John Graunt

(1620 - 1674)

Known as the father of demography, the statistical study of human populations, John Graunt began to examine the bills of mortality that had been kept by London parishes since 1532, finding that certain phenomena recurred in death statistics. From this he devised the life table, which presented mortality in terms of survivorship. “With this book,” wrote the epidemiologist Kenneth Rothman in The Lancet in 1996, “Graunt added more to human knowledge than most of us can reasonably aspire to in a full career.”

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