Story: Death rates and life expectancy

Early analysis of death from disease (1st of 2)

This table, adapted from Arthur Thomson's book The story of New Zealand: past and present, savage and civilised (1859), compares death from disease for British soldiers stationed in the United Kingdom with those in New Zealand. The total relative mortality for soldiers in the United Kingdom was over three times that of those in New Zealand. Thomson's comparisons were valid because gender, age and occupation were the same for the two groups, and his findings have been confirmed by modern studies.

Using this item

Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Reference: Arthur S. Thomson, The story of New Zealand: past and present - savage and civilized, London: John Murray, 1859, p. 321.

This item has been provided for private study purposes (such as school projects, family and local history research) and any published reproduction (print or electronic) may infringe copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user of any material to obtain clearance from the copyright holder.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Ian Pool, 'Death rates and life expectancy - Pākehā epidemiological transition', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 22 March 2023)

Story by Ian Pool, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 14 Mar 2019