A World Less Familiar in 100 years.

old street


As age creeps up on us things around us change and not always for the better we often feel. When you have lived nearly a century the changes are unfathomable.


A hundred years ago:

From 1911-5, 63% of people died before the age of 60.
Now, only 12% die before the age of 60.

The composition of the workforce has changed.
Now, 1 in 3 are professionals or managers, compared to 1 in 7 in

In 1901 there were 1,093,000 births and 632,000 deaths. By the
year 2021 the number of births and deaths, projected in 1996, is
expected to be 695,000 and 647,000 respectively.

Since 1901, more people have emigrated from the UK than
immigrated. By 1997, a net exodus from the UK of 15,600,000
had occurred.

Between 1900 and 1998 the housing stock of Great Britain has
increased from about 7 million to 22 million permanent

In 1901 the average prison population was 15,900. By 1998 the
figure had increased to 65,300. There were more prisoners in
1998 than in any other year this century.

In 1926 there were 1,715,000 motor vehicles registered and
4,886 road fatalities, giving a ratio of 2.9 fatalities per thousand
vehicles. The Second World War interrupts the general
downward trend of the ratio. Between 1939 and 1944 the
number of motor vehicles registered fell by 49% while the
number of fatalities remained relatively stable, leading to a rise
in the ratio to 4.0 in 1944. By 1997, the number of motor
vehicles registered increased to 26,974,000 but the number of
fatalities fell to 3,599. Thus, the ratio of fatalities per one
thousand motor vehicles fell to 0.1.

In 1935 the
Road Traffic Census Report records a 24-hour count
of traffic at 467 roadside points. The average number of
‘mechanically-propelled’ vehicles to pass any predetermined
point was recorded as 11 per hour. By 1954 the Road Traffic
Census Report records the average number of vehicles to pass
had risen to 159 per hour.

Between 1955 and 1998 total motor
vehicle traffic increased by almost 500% with growth in traffic
since 1988 up by 22%

In 1904 a Royal Commission studied traffic in London. The
speeds of various vehicles were taken. During off-peak periods a
motor driven cab would travel at an average of 12 miles per
hour. In the post-war period traffic speeds were slower. In 1996
the average off-peak vehicle speed was recorded as 10 miles per
The first woman to be elected to the House of Commons was
Countess Constance Markievicz in 1918, although, as a member
of Sinn Fein, she did not take her seat and so is not included as
an MP in this context

Between 1900 and 1999 retail prices have risen by around 66
times at an average annual rate of some 4.3%.

There has beena marked contrast between the two halves of the Century.
Between 1949 and 1999 prices rose some 19 fold at an average
rate of 6.0% compared to a 3½ fold increase between 1900 and
1949 at an average rate of 2.6%.

The purchasing power of a pound fell from £1 in 1900 to the
equivalent of just 1.5 pence in 1999.

Typical prices:
1900 to 1999
Inland letter post 1d (0.4p) 26p
The Times 3d (1.2p) 35p
Pint of beer in a public bar 2d (0.8p) £1.73
Pint of fresh milk (London) 2d (0.8p) 26p
Dozen new laid eggs (London) 1/4½d (6.9p) £1.57

Some really interesting facts, which doesn’t take into account the rise in Information technology, the television and radio growth.

(These statistics came from a Parliamentary White paper 15 years ago so can you imagine the difference now?)

As recently as Forty years ago these were invented, can you believe it?

  • 1972: The first video game console, used primarily for playing video games on a TV, is the Magnavox Odyssey.[164]
  • 1973: The first commercial graphical user interface was introduced in 1973 on the Xerox Alto. The modern GUI was later popularized by theXerox Star and Apple Lisa.
  • 1975: Altair 8800 was the spark that ignited the microcomputer revolution.
  • 1973-75: The Internet protocol suite was developed by Vinton Cerf and Robert E. Kahn for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) ARPANET, creating the basis for the modern Internet.


  • 1982: A CD-ROM (/ˌsˌdˈrɒm/, an acronym of “Compact Disc Read-only memory”) is a pre-pressed compact disc that contains dataaccessible to, but not writable by, a computer for data storage and music playback. The 1985 Yellow Book standard developed by Sonyand Philips adapted the format to hold any form of binary data.[165]
  • 1990:The World Wide Web was first introduced to the public by English engineer and computer scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee..[166] [167]
  • 1993: MOSAIC, the first popular web browser is introduced
  • 1995: DVD is an optical disc storage format, invented and developed by Philips, Sony, Toshiba, and Panasonic in 1995. DVDs offer higher storage capacity than Compact Discs while having the same dimensions.

I thought a blog of information and statistics would make a change from my usual bla bla bla!