Population Density and Influenza Mortality on the Eve of the Great Depression

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-9-2018


Studying historical trends in disease spread can indicate sociological or epidemiological phenomena that can also be applied to current disease spread. Because morbidity of aerosol-based infections like seasonal influenza can be correlated with higher population density, this study was looking at how population density may have an effect on mortality, whether due to epidemiological factors or due to sociological factors. A series of linear regressions comparing the highest mortality month during the 1928-1929 influenza season between 28 different cities found that there was no significant effect of population density on mortality. Future directions include looking at more socioeconomic factors in order to control for racial, economic, and other social effects.

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