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Mapping Infant Mortality Rates in London and West Ham

The maps below show the changing geography of infant morality from 1880 through to 1910. The maps include the London and West Ham, which remained independent throughout this time period. Infant mortality rates increased across London during the final decade of the nineteenth century and were particularly deadly during the final years of the century. As the last map in the series (1906-10) and the chart below both clearly show, infant mortality rates improved significantly during the first decades of the twentieth century. I’m working on the final revisions of a chapter that explores the relationship between environmental conditions in West Ham and the unhealthy 1890s along with the vast improvements in the decades that followed and figured it would be interesting to share these colour maps and the interactive chart online.

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Most of the data comes from the Vision of Britain website, which also provided the boundary layers. The data for West Ham comes from the Annual Reports of the Medical Officer of Health.


[1] Charles Sanders, “Annual Report of the Medical Officer of Health 1923” (West Ham: Public Health Committee, 1923), 40; Graham Mooney, “Did London Pass the ‘Sanitary Test’? Seasonal Infant Mortality in London, 1870-1914,” Journal of Historical Geography 20, no. 2 (April 1994): 161, doi:10.1006/jhge.1994.1013.

“This work is based on data provided through and uses historical material which is copyright of the Great Britain Historical GIS Project and the University of Portsmouth”