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Nation Making, a story of New Zealand

Chapter XXXVIII. — The Conditions of Life

page 339

Chapter XXXVIII.
The Conditions of Life.

New Zealand compared with Other Countries as to Health and Disease.—Conditions for Nation Making.—Birth rate.—Children per Marriage.—Excess of Births over Deaths.—Mean annual Increase.—Illegitimacy.—Concubinage.—Death of Infants.—Mean Death rate.—Deaths from Zymoti Parasitic and Dietic Diseases.—Deaths from Hydatids.—Deaths from Atrophy and Debility.—Deaths from Pulmonary Consumption.—Deaf and Dumb persons.—Blindness.—Lunacy.—Idiocy.—New Zealand exceeds All Countries in Vitality and Health.

I propose in this Chapter to exhibit the Conditions of Life, as to health and disease, in New Zealand as compared with various Colonies and Countries, for the reason, that in Nation Making—whilst the fertility and position of any country with the ambition to become a Nation, are of very great importance—the conditions existing in it, for the health and life of its inhabitants, are of very much more importance, if a Nation is to take high rank in the future.

For the information supplied in the following Tables of Vital Statistics, I am indebted to the valu-page 340able Year Book compiled by Mr. Hayter, the eminent Government Statist for the Colony of Victoria.

Table I.
Birth rate in 1,000.
Average of 23 years, 1865–1887.
  • New Zealand, 39·40; highest known except
  • Queensland with 39·65.
Average of 4 years, 1882–1886. New Zealand has a higher Birth rate than any European Nation.
Table II.
Children per Marriage.
Average of 7 years, 1880–1886.
France 2·98
Sweden 3·55
England 4·16
Belgium 4·21
Tasmania 4·29
Victoria 4·34
Queensland 4·62
Ireland 5·46
New Zealand 5·48

Mr. Hayter says,

'Of the Australasian Colonies New Zealand is the one in which the Births have always exceeded the Deaths by the highest proportion.

'In not one of 15 European countries did the Births double the Deaths in any year of the period 1881–1885. On the other hand, in the Australasian Colonies it is the exception for the Births not to double the Deaths; and in one of them—New Zealand—it is the exception for the Births not to be three times as page 341numerous as the Deaths. This is no doubt promoted by the salubrity of the New Zealand climate, but still more so by the circumstance of the population being spread over the country, or dispersed through a number of small towns, instead of being, to a great extent, crowded into a few large cities, as is too much the case in the other Colonies.'

Table III.
Excess per cent. of Births over Deaths.
In Australasia for 10 years, 1877–1886.
New Zealand 240
South Australia 163
New South Wales 145
Western Australia 114
Victoria 112
Queensland 112
Tasmania 111
In European Countries, 1882–86.
Norway 84
England and Wales 71
Scotland 70
Belgium 47
Germany 43
Italy 37
Switzerland 35
Ireland 31
Austria 28
France 10
Table IV.
Mean Annual increase by excess of Births over Deaths in 1876–1885.
Per cent.
New Zealand 2·78
South Australia 2·39
New South Wales 2·28
Queensland 1·90
Western Australia 1·82
Tasmania 1·72
Victoria 1·66
England and Wales 1·37
Russia 1·36
Scotland 1·33
Per cent.
Denmark 1·16
Holland 1·15
Belgium ·91
Ireland ·86
Italy ·77
Austria ·74
United States ·70
Spain ·48
France ·16

In the per centage of increase of population by page 342excess of Births over Deaths, New Zealand stands at the head of all other Countries.

Table V.
Illegitimacy in every 100 children born.
Austria 12·9
Scotland 8·5
France 7·38
England 4·9
New South Wales 4·27
Victoria 4·17
Tasmania 4·15
Queensland 3·69
Ireland 2·4
New Zealand 2·38
Table VI.
Concubinage in Australasian Colonies.
In Queensland 1 single woman in 13 was living immorally
In New South Wales 1 single woman in 19 was living immorally
In Victoria 1 single woman in 22 was living immorally
In New Zealand 1 single woman in 23 was living immorally

These Tables show that, in Purity of Domestic Life—one of the surest foundations of the Home, the Family, and the Nation—New Zealand holds the first position.

