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Vouchers for all expenditures as itemized above have been forwarded to the proper accounting-officers of the Government. Very respectfully,
JOHN MARBURY, JR.,
Treasurer. Audited and found correct:
J. M. LANGSTON.
Committee. Dr. T. S. VERDI,
President Board of Health.
5.-REPORT OF REGISTRAR OF VITAL STATISTICS.
OFFICE OF REGISTRAR, BOARD OF HEALTH,
Washington, D. C., October 1, 1876. GENTLEMEN: I present herewith my second annual report since the enforcement of the regulations governing the subject of vital statistics in the District of Columbia, which, in my judgment, has secured a full and correct record of deaths and interments of the dead, and a more nearly correct record of births and marriages, than is secured in other localities in this country less favored by comprehensive legislation and legal control of this subject.
I am gratified to notice that the importance of vital statistics is becoming more fully appreciated in this community, as the requirements of the laws governing the subject are secured, and the invaluable data for testamentary evidence and protective measures against the incursion of preventable disease are placed within reach of the people.
Your attention is respectfully invited to the accompanying tables, wbich present a full and complete statistical record of the births and marriages reported to this office, and the total mortality for the year ending September 30, 1876.
Table No. 1 exbibits the total number of births reported during the past year, which was 4,285, (370 more than were reported last year.) Of this number 55 were twin births—32 white and 23 colored.
Of the whole number, 2,568 were white and 1,717 colored ; 2,184 were males and 2,101 females, of which 1,290 were white males, 1,278 wbite females, 894 colored males, and 823 colored females. The percentage of births to the total population was 2.678, or at the rate of 26.781 per 1,000, an increase of 2.234 per 1,000 over last year.
The percentage of white births to the white population was 2.223, or at the rate of 22.330 per 1,000, while the percentage of colored births to the colored population was 3.815, or at the rate of 38.155 per 1,000, which exbibits the fact that the percentage of births (reported) of the colored population was 1.582 per cent. in excess of the white. This comparative increase in the number of births (reported) may be attrib. uted, first, to the natural growth of the District, and, second, to the more rigid enforcement of the regulations governing this subject.
Table No. 2 exhibits the total number of still.births for the year by ses and color, with percentages, and also the number by sex and color per 1,000 inbabitants. The number of still-births reported was 379, (9 less than last year,) of which number 143 were of white parentage, and 236 of colored. The same causes and conditions obtain to produce these results, which were fully set forth in my last annual report, and they can only be remedied by a liberal education of the masses to a higher standard of social life and a strict compliance with sanitary regulations.
Table No. 3 exhibits the total number of certificates of marriages received in this office for record during the year, with percentages by color, also number per 1,000 inhabitants. There were received 752 cer. tificates, (58 more than last year,) of wbich number 348 were white and 404 colored. This number probably represents not more than one-third of the whole number of marriages solemnized in the District during the year, again exhibiting the mortifying fact that the clergy are neglectful of an important duty, involving the interests not only of the contracting parties, but of the public generally, and will not comply with the requirements of the law unless compelled by its stern enforcement.
The total number of deaths registered for the twelve months ending September 30, 1876, was 4,246, (106 less than last year,) being 2.654 per cent. of the total population, or 26.537 per 1,000. Of this number, 2,153 were white, being 1.872 per cent. of the white population and 50.706 per cent. of the total mortality, and 2,093 were colored, being 4.651 per cent. of the colored population and 49.294 per cent. of the total mortality.
Of the whole number, 1,137 were white males, 1,016 were white females, 1,041 were colored males, and 1,052 were colored females.
Table No. 4 exhibits the total mortality from all causes during the year by classes and orders in each period of life, showing nativities, color, sex, and percentage of each disease, class, and order to total mortality.
By reference to this table it will be observed that the number of deaths from zymotic causes was 1,057, (48 less than last year,) 6.066 per 1,000, or 24.894 per cent. of the total mortality, a remarkably low rate from these causes when compared with that of other cities where a correct record of deaths is obtained; and, notwithstanding the natural increase of population, there is a gratifying reduction of deaths from these causes as compared with last year, which, in my judgment, is largely attributable to the rigorous enforcement of sanitary laws.
