Statistics of People on Board the Titanic

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Approximately 800,000 years ago, the first sea-worthy boats were erected by numerous Homo Erectus tribes scattered amongst Tropical Rainforests in Southeast Asia. These Pre- Historic rafts which were woven together through local plants for concepts and languages to travel and form new transportation systems. However, these primitive expeditions would expand in their respective technology and motivations. In hand, various populaces managed to evolve into more militarized and trade founded fashions, as both the bronze and metal ages developed. For instance, the Egyptians, Phoenicians, and the Greeks transported treasured valuables and battalions amongst the Mediterranean Ocean. Missions like these ultimately materialized into colonial super-powers instituting daring voyages which were stocked full of piracy, slavery, and foreign conflicts. Going onwards, without foreign powers being dealt challenges by other nations, passenger liners (like the Titanic, and Lusitania), they might never have witnessed their emergence during World War 2.

In contrast, these monumental feats of engineering would not come without the costs of life. Shared throughout a plethora of nations, tragedies just like what occurred upon the Titanic on the 15th of April in 1912 would be common upon the Atlantic drifts. On this hazy and frigid voyage, Captain Edward Smith unknowingly struck a colossal Iceberg – swallowing 1,490 souls. Scattered along her passengers would include some of the most well-known celebrities at the time, with dozens of immigrant populations being noticed on the decks. In addition, miscalculations in overall lifeboat numbers would lead to biases amongst the genders of whom survived. These can detailed facts uncover secrets, which is the case with various tables which deal with gender, social status, and national heritage. Certainly not limited to this, in hopes of reaching conclusions – we must comprehend the foundations of the tables to infer upon their stances.

First and foremost, for the majority of the 2,201 passengers on board, a drastic deviation between genders was evacuated. In the duration of 1 hour and 54 minutes, all 20 lifeboats were deployed, yet more women and children than men survived according to Encylopedia Titanic. These wide proportions surmised in part of strict moral guidelines that gentleman were expected to follow in their societies. For example, they were deemed to deal out a substantial amount of shame upon themselves if they did not place women and the youth in front of themselves. Therefore, vast amounts of both poorer and extremely wealthy classed men chose to defend their personal honor and drown. Going hand in hand with this ideology, working components of the crew instructed the panicked travelers to follow strict ‘women and children only’ mandates when boarding lifeboats. Regardless, this regulation that merely dealt with the port (left) side of the vessel did not come without its complications. These contrasting statements arise in situations that revolved around unawared senses of the ship not initially being able to sink, along with familial choices to stay behind. This changed the perceptions of at least 3 out of 4 women who perished in first class.

Moving forward from basic gender-based details, statistics can aid in presenting the facts of our case as well. For instance, when we tie in that while women and children in first class only comprised 6.82% of all passengers, they resulted in 20.53% of all survivors. Widely contrasting this, the data in Table 1 shows that the majority on board consisted of third class passengers. This select group merely had a 25.04% chance of surviving. As a response to this claim, Lord Mersey, of the British Parliamentary Papers published a report. Mersey stated that ‘the third class had greater reluctance to leave the ship, due to an unwillingness to part with their baggage… leading to difficulties leaving their quarters’ (Pg. 40). Second of all, while 97.33% of all women and children in first survived, there was a stark contrast in third as 42.21% of them made it. Flipping over to men on the Titanic, I noticed from Table 1 that only 20.28% of them accounted in the liner’s survival rate. This fact lends itself to the strict policing of lifeboats due to the ‘women and children only’ rule, with exceptions occurring among the higher classes.

Equally important, varying social statuses also portrayed a monumental piece of saving passengers. This is true since the three distinct sections along with the crew were mainly dispersed amongst personal income. Income typically revolved around numerous price discrimination tactics to maximize profits for the White Star Line. This is revealed in how the typically ‘cheapest ticket would have cost a clerk, typist, or shipyard’s monthly salary. In other words, the most expensive was the price of a luxury automobile’ according to John R. Henderson. Due to the majority of third-class passengers being singled out, a handful of segregated suites, and meeting halls were situated on the first three of ten decks. These blueprint designs lead to fatal flaws that denied immediate access to the fore located lifeboats. On the other hand, the second class utilized stairways to navigate themselves toward the stern; leaving third in a panicked and rather resigned state. Transitioning to the crew, while Captain Smith and the engineers had the heroic duty of going down with his Maiden; the rest of the crew (e.g. cooks, deckhands) were free to ‘jump ship.’ Finally, crews did not provide adequate alerts in a periodic fashion to the lower classes. This act excluded them from survival according to Wayne Hall’s article, ‘Social Class and Survival on the R.M.S Titanic.’