Table VII.
Deaths of Infants under 1 year of age per 100.
Ireland 9·2
New Zealand 9·65
Tasmania 10·48
Scotland 11·8
New South Wales 11·45
Victoria 12·35
Queensland 13·15
South Australia 14·41
England and Wales 14·4
France (legitimate) 14·7
France (illegitimate) 29·8
Table VIII.
Mean Death rates per 1,000 of mean population.
In Australasian Colonies, 1865–1887.
Queensland 17·92
Western Australia 16·42
New South Wales 15·62
Victoria 15·57
Tasmania 15·33
South Australia 14·84
New Zealand 11·90
page 343
In British Possessions.
Mauritius 32·5
Malta 27·0
West Indies 24·2
Ceylon 21·6
St. Helena 13·2
Nova Scotia 12·1
In European Countries, 1882–1886.
Hungary 33·4
Austria 30·0
Italy 27·3
Germany 25·9
Spain 25·8
France 22·2
Switzerland 20·7
England and Wales 19·4
Scotland 19·3
Denmark 18·5
Ireland 18·1
Sweden 17·5
Norway 16·9

The Death rate being lower in New Zealand than in any other Country.

Table IX.
Deaths in the Australasian Colonies per 10,000 living Persons.
From Zymotic, Parasitic, and Dietic Diseases, 873–1882.
Queensland 52·7
Victoria 41·7
South Australia 38·6
New South Wales 36·4
Tasmania 31·2
New Zealand 30·6
From Atrophy and Debility, 1882–1886.
Queensland 12·45
South Australia 11·12
New South Wales 10·42
Victoria 9·80
Tasmania 9·39
New Zealand 5·57
From Hydatids, 1882–1886.
Victoria 5·79
South Australia 3·54
Tasmania 2·83
New South Wales 2·05
Queensland 1·29
New Zealand 0·66
From Pulmonary Consumption, 1873–1886.
Queensland 14·31
Victoria 13·49
New South Wales 10·86
Tasmania 10·46
South Australia 10·07
New Zealand 8·64
Deaths in Various Countries from Pulmonary Consumption per 10,000 persons living, 1881–1884.
Austria 38·39
Massachusetts 34·25
Prussia 30·88
Belgium 30·48
Scotland 25·92
Italy 25·54
Ireland 22·43
Switzerland 21·79
United Kingdom 21·09
Spain 12·32
page 344

The Death rate in these Diseases being lower in New Zealand than in any other Country where returns are given.

Table X.
Deaf and Dumb
per 10,000 living persons.
per 10,000 living persons.
Switzerland 24·52 Portugal 21·90
Austria 13·07 Tasmania 16·00
Sweden 10·23 Spain 14·79
Germany 9·31 Western Australia 13·79
Canada 8·05 Norway 13·57
Portugal 7·47 United Kingdom 9·85
United States 6·75 United States 9·75
France 6·26 Austria 9·07
United Kingdom 5·74 Victoria 8·60
Tasmania 5·44 France 8·37
Italy 5·37 Germany 7·93
Spain 4·50 Italy 7·63
Victoria 3·33 Switzerland 7·61
South Australia 2·90 South Australia 7·06
Western Australia 2·36 Canada 6·19
New Zealand 2·33 Holland 4·45
New Zealand 2·82
Showing that for 1 person Deaf and Dumb in New Zealand there are 10 persons in Switzerland. Showing that for 1 Blind person in New Zealand there are nearly 8 blind persons in Portugal.
Lunacy in Australasia.
Victoria 1 in 304 persons
Tasmania 1 in 334 persons
South Australia 1 in 436 persons
New Zealand 1 in 437 persons
Idiocy in Various Countries per 10,000 living persons.
United States 15·33 persons
Portugal 15·00 persons
Austria 14·64 persons
Germany 13·65 persons
page 345
United Kingdom 12·92 persons
Hungary 11·86 persons
France 11·40 persons
Denmark 8·31 persons
Italy 6·91 persons
Tasmania 6·57 persons
Spain 5·47 persons
Sweden 3·92 persons
Victoria 1·87 persons
New Zealand 1·18 persons

Showing that for 1 Idiot in New Zealand, there are 13 Idiots in the United States.

These figures tell their own story. They show that with one trifling exception, New Zealand has a greater Birth rate; a greater number of Children per Marriage; a greater percentage of Births over Deaths; a greater percentage of Increase of Population; a smaller percentage of Illegitimacy; a smaller percentage of Concubinage; a smaller death rate of Infants under one year; a lower general death rate; a lower death rate in Zymotic, Parasitic, Dietic, Hydatids, Atrophy, Debility and Pulmonary Consumptive Diseases; a smaller percentage of Deaf and Dumb persons; a smaller percentage of Blind persons; a smaller percentage of Lunacy and Idiocy—so far as returns are given—than any Country in the world.

They proclaim New Zealand to be, in every respect, at the head of all other Countries for Vitality and Health; as a land offering the most favourable Conditions of Life; and they present a striking confirmation of the remarkable salubrity of the climate of the Colony, as displayed in the splendid physique of the Maories, the aboriginal inhabitants of New Zealand.