The number of deaths from miasmatic disease, order No. 1 of this class, was 930, 21.903 per cent. of the total mortality, and 5.812 per 1,000 inhabitants. Of the deaths from this cause, 511 were white, or 0.444 per cept. of the white population, and 419 were colored, or 0.931 per cent. of the colored population, again showing more than double the relative proportion of deaths from this order among the colored population. The total number of deaths from constitutional diseases was 947, (16 more than last year,) 22.303 per cent. of the total mortality, or 5.919 per 1,000 inhabitants. Of this number, 451 were white, or 0.391 per cent. of the white population, and 496 were colored, or 1.122 per cent. of the colored population, showing that in this community there is nearly three times as large a percentage of deaths from constitutional maladies among the colored as among the white population.
The total number of deaths from local diseases was 1,688, (38 less than last year, (39.755 per cent. of the total mortality, or 10.550 per 1,000. Of this number, 856 were white, or 0.744 per cent. of the white population, and 832 were colored, or 1.849 per cent. of the colored popalation. The greaternumber of deaths occurring in this class was from causes enumerated in orders nervous, respiratory, and digestive, which together were 1,433,or 81.888 per cent. of the total mortality in this class.
The total number of deaths from causes classified under derelopmental was 436, (2 less than last year,) 10.269 per cent. of the total mortality, or 2.725 per 1,000. Of this number, 229 were white, or 0.199 per cent of the white population, and 207 were colored, or 0.460 per cent. of the colored population. The total number of deaths from violence was 118, (34 less than last year,) 2.779 per cent of the total mortality, or 0.737 per 1,000. Of this number, 5+ were white, or 0.047 per cent. of the white population, and 64 were colored, or 0.142 per cent. of the colored population. Among the more prominent causes of death in this class were drowning, burned by coal-oil accidents, and neglect at birth, making in the aggregate 52 deaths from these causes, or 44.068 per cent. of the total mortality from this class.
Table No. 5 exhibits the totals of the several classes and orders, showing white and colored, male and female, nativity, and ages of decedents, and is arranged for convenient reference.
Table No. 6 exhibits the total mortality in classes, by months, quarters, and for the year, showing, by sex and color, the age of decedents, social relations, nativity, duration of residence in the District of Columbia, and duration of last sickness, also a grand aggregation of the number of deaths in all classes, monthly, quarterly, and annual.
It will be observed by reference to this table that the greater number of deaths from zymotic diseases occurred during the months of June, Joly, and August, being 547, or 51.845 per cent. of the total deaths from this class.
The greater number of deaths from constitutional causes occurred during the months of February, June, and July, being 289, or 30.507 per cent. of the total mortality from this cause, although the difference in the number of deaths from this class of diseases in the several months is not great; it is noticed, however, that the largest number occurred during the months which ushered in the extreme cold and extreme warm weather of the year. The largest number of deaths from local diseases occurred during the months of March, April, and July, being 540, or 32.000 per cept. of the total mortality from this class of causes, of which the large preponderance was from diseases of the respiratory organs, during
the months of March and April ; and of diseases involving the digestive organs, during the month of July. The largest number of deaths from the class developmental was during the months of March, June, and July, being 161, or 37.066 per cent. of the total mortality from this class. This number is largely represented by the deaths of the extremely old and of new-born infants.
The largest number of deaths from violence occurred during months of May and July, being 32, or 27.119 per cent. of the total mortality from this cause.
Table No. 7 is a recapitulation by classes, by sex, and color, in each period of life, with percentages.
Table No. 8 exhibits the total mortality by classes and orders, by sex and color, and by months, quarters, and the year.
Table No. 9 shows the mortality from diarrheal diseases, by sex and color and age of decedents, with percentages. The number of deaths from these causes was 506, (51 more than last year,) 11.917 per cent. of total mortality from all causes. Of this number, 456 were under 5 years of age, being 90.119 per cent. of total mortality from this cause; 341 were children under 1 year of age, or 67.391 per cent. of the mortality from the same cause; 99 were children from 1 to 2 years of age, and 15 from 2 to 3 years; showing how large a proportion of the deaths of children under 5 years of age is caused by diarrhæal diseases, being 47.870 per cent. of the total deaths from zymotic diseases.
