Another foundation stone in the study of human development was demography, the science that is concerned with the examination of both the structural factors (distributions by age, sex, marital status, etc.) and dynamic factors (births, deaths, migratory patterns, etc.) in human populations. The work of pioneer demographers such as John Graunt, Edmund Halley, Adolphe Quetelet, and Benjamin Gompertz led to the establishment of civil registries of births, deaths, marriages, and other demographic events in countries throughout the world. Such information was particularly important to the growth of life insurance companies during the nineteenth century. Most countries now have a bureau of demography or a health statistics center for maintaining records of vital statistics on the country's population. In the United States, the National Center for Health Statistics of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services collects nationwide data concerning births, marriages, divorces, and deaths by age, sex, race/ethnicity, geographical region, and month, and makes this information available in publications such as the Monthly Vital Statistics Report. Statistical information on various countries throughout the world is available from the United Nations and certain other organizations. Particularly noteworthy is the Population Reference Bureau, which annually publishes a World Population Data Sheet including statistics by country, continent, and regions within continents on population (overall and by age), projected population, births, deaths, infant mortality rate, fertility rate, life expectancy, contraceptive usage by women, secondary-school enrollment, per capital gross national product (GNP), and certain other derived statistics.
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When over eighty years of age, the poet Bryant said that he had added more than ten years to his life by taking a simple exercise while dressing in the morning. Those who knew Bryant and the facts of his life never doubted the truth of this statement.