# Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 70.djvu/42

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38
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

the Jews is high (compared with conditions among western European Jews), the infant mortality is also higher, though not so high as the mortality of the Greek orthodox, whose birth rates are the highest in Europe.

Arthur Ruppin, who has studied the problem thoroughly, insists that the superiority of the expectation of life of the Jews is mainly due to the higher infant mortality among christians, which drags down the average duration of life. "To use a coarse example: The expectation of life of a christian child on the day of its birth is, roughly stated, about forty years, as against sixty years of the Jewish child; at the tenth birthday the probable duration of life of the christian child is fifty-five, while that of the Jewish child is sixty-five; and at the twentieth birthday the probable duration of life is, for both, seventy years, i. e., the expectation of life of the christian is equal to that of the Jew as soon as the christian has passed his years of infancy and childhood, and reached adolescence."

"The best illustration," Ruppin goes on to say, "of this condition, is perhaps to be seen when we take definite statistical data of a given city, say Budapest, Hungary. The mortality during 1902 was 14.17 per 1,000 among the Jews, and 21.81 among the christians. The Jews were favored by the following factors:

1. A Low Infantile Mortality.—The proportion of death of infants under one year was during that year 9.52 per cent, of all the births from Jewish mothers and 16.46 per cent, of all the births from christian mothers. If the infant mortality was as high among the Jews as among the christians the number of Jews who died during that year would have been larger by 320, and through that the mortality would have been increased by 1.89, i. e., the death rate would have been 16.06 instead of 14.17.

2. The Lower Birth Rate of the Jews.—The birth rate per 1,000 population was, namely, 27.29 among the Jews and 32.74 among the christians. If the Jews had relatively as many births as the christians had, the mortality rate, on the basis of the Jewish infant mortality just determined above, would have been larger by 0.48 per 1,000; their general death rate would have been increased to 16.54 from 16.06.

3. The Smaller Mortality of Children under Ten Years of Age (excepting Infants under One Year).—The proportion of deaths of children between one and ten years old was 2.15 per 1,000 among the Jews and 3.73 among the christians. If the Jewish mortality at these ages were as high as that of the christians, 266 more Jews would have died during that year, and the general mortality rates would have increased by 1.57 per 1,000, or instead of 16.54 it would have been 18.11.

In this manner one half of the difference in death rates between Jews and christians in Budapest is wiped out. It stands now as 18.11 for Jews, and 21.81 for christians. The remaining difference in the rates of 3.7 per 1,000 in favor of the Jews, can also be accounted for by other social factors, and no special physiological tenacity of life of the Jews need be considered as the cause. One has only to recall that alcoholism is very rare among the Jews, and that the Sabbath