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THE WEEKLY MORTALITY REPORTS OF MASSA
CHUSETTS CITIES AND TOWNS
FOR THE YEAR 1891.
The following report comprises the statistics which have been compiled from the returns sent to the Board at the close of each week by the authorities of cities and towns having in charge the registration of the vital statistics of their respective municipalities. These returns are entirely voluntary, and consist chiefly of the mortality returns of the cities and of the large towns in which the registration is most efficiently conducted. It would add very much to the value of this report if every town in the State should contribute to it. Legislation has repeatedly been recommended which should secure this result, but thus far without avail. Hence the report must for the present be incomplete. Its value, when compared with the registration reports of the State, lies in the fact that it presents with a tolerable degree of accuracy the seasonable fluctuation of the principal infectious diseases from year to year.
The estimated population of the cities and towns contributing to this report for the year 1891 was about 1,200,000, or onehalf the population of the State.
The data embraced in this report are the following:
Average height of barometer for ! Deaths from acute lung diseases. each week.
Deaths from typhoid fever. Mean or daily maximum temper- Deaths from diarrhæal diseases.
Deaths from scarlet-fever. Mean or daily minimum tempera- Deaths from measles. ture.
Deaths from diphtheria and croup. Rainfall expressed in inches.
Deaths from puerperal fever. Total deaths for each week reported, Deaths from whooping-cough. Deaths of children under five years Deaths from malarial fever. Deaths from infectious diseases. Deaths from small-pox. Deaths from consumption.
Deaths from erysipelas.
The following points are to be observed in regard to this summary of weekly mortality reports of the State :
1. It is not a report of the entire population, since it is compiled mainly from the returns of the cities and large towns, comprising about three-fifths of the population.
2. It does not correspond exactly with the calendar year, since it is made up from weekly and not from monthly returns. In that portion which gives the mortality for nine years, the weeks of the different years do not correspond exactly. The summary must be regarded as an approximate statement.
3. The death rates in these reports are probably in each year slightly greater than those of the State, since they mainly represent the mortality of an urban population.
In addition to the statistics of the year 1891, the present report will contain a summary of the reported weekly mortality of the previous eight years, 1883–90 inclusive.