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The Swedish life-table, constructed from the longest and most various returns, is considered the best and truest, whilst great value is also attached to the English and Belgian life-tables. The returns of assurance companies furnish some evidence as to the comparative longevity of assuring classes, and from this source we have two statements appended (see p. 106) which relate to America and Germany, and though not expressed in numbers, are sufficiently important. Some few calculations upon returns of various classes in the community have been published, which are in some cases reliable-e. g. Mr. Neison's, as to friendly societies; others are based on so few facts as to be very much smaller in value, though interesting for general comparison (e. g. Dr. Guy's observations).
16. Statements as to the Duration of Human Life.
A. Hebrew. *The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow : for it is soon cut off and we fly away.'—Psalm xc. 10. • Yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.
There were giants in the earth in those days.'—Genesis vi. 3, 4.
(The 120 years is coupled with the account of giants. It was considered exceptional by the writer of Genesis.)
B. Individual Opinion. When man has attained the age of forty or fifty he must know that he has reached half the term of his life.'— Cornaro (Italian).
• The man who does not die of disease reaches everywhere the age of ninety or a hundred years.'—Buffon (French). *Non citra alterum seculum ultimus terminus vitæ humanæ subsistit.
Annos definire erit difficilius.'—Haller, quoted by Flourens. • Man, being twenty years growing, lives five times twenty; that is to say, a hundred years.'-Flourens.
C. Chinese Division of Life. SIR J. BOWRING.
Journal of Statist. Soc.' vol. xx. p. 42.
Error knowing. 60
Cycle closing. 70
Rare bird of age. 80
D. Flourens' Division of Life. (loc. cit. p. 24.)
First youth. 30 40
Second youth. 40 55
First manhood. 55 70
Second manhood. 70 85
First old age. 85
Second and last old age. Others have divided age by periods of seven years. Dr. Farr, in the introduction to the Census of 1851, quotes various such divisions, and gives one of his own.
E. Old Men in China. Sir J. BOWRING. (loc. cit.) Relief was administered in the reign of Kanghi (1657) to 373,935
indigent old men in China from various provinces. The archives of the
go to 100
80 to 90
F. Shortness of German Lives. Mr. Neison observes (“Contributions to Vital Statistics,' p. xi.) that in the returns from the Gotha Life Office, ‘at the younger ages the mortality is much less than that indicated by any of the other Tables yet alluded to (English), but at the older ages the rate of mortality is very much greater.' Also,
G. Shortness of American Lives. Professor Gill has obtained returns from New York Assurances ‘shewing the same peculiar features in the rate of mortality described as characteristic of the Gotha Company's experience, only at the older ages the mortality is even higher than that of the other.'
The following paragraph from the ‘Lancet' has come to hand while these sheets are in the press :— The American Philosophical Society has received from Mr. Pliny Earle Chase an important contribution on the value of life in the town of Philadelphia. Mr. Chase shows that, notwithstanding the increased juvenile mortality, the Philadelphia lifetables indicate a possible life in Philadelphia of 114 years, a probable life of 33:44, and an expectation life of 35'09 years. He means by the term possible life, the limit sometimes obtained in a given locality; by the probable life, the age the probability of living beyond which is as great as that of dying before the age is attained ; and by the expectation life he defines the average which will be attained by all who are born. In sixty-two years the average mortality was I in 47.836, the coloured mortality in the same period being 1 in 27.763. The ratio of still births to total births was 4:3 per cent., and to total deaths 5-8 per cent. The ratio of living births to population was 2.8 per cent., and of deaths to births, 745. The average natural increase was 3-3, and the increase by emigration 2:6 per cent. The main age at death was 23:57 years, and the main age of persons living was 24:29.
• But the most interesting facts in Mr. Chase's tables are those which shew how the simple mode of life of a quaker community compares with the life of a more active, or, rather, more luxurious people. He analyses the life-tables of the two communities of Philadelphia, dividing them into Friends and Philadelphia, and finds, as his results, that the Friends at the age of twelve years have a maximum vitality of 20:49 per cent. over their neighbours; that from twenty to sixty years of age they have a pr onate mortality of 23.37 under their neighbours; that their expectation of life is 24:62 per cent. higher, their probable life 43•78 per cent. more valuable, and their proportionate mortality at birth 4470 lower than the mortality of their neighbours.
• The Quakers of Philadelphia approach thus towards the Jewish race in respect of vitality, in which they are, probably, exceptional to all other Christian communities. The lesson brings us back in thought to those peoples of whom the student's classical and great master speaks :
Plerumque tamen eam bonam contigisse ob bonos mores, quos neque desidia, neque luxuria vitiarant."
H. Savages. Fuegians and other very degraded races are stated rarely to exceed the age of 45, being killed and eaten in some cases at that age by their children.
I. Average Age of persons of various Occupations
dying at fifty-one and upwards.' GUY. "Journal
of Statist. Soc. 1846, p. 353. England, males (Farr) 756 Fine Arts
Chemists (Thomson) 6951 Medical men
72-95 English Literature (ChamLawyers 72078 bers)
Male members of Royal Trade and Commerce 72:32
Houses Literature and Science (Eng
Sovereigns of all countries 64:89 lish) 72.10 Kings of England
7169 Army 71.58 | England, females (Farr)
76.58 Literature and Science (Fo
Upper class females .
71'44 Females of Royal Houses. 69:11
? This quantity must be carefully distinguished from the expectation of life' at the age of fifty-one, given in tables N to U. The expectation'
J. Average at Death of Sovereigns of various races
dying at fifty-one and upwards. GUY. Hournal of Statist. Soc.' 1847, p. 68.
Emperors of Rome
61.90 Moors of Spain
61.75 Caliphs of Bagdad, Egypt,
60.82 Eastern Emperors (Roman) 6683
Poland. Kings of Spain
65.88 | Emperors of China and Bohemia
65.16 Japan Bavaria
Western Emperors (Rome) 60 26 Sicily
64:42 Kings of Wurtemberg · 59:06 England 64:12 Sultans of Turkey
59'30 Saxony 63.83 Kings of France
62:52 N.B.—It is noticeable that the hereditary princes are less long-lived than those who have won their position by some merit, either military or administrative.
K. Comparison of Ages at Death, of three centuries.
GUY. 'Journal of Statist. Soc.' 1859. 16th century 1500 facts gave mean of
L. Comparative Longevity of Married and
A number of married persons gave mean of
tables are framed on more extensive data, and indicate the probable afterlifetime at a given age : hence they can only be compared inter se, and not with the above.