Story: Death rates and life expectancy

English death certificate

This death certificate for the artist Augustus Earle was issued in 1838, the year after national registration of births and deaths began in England. The cause of death – in this case 'asthma and debility' – was recorded along with the date and place of death, making the records useful for analysing health trends and death rates.

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Courtesy of General Register Office

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How to cite this page:

Ian Pool, 'Death rates and life expectancy - Recording births and deaths', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 9 August 2022)

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