ONS graph showing death rates in men and women between 1901 and 2007. Note how it rises sharply in World War I, not quite so sharply in WWII, and a slight increase during the early 1930s years of economic depression
England and Wales now have their lowest infant death rate ever, according to figures released this week by the National Office of Statistics. 4.8 deaths per 1,000 children under twelve months are now being registered. Fertility rates are up to their highest for 25 years. Women give birth to 1.91 children, on average.
Death rates in the last hundred years have changed dramatically. In 1900, over 50% of deaths occurred in people under the age of 45. By 2007, just 4% of deaths ocurred in the under 45 group.