and 30-40 years with a 1.8% difference (Figure 1). It is also safe to say that this gap can be widened by using a much bigger sample. Besides the aforementioned points, thesample supports the claim that mortality rates have decreased over time. Thesesurvivorship data support the claim as well, with the older population having lesssurvivorship overall (Figure 2). The gap starts to widen at the age range of 70-80 on anexponential decline, but this should be expected when taking into account the increasingage (Figure 2). Overall, the survivorship of the population from 1950 to present was 20%more than the older population (Figure 2).
The first point to consider when discussing why mortality rates were higher for the older population is the abundance of sickness, quality of living conditions, and lack of medicaladvancements. When compared to the 1950s until present day, these factors were muchmore of a problem between 1860-1930. There is a noticeable discrepancy between thetwo populations with children dying before age 10, being that substantially more died before that age in the older population. It is said that 25% of infants in the nineteenthcentury did not survive (McVeigh, 2000). Causes of this are likely due to malnutritionand poor living conditions. With poor food and subpar living conditions comes reducedimmunity. This made infants more susceptible to diseases in the nineteenth century likecholera, which is a noncontagious diarrheal infection occurring in infants (Tebbetts,2001). In regards to the population from 1950 to the present, a lower mortality rate exists because the human race became more proactive in improving living conditions. Notablemedical advancements include the usage and widespread production of penicillinantibiotics, which skyrocketed in 1943 and continued to after World War II ended (Wong,2003). Penicillin is an antibiotic produced by blue molds and is used to treat infectionslike strep throat, meningitis, and tonsillitis (Wong, 2003). This, along with better sanitation of medical institutions, accounts for an increase in life expectancy. As of 2009,life expectancy in the United States was 78.7 years (World Bank, World DevelopmentIndicators, 2009) as opposed to 43.6 years in 1860 (Haines, 2008).Survivorship was lacking more from 1850 to 1930 because of the same concepts. Peoplewho died in that time period were born at a time where quality of life was even worse,and during the times of immigration, tons of infections came over to the United States
that the populations were not used to. Suffolk County’s spatia
l location puts it in a primearea for exposure to these diseases, being that it is located not far from New York City.From 1950 until present day, people have a better chance of living longer due to the
medical industry’s ability to treat a lot of infect
ions that would have taken lives in thenineteenth century.
Geller, M. D. 2011. Manual for Ecological Principles Laboratory, ENVL 2205, Fall 2011.Richard Stockton College of NJ. Pomona, NJ.Haines, M. 2008. "Fertility and Mortality in the United States."