A measurement of human progress

Ann Oakley

in Welfare and wellbeing

Published by Policy Press

Published in print October 2001 | ISBN: 9781861342997
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447304203 | DOI:
A measurement of human progress

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This chapter is taken from Richard Titmuss's book, Birth, poverty and wealth. It anticipates much later work on child mortality in pointing out that the deaths of very young children are often the most sensitive indicator of social conditions: death rates in early childhood show the biggest social class differences. It points out that the progressive equalisation of life-chances in a ‘civilised’ society cannot be assumed; on the contrary, the differential in infant mortality by social class has widened over the previous twenty years. It notes that later researchers would agree with Titmuss on the two main causes of infant death identified in the book: poverty and ‘insanitary urbanisation’. It also observes that diet, a concern of Titmuss's in Poverty and population, continues to show a pronounced and increasing class differential, with differences in nutrient intake related to income even within low income classes.

Keywords: birth; wealth; child mortality; social class; progressive equalisation; life-chances; civilized society; insanitary urbanisation; diet; population

Chapter.  2370 words. 

Subjects: Health, Illness, and Medicine

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