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DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY-HEALTH
March 31, 1922.
HONORABLE FRANK X. SCHWAB, Mayor,
Commissioner Department of Public Safety,
Buffalo, New York.
MY DEAR 'SIR:
I have the honor to submit herewith the annual report of the
Department of Health for the years 1920 and 1921, issued jointly in
view of the increased cost of printing and desire to keep within the
appropriation. This report is arranged to show the work of the
various bureaus and subdivisions.
Complete vital statistics were instituted in Buffalo in 1882 and
since that time have been kept with the greatest accuracy in accord ance with the standard procedures adopted by the U. S. Government
and authorities. The relation of the records, not replaceable, to life
insurance, inheritance, official papers, matters of contest and legal
affairs, gives them great value and every care is taken for their safe guarding. Their relation to public health work and preventive medi cine is of the highest importance.
The most important feature to which your attention is directed is
the reduction in the Buffalo death rate for 1921 to 12.23 per thousand,
the lowest on record and which shows Buffalo to be one of the most
salubrious of the leading cities in the country.
The death records began to be kept in 1852 and the birth records
in 1879, but in 1882 marked the first year of complete registration. In
that year the population was 175,000, the deaths 4,212, the death rate
24.06. In 1921, according to the U. S. Bureau of Census, the population
was estimated at 519,608, the number of deaths including non-residents
6,353, the death rate 12.23 per thousand. Were Buffalo to eliminate
non-residents, those here for medical and operative treatment, those
sent to various state, federal and county institutions, and transients,
amounting to 742, the death rate would be further reduced to 10.83.
Had the 1882 death rate prevailed in Buffalo in 1921, the number of
deaths would have been 12,502, not 5,331 of actual residents, all of
which means that, comparing the rates, 6,871 lives were saved.
The economic dividends in value of life saved, the cost of sickness prevention, the asset of happiness, health and prosperity, are
Infant mortality is classified as the deaths of those under one
year of age in every one thousand children born. The data of 1921
shows an equally gratifying reduction and the infant death rate, 93.63,
is likewise the lowest on record.