Table No. 10 exhibits the mortality of children under five years of age from all causes, with percentages. The total number of deaths in this period of life was 2,064, (123 less than last year,) 48.610 per cent. of the total mortality for the year. Of this number, 884 were white, or 0.769 per cent. of the white population, and 1,180 were colored, or 2.622 per cent. of the colored population; showing that a great preponderance of the deaths of children under five years of age occurs among the colored population.
Table No. 11 exhibits the number of deaths from phthisis pulmonalis by months, showing nativity, color, age, sex, and duration of residence in the District of Columbia, percentage of mortality in each period of life by sex and color to the mortality from this disease and to the total mortality from all causes. The whole number of deaths from this cause was 595, (16 more than last year,) or 14.013 per cent. of the total mor. tality, and 3.718 per 1,000 iv habitants; 149 were natives of the District of Columbia, 376 of other parts of the United States, and 79 were foreign-born ; 306 were wbite and 289 colored; 285 were males and 310 were females; 33 had resided in the District of Columbia less than one year, 140 less than five years, 120 from 5 to 10 years, 154 from 10 to 20 years, and 32 unknown. The greatest number of deaths from this cause occurred during the months of February and April, and the greater mortality was between the ages of twenty and twenty-five years, being 89, or 14.958 per cent. of the total mortality from this cause.
Table No. 12 exhibits the daily mortality, by sex and color, during the year. By reference to this table it will be observed that the greatest mortality in any one day was 42, which occurred on July 10, and the least number, viz, 3, occurred on the 15th of April. The gradual but steady reduction, year by year, of the death-rate in the District of Colum. bia, and especially so from zymotic or preventable diseases, since the inauguration by the board of its thorough system of sanitary labor, can but be gratifying to our citizens as well as to the whole country, and is a monument to the faithful and skillful labors of the board of health, and their accomplished corps of employés.
The people of the District have enjoyed a remarkable immunity from epidemics of every character during the past year. The careful system of isolation enforced by the hoard in all sporadic or imported cases of contagious diseases, together with the system of inspection of premises and warning to families afflicted with infectious diseases, insures exemption from the general prevalence in this community of maladies of this character, and exhibits the great value of an efficient sanitary organ in aggregated communities, and especially so in a cosmopolitan city like the capital of the nation.
A peculiar duty rests upon Congress in the exercise of its authority over the people of this District in enacting suitable sanitary laws, and sustaining by liberal appropriations the authority charged with this important branch of municipal government. With any less effective provisions than these, the invasion of the seat of Government by a formidable epidemic would result in serious disaster to the interests of the state. As evincing the relative success resulting from the sanitary system of our board during the past year, compared with that of the previous year, we find that for the nine months ending June 30, 1876, there were 192 less deaths from all causes than for the same period during the year 1875. According to this ratio, there should have been a decrease during the three months immediately succeeding, (viz, July, August, and September, 1876,) of 64 deaths; while, in fact, there was an increase of 86, owing, it is believed, to the limited appropriation by Congress
which necessitated a reduction of the sanitary force to one-half its original number.
It is to be regretted that, in consequence of the small appropriations available for the use of this office for the present fiscal year, I am un. able to present with this report a chart illustrating the actual daily mortality from all causes, and from phthisis pulmonalis and diarrheal diseases, in the District, for the year, with meteorological observations for the same period. I have, however, presented the daily mortality in Table No. 12 as the best means of remedying this defect.
The present clerical force in my office is inadequate to perform the duties imposed by Congress upon the board of health, viz, to make a full and correct record of vital statistics. It being impossible to transact the current business of the office, and record the births, marriages, and deaths, I have adopted the temporary plan of filing the certificates received, keeping an index for reference to the same, and trust that in the near future more liberal appropriations may render it possible for the registrar to discharge the duties imposed by law. Very respectfully,
D. W. BLISS, M. D., Member of the Board of Health and Registrar of Vital Statistics. The Hon. BOARD OF HEALTH, District of Columbia.
Table No. I. — Report of births in the District of Columbia for the twelve months ending
September 30, 1876.