Pages 11 – 12
The following table shows the birth rate per thousand of the population in Chinnor and its hamlets since 1962:
Year Rate/thousand 1961 31.7 1963 15.6 1964 31.0 1965 31.7 1966 29.6 1967 33.8 1968 24.4
The birth rate reached a maximum in 1967 and appears to have made a significant fall in 1968. This mirrors a national decline in the birth rate for which the causes, apart possibly from the increasing use of oral contraceptives, are probably not clear at present. What is significant is that, except in 1963 alone, the birth rate for Chinnor is between one and a half and two times greater than that of the average of 17.2/thousand in 1967 in England and Wales as a whole. What is also notable is that in Chinnor the still-birth and infant mortality rates (usually considered to be indices of general social well-being in a community) are all less than 10 in a thousand in a series of 500 births. The corresponding national rates in 1967 were 14.3 and 18.3 per thousand respectively.
The next table shows the contribution to this birth rate of families living in houses built in the neighbourhood since 1960 generally and then the contribution of the main estates alone – Elderdene, Doveleat, The Avenue, Rectory Meadow, Golden Hills, Cherry Tree and Beach Roads and the Jeanes Estate in Oakley Road.
Subtraction of the middle column from 100% gives the proportion of births from families living in housing older than 1960 and this represents an actual decrease in numbers. This decreasing contribution to the birth rate from the “old” village is to be expected as the families living in older housing reach the end of their potential child-bearing years. But if the average age of the parents in the Cherry Tree/Beech Road estate (see below) only increases pari passu with the years, there would seem to be a good deal of child-bearing potential on this estate alone for at least ten years to come.
A further indication of the unbalance into which the community is being thrust is the apparently falling proportion of old people over the age of sixty-five – from 77.6 per thousand of the population in December 1967 to 74.1 per thousand in December 1968.