Birth Survey

The first survey took place during one week in March 1958, the very special week in which you were all born! The survey was known as the ‘Perinatal Mortality Study’ and was focused on investigating the factors associated with good and poor health amongst mothers and newly born babies.

What we asked

The midwives who delivered the 17,000 of you born in England, Wales and Scotland in that week collected information from your mothers about their health and the families into which you were being born.

Information was also recorded about your mothers’ pregnancy, the circumstances of your birth and your health during your first week of life.

 When you were born…


  • Almost all (96%) of your parents were married.
  • Around a third of your mothers smoked after the fourth month of pregnancy
  • Just under 7 in 10 of you were breast-fed.
  • Just under 1 in 3 of you were born at home.
  • Your average weight at birth was 7 pounds and 4 ounces.
  • The 3 most common boys’ names were: David, John and Stephen.
  • The 3 most common girls’ names were Susan, Janet and Linda.