Dorling D. Death to Britain: How Local Mortality Rates Have Changed: 1950s-1990s. Report to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. York: 1997

Death in Britain is the first study of long-term changes in mortality rates by local geographical area. It details how people’s chances of dying have been changing for a constant set of local areas since World War II. Breaking the population down into age and sex groups, it compares improvement and deterioration between areas. The study finds that although absolute mortality rates for all groups in society have fallen steadily since the 1950s - and despite the existence of a National Health Service - the gap between the ’best’ and ’worst’ areas has widened, particularly since the 1980s.