JohnGraunt (1620-1674), an English haberdasher and merchant, isconsidered by historians the father of demography and epidemiology.It is believed that he founded the statistical analysis of diseasesand death as well as human populations. He is considered to be thefirst individual to statistically estimate the population of London. In his 17thcentury book “Naturaland Political Observations mentioned in a following index, and madeupon the Bills of Mortality With reference to the Government,Religion, Trade, Growth, Ayre, diseases, and the several Changes ofthe said City”, hemade analysis of the humanstatistics in the city of London. This figures and conclusionsderived from his analysis formed the foundation of the modern daydemographic and epidemiology studies. Although some historians arguethat John Graunt did not have any formal education, he was interestedwith the mortality rate in England based on the Billof Mortality,commonly known as the list of dead. In the late 16thcentury, the Billof Mortalitymaintained the records of all dead citizens in England and the causesof their death. In his analysis, John Graunt observations givestatistics of how many people died from each of the particular causeof death. He concluded that in the year 1625 alone, for example,majority of people in England died as a result of a plague. He alsoestablished that there was a difference in the death rates and causesof death when different genders, cities and neighborhoods werecompared. Although it was not as effective as in the modern times,the epidemiology analysis by Graunt was used to give warning of thespread of the plagues such as the bubonic plague (Kreager,1993).
Kreager,P. (1993). "Histories of Demography."Population Studies47: 519–539.