Jan
29
2009

Who survived the Titanic shipwreck?

A new analysis of passenger survival rates aboard the Titanic reveals interesting cultural differences. Behavioral economists, David Savage and Bruno Frey found that British passengers had a 10 percent lower chance of survival than any other nationality aboard the Titanic. These findings contracted their original hypothesis:

"The Titanic was built in Great Britain, operated by British subjects, and manned by a British crew. It is to be expected that national ties were activated during the disaster and that the crew would give preference to British subjects, easily identified by their language."

The survival rate for American passengers was 12 percent higher than the British. Americans reportedly fought their way to the lifeboats, whereas the British politely waited in line.

Savage and Frey's analysis revealed other disparities in survival rate. More women survived than men and children (aged 15 or younger) were more likely to live than elderly.

"Be British, boys, be British!" the captain, Edward John Smith, shouted out, according to witnesses.

The Titanic captain referred to the social norm of putting women and children first. The passenger survival data suggests that this did occur.

You can learn a lot more about one of the worst maritime disasters in history. The Science Museum of Minnesota is hosting an exhibit on the Titanic opening this summer.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Canadian Tourism's picture

Interesting stats, but curious as to whether they're valid.

For the history buffs, here's a video documenting the Titanic's unique historical ties to Newfoundland . It's worth a look!

posted on Mon, 02/09/2009 - 6:42pm
Candace's picture
Candace says:

wasn't there ever little tests evacuations back then, so if the boat did crash, they would atleast know what they were sapose to do???

posted on Tue, 02/24/2009 - 11:08pm
EWatson02's picture
EWatson02 says:

Nope. In fact, the Titanic sinking was notable because it revealed just how ill-prepared they were for a disaster. There weren't enough lifeboats for all of the passengers--the number of boats a ship was required to have depended on square footage, NOT the number of passengers--and since it had been billed as the "unsinkable ship," no one really expected to have to use them. As a result, after it became apparent that the ship was, in fact, sinking, it became very, very chaotic. Many refused to believe that it was sinking at all (until, of course, the ship was nearly vertical) because they'd been told that it could not sink.

Not only this, but at the time, there were no laws about the ship's radios. Another liner, the Californian, was a mere dozen or so miles away from the Titanic, but since her radio was turned off, she could not respond to calls for help. The Titanic tried signaling with fireworks, but that didn't work either, as the Californian merely thought they were having a celebration.

Needless to say, after the Titanic sinking, many, many laws were changed. And, in fact, I wouldn't be surprised if safety drills became standard as a result of it.

posted on Sun, 04/19/2009 - 5:23pm
bmac1's picture
bmac1 says:

The Titanic actually did have saftey precautions that they took to make sure everything would go how planned. The problem with the titanic was that they didnt no about the ice berg untnnil 30 minutes befor impact. They had 4 extra life boats aboard. the thing with the boats was that people were in such panic they werent sticking around to wait and instead of putting 403 people on one they took 119 which left manyn others stranded.

posted on Sat, 01/23/2010 - 1:23pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

It was more like 37 seconds! Plus, the ship was at cruising spead of 23 miles/hour-no time to really respond-the followed procedure and attempted to go around it. To late!

posted on Thu, 01/28/2010 - 4:41pm
M*'s picture
M* says:

they thought the the ship was unsinkable because it was so big.
M*

posted on Thu, 01/21/2010 - 6:30pm
dora's picture
dora says:

I've also found that documentary movie at http://file.sh . Enjoy!

posted on Tue, 04/14/2009 - 10:02am
kayley's picture
kayley says:

it was so painful for those pepole that lost other people. If Titanic never hit that iceberg this will never happen. its so sad i feel so sorry for them i feel so sorry for those people even the Captain, Captain smith i think he was a great man in those years. its sad.

posted on Fri, 04/17/2009 - 5:24am
Haylie Craig (WI)'s picture
Haylie Craig (WI) says:

Well i think that it sank because the people who were suppose to be watching for ice breargs but they wernt and most of the people would have lived if olny they had enough life boats to carriy all the people but i think most people dieded because there wasent enough life boats

posted on Fri, 01/22/2010 - 5:00pm
DO's picture
DO says:

Before the conclusion can be considered valid one would need to control for the overall passenger distribution by factors they mention such as age but also others like class -- first, second and steerage for example. It's so fascinating that economists seem to have discovered that peole behave differently and that that affects their decisons!

posted on Fri, 04/17/2009 - 1:33pm
Hop's picture
Hop says:

The thing i know is that in the movie there was a jack and ont the real titanic ther was too!!!

posted on Fri, 09/18/2009 - 3:32pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

titanic is cool beans... dont u agree

posted on Wed, 12/09/2009 - 8:01pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

the titanic was huge!!! i can not believe that it crashed!!
XD

posted on Sat, 01/23/2010 - 4:52pm
Rebekah's picture
Rebekah says:

heyy this was really sad that pepole have lost there families cause of the titanic in well i really dont know the year but that was really sad so i pray for all the pepole who died in the titanic shipwreck AMEN.......!!!!!!!!

posted on Sat, 04/03/2010 - 2:41pm

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