Life & Death

Mapping Life & Death

Use the map selector to access all available maps of Life & Death, or just choose one of these:


This theme covers births, marriages and deaths, including changing causes of death. Unlike most of our themes, it is based not on the Census but on the closely related system for registering births, marriages and deaths, established in 1837.

In this first version of the system, the main emphasis is on infant mortality, the number of children dying before their first birthday as a proportion of all births.

All available maps for the theme Life & Death

Select a particular date to choose a combination of rate, unit type and date.

Administrative County Local Government District Modern (post 1974) County District/Unitary Authority Poor Law/Registration County Poor Law Union/Reg. District Registration sub-District
Fertility Rate 1911 - 1971
1911 - 1971
1851 - 2001
1851 - 2001
1871 - 1911
1871 - 1911
1871 - 1881
Illegitimacy Rate 1911 - 1973
1911 - 1973
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Infant Mortality Rate 1911 - 1973
1911 - 1973
1851 - 2001
1851 - 2001
1871 - 1911
1871 - 1911
1871 - 1911
Perinatal Mortality Rate 1958 - 1973
1958 - 1973
N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

Redistricted data on Life & Death

These notes concern the historical statistics for modern local authorities, which have been created for Vision of Britain by re-districting statistics originally reported for other units. We have also had to deal with variations in the categories and classifications used in statistical reporting over the years.

  • 1851: The data on births and on infant deaths come from the Registration District-level data within the Registration sub-District statistics in the Registrar General's Annual Report for 1851. Fertility rate calculations also use data on Registration District age structure from the 1851 Census of Population. Scottish data are not currently included.
  • 1881: The data on births and on infant deaths come from the sub-District-level table published regularly in the Registrar General's Quarterly Returns, summing over the four quarters of 1881. Fertility rate calculations also use data on Registration District age structure from the 1881 Census of Population. Scottish data are not currently included.
  • 1911: The data on births and on infant deaths come from the Local Government District-level table published in the Registrar General's Annual Report for 1911. Fertility rate calculations also use data on Registration District age structure from the 1911 Census of Population. Scottish data are not currently included.
  • 1921-1951: The data on births and on infant deaths in England and Wales come from the table covering all individual Local Government Districts published in the Registrar General's Statistical Review, Part I, Medical for each year. The Scottish were computed from the tables giving 'Statistics of Public Health Districts' in the Annual Reports of the Registrar-General for Scotland, but using data only for county totals, the four cities of Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow, and selected major burghs: Airdrie, Arbroath, Ayr, Clydebank, Coatbridge, Dumbarton, Dumfries, Dunfermline, Falkirk, Greenock, Hamilton, Inverness, Kilmarnock, Kirkcaldy, Motherwell and Wishaw, Paisley, Perth, Port Glasgow, Rutherglen and Stirling. Fertility rate calculations also use data on local government district age structure from the relevant Censuses of Population.
  • 1981-1991: The Linking Censuses through Time web site developed by Danny Dorling of Sheffield University does not cover vital registration data. Instead, Danny Dorling supplied us directly with statistics for the whole of Great Britain, redistricted by him using similar techniques to those used in LCT. The 'births' data are in fact census counts of children under 1, interpolated between census years and then scaled so that the national total of babies for census years matches the national birth counts. Fertility rate calculations also use district-level age structure data from the relevant censuses, redistricted using LCT.
  • 2001: The data are as originally reported for current districts by the Office for National Statistics and the General Register Office (Scotland). They were supplied for the Vision of Britain site by Peter Congdon of Queen Mary, University of London.

These selections from historical census reports are on the theme of Life & Death.

CensusArea CoveredReport TitleSection Title
Intro Great Britain Guide to Census Reports: Great Britain 1801-1966 Selected Subjects: Physical and Mental Infirmity
Intro Great Britain Guide to Census Reports: Great Britain 1801-1966 Selected Subjects: Fertility of Marriage
Intro Great Britain Guide to Census Reports: Great Britain 1801-1966 Selected Subjects: Dependency and Orphanhood
1861 England and Wales General Report The Blind and the Deaf-and-Dumb
1871 England and Wales General Report The Blind, Deaf & Dumb, Idiots or Imbeciles, Lunatics, and Inmates
1881 England and Wales General Report Infirmities
1891 England and Wales General Report Physical infirmities
1901 England and Wales General Report, with Appendices Physical Infirmities
1911 England and Wales General Report with Appendices Infirmities
1911 Scotland Occupations by birthplace, Nationalities, Infirmities, Fertility The Infirm
1911 Scotland Occupations by birthplace, Nationalities, Infirmities, Fertility Fertility of Marriage
1921 England and Wales General Report with Appendices Dependency, Orphanhood and Fertility