The enormous growth of towns during the second half of the 19th century was thus attended with comparative safety to these great aggregates of mankind; and the death-rates, so far from being increased, relatively decreased in substantial proportions.
A comparison of the death-rate of London and those of other great towns in England and abroad is given here: - In 1905 the lowest death-rates among the metropolitan boroughs were returned by Hampstead (9.3), Lewisham (11.7), Wandsworth (12.6), Woolwich (12.8), Stoke Newington (12.9), and the highest by Shoreditch (19.7), Finsbury (19.0), Bermondsey (18.7), Bethnal Green (18.6) and Southwark (18.5).
Taking quinquennial periods from1856-1905the birth-rates were 29.5, 25.3, 26 o, 27.6, 24.2, 25.0, 25.8, 27.6, 27.0 and 24.2 per r,000; and the death-rates 17.7, 20.7, 18.2, 20 8, 18.8,19.8, 19.4, 19.8, r 8 o and 16.4.
Enumerators' returns in this field are so incomplete that hardly two-thirds of the deaths which have occurred in any community during the preceding year are obtained by an enumerator visiting the families, no satisfactory basis for the computation of death-rates is afforded, and the returns have comparatively little scientific value.
The relation between the birth and the death rates has been the subject of much analysis and controversy.