The means employed for obtaining the data for this review have been outlined in the report on typhoid deaths.1 As has been the practice in all previous annual reviews of diphtheria and typhoid, statistics have been obtained from local health officers. As the time of the 1940 census approaches, local estimates of population become less trustworthy. They provide, however, the best available data. The rates must be readjusted in light of the facts obtained at the time of the next federal census.
As has been the case in previous articles, the local health departments report not only the total number of diphtheria deaths that actually occur in the community but also the number of such deaths occurring among nonresidents.
The fourteen New England cities (table 1) report a continued downward trend in the death rate for the group as a whole but have been unable to approach the record