5 JUNE 1909, Page 1

The Official Report upon public health in Prussia for the

year 1907 is summarised by the Berlin correspondent in the Times of Monday. The figures show that a satisfactory decrease in the death-rate is accompanied by a persistent decrease in the birth-rate. The figures are significant, as Prussia comprises roughly two-thirds of the German Empire. The population of the Empire on December 1st, 1905, was 60,641,278, and the population of Prussia on January 1st, 1907, was 37,908,104. During the year 1907 the excess of births over deaths was 578,687, as compared with 595,942 in 1906, 514,941 in 1905, 562,387 in 1904, and 527,263 in 1903. The correspondent calculates that throughout the whole Empire the excess of births over deaths in 1907 did not exceed 900,000. The comparatively satisfactory increase of population as shown by the figures quoted, however, is due to a decline in the death. rate to 17.96 per thousand,—the lowest rate ever recorded. In most places where the death-rate is high it is sot off by a high birth-rate. The birth-rate by itself shows an absolute decline. In 1907 it was 33.23 per thousand, as compared with 34.00 in 1906, 33.77 in 1905, and 35.04 in 1904. The birth-rate in Berlin is now less by nearly one-half than it was thirty years ago, and it will be interesting to see if the causes of the decline will extend to the provinces which at present keep up the average.