Statistical research and African vital statistics
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The revolutionary advances which have taken place since 1946 in the statistical determination of the vital characteristics of African populations are not widely known and merit greater publicity. Since the dawn of history the numbers of African persons in different areas of Africa, their rates of growth, vital conditions, their state of nutrition, the degree of pressure of population on food resources have been subjects of speculation. The developments in the technique of statistical sampling which have taken place in the last 25 years have placed an instrument in the hands of statisticians which is steadily and progressively opening up these hitherto hidden fields of research.