• U.S.

Medicine: Demographic Equinox

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In 1898, the women of New York City, whose population then reached 3,000,000 for the first time in the community’s history, gave birth to more than 100,000 children in a single year. That great increment continued year after year, but in recent years the birthrate (36.4 per 1,000 in 1898) dropped steadily until last year, for a total population of 7,400,000, it was down to 13.4. It was down that low, not only because the adult population has grown out of earlier proportion but because, for the first time in 39 years, births numbered less than 100,000.

Reporting this phenomenon last week, the city registrar of records also noted that the city death rate was 10.5 per 1,000, and commented: “If conditions continue we shall probably reach a point where the two rates will balance.” That point, said New York State’s Vital Statistician Dr. Joseph Vital De Porte, who simultaneously reported a similar convergence of birth and death rates in his larger province, will mark “a demographic equinox.”

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