The downward trend in the birth and mortality rates of England and Wales has resulted in an increased proportion of older people and a decreased proportion of children. Although this trend has instigated studies of the potential saving of life through the reduction of infant deaths, stillbirths have received little attention in the literature of birth and infant death statistics. In the present study, Dr. Sutherland points out that the reduction of the number of stillbirths and other infant deaths (as well as an increase in the birth rate) would contribute to a future balance in the age structure of the population.
There occur yearly in England and Wales about 21,000 stillbirths, 17,000 deaths in the first month of life and 15,000 deaths in the following 11 months—a total of 53,000 infants dying before birth or in their first year of life. This loss of life is second only to