younger than the average of last year. The average age at death of the colored race as a whole was 30 years, 6 months, and 14 days, and is about fifteen months greater than the colored decedents of 1906.

Comparative statement of average age of decedents, distributed with reference to race and

sex, during 1906 and 1907.

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Years. Months. Days. Years. Months. Days. Years. Months. Days.

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The number of decedents 70 years of age and over, increased from 902 to 1,031. Excluding deaths under 10 years of age, the largest mortality of any one age decade occurred between 60 and 70 years, during which there were 871 deaths.

Mortality by age periods.- Reference to the following table shows the relative death rates of the white and of the colored races in 1906 and 1907, arranged with reference to the age of decedents, and the results below are calculated upon the number of persons living at

those ages:

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The improved conditions above shown are continuous for all ages and for both races until adult life, or for the age period of 21 years and over, when a slight increase in the death rate for the whites is observed. The death rate for the colored at this age period is about the same as during the previous year, with perhaps a slight tendency to improvement. The death rate for all inhabitants above 21 years of age is somewhat higher than during 1906.

Infantile mortality. - Infantile mortality is the annual number of deaths of infants under 1 year of age to every 1,000 births during the same year, and may to a certain extent indicate the general sanitary condition of the community. For purposes of comparison attention is called to the following tabular statement of infantile death rates based upon reported births:

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Number of births reported in 1907.
Number of infants under 1 year of age dying during 1907
Death rate of children under 1 year of age during 1907, based on reported



1,125 163. 68

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The above result shows a large improvement over the condition existant during 1906, and is due both to the increased registration of births, as well as to a gratifyingly large diminution in the actual number of infantile deaths during the year as compared with the previous year.

Infantile mortality by months.-Liability to death in early infancy decreases as a rule with each month after birth until maturity. The following statement shows the percentage of infants who died at certain age periods under 1 year to the total number of deaths under 1 year, arranged by race.

Statement of the percentage of children who died during the calendar year 1907, to the total number of deaths under 1 year of age, arranged according to race and by certain age periods.

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