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Age and Mortality

Age pyramid Breslaw 1691


Thanks to the information collected by Caspar Neumann and published by Edmond Halley in 1693 we are particularly well informed about the city's population and its age structure. See Edmond Halley, “An Estimate of the Degrees of the Mortality of Mankind, drawn from curious Tables of the Births and Funerals at the City of Breslaw”, Philosophical Transactions, 196 (London, 1693), p.596-610, ed. e-text Matthias Böhne for further detail.

The total number of inhabitants was according to Halley's computation based on the city's mortality data 34,000. The age groups are listed in the table p.600. Halley:

"Thus it appears, that the whole People of Breslaw does consist of 34000 Souls, being the Sum Total of the Persons of all Ages in the Table: The first use hereof|<601> is to shew the Proportion of Men able to bear Arms in any Multitude, which are those between 18 and 56, rather than 16 and 60; the one being generally too weak to bear the Fatigues of War and the Weight of Arms, and the other too crasie and infirm from Age, nonwithstanding particular Instances to the contrary. Under 18 from the Table, are found in this City 11997 Persons, and 3950 above 56, which together make 15947. So that the Residue to 34000 being 18053 are Persons between those Ages. At least one half thereof are Males, or 9027."

Click here for the age pyramid and here for the mortality rates and life expectancy tables and diagrams.