To demonstrate these flawed social-status based details, we must understand the main correlations between gender and class through statistics. To a great degree, we can draw on the ratio of women and children between the first and third class (46.15% to 34.56% respectively). Without reasonable doubt, the data in Table 1 shows that there is a sharp decline in survival as we go down the classes. For example, first class had a 62.46% chance, in second they had a 41.40% chance, while third and the crew barely achieved rates of 25.21% and 23.96%. In other terms, first-class riders had a 37.25% higher likelihood of surviving, while second had a 16.19% of surviving over third class farers. Therefore, the same quantitative bar graph suggests that the wealthier an individual was, the more likely they were to survive. Second of all, while there was a decreasing linear class rate, class centered mainly around their location. This claim is evident in a pamphlet called “The Rough Guide to the Titanic” by Greg Ward. He is paraphrased as confirming that all seven of her ranking officers survived, along with 40/59 (67.80%) of the deck crew survived. This occurred to their occupations being in close proximity to the lifeboats, while engineers in the ballast compartments were less than lucky as all 34 heroically passed.

Going on a tangent, times have changed dramatically since 1912. Prices on normal goods have skyrocketed, which are detailed in the Urban Consumer Price Index. Spanning from a duration of 1871 to 2018, I recognized that prices in 1912 equated to 9.13, compared to a whopping 248.99 presently. When dividing these two data points – the average $1 product at the time of the tragedy would cost $27.27 currently. Drawing upon purchasing power and adjusted inflation rates, most first-class parlor suite’s costing $4,350 would equate to $118,632 today. On the other hand, a berth cabin in first could be fetched at $150, while it would be $4,091 today. Quickly falling down the pricing totem pole which was calculated based on traveler’s wealth and status, I have found that second class bunks formerly cost on average $60. This amount would necessitate someone forking out $1,636 nowadays. Last of all, immigrants more often than not resided in third/steerage class. This cluster generally spent $40 on their voyage, which currently is adjusted for $1,091 in 2018. Finally, due to all the above calculations, when inflation is taken into account we are rest assured that the prices are quite comparable.

Generally speaking, the two upper classes usually were divided amongst wealthier British and Irish populations, while third included a plethora of different nationalities. In addition, their scattered amount countries of origin falls back upon how they were so-called asylum seekers who were stereotyped as being dirty, and of dark complexion. However, researcher Hermann Soldner states in his booklet ‘RMS Titanic: Passenger and Crew List’ that over ‘two-thirds were English or Norwegian descent’ (Pg. 10). Going on another path, it is also important to recognize that there were at least 33 nations being spread across the third class portion of the ship. Therefore, it is hard to give exact survival rates for non-British or Irish farers. Along with that, the data is further skewed due to ethnicity not following the same rationales as nationality. This notion is proven by an editor for the Finnish Migration Institute in Peter Björkfors called ‘Finns on the Titanic.’ He states that “Finns living inside of Sweden were considered Swedes, along with Austrian-Hungarians being Slavics” (Para. 3). Prior to continuing onto the formal nationality survival statistics, we must understand the consequences which deal with relatively small sample sizes as well. These broad guesses that have been created have led to mass rumors by the BBC which have revolved around the British being more polite and gentlemen-like than Americans, amongst several other allegations (Para. 1).

Shifting away from essential background details on nationalities, the column graph I have created can help reveal trends. For example, when we analyze the amount of Irish onboard in third, 35.40% survived – which is almost double as much as the British at 21.31%. Table 1 which I have included for this set of data also identifies ‘others’ as having a survival rate of 25.96%. These varying rates which placed the British at the bottom led to ‘others’ being 4.65% more likely to survive. As a response to that fact, it is also valuable to realize that only 183 British passengers were in third, compared to 416 ‘others’. So, if third class was ideally proportional, the British probably would have a higher rate due to varying sample sizes.


Cite this paper

Statistics of People on Board the Titanic. (2022, Sep 08). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/statistics-of-people-on-board-the-titanic/

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