Demographics of the
TITANIC Passengers:
Deaths, Survivals,
Nationality,
and Lifeboat Occupancy


Sinking based on Jack Thayer's illustration

Breakdown of Passengers by Class Breakdown of Passengers by Nationality
Breakdown of Officers and Crew by Employment Category Demographics of the Lifeboats
Notes Resources Used for Tabulating the Data

I hesitated before creating yet another Titanic Web site, but after I saw the movie Titanic [that tells you how long this page has been around], I was inspired to finish up some research I had started quite some time before. I was curious about the demographics of the passengers and crew of the Titanic -- who perished, who survived, and who occupied which lifeboats. How gravely was the tragedy enhanced by gender, class distinction, and prejudice?

On this site I have compiled numbers, comparing several different sources. The numbers make it all too clear that a rule of First Class First far outweighed the principle of Women and Children First. In addition to simply compiling numbers, however, I have included some notes and analysis and share the sources I used to compile the data.
Titanic First Class Deck Triple Screw Steamer

Deaths and Survivals
Compared:
Women, Children, and Men

Women

Children

Men

Total

Total
Adult Female
Passengers

Total: 412
Died: 108

Survived: 304
% Survived: 72%

Total
Children
Passengers

Total: 112
Died: 56
Survived: 56
% Survived: 50%

Total
Adult Male
Passengers

Total: 776
Died: 648
Survived: 128
% Survived: 16%

Total
Passengers
 

Total: 1300
Died: 812
Survived: 488
% Survived: 37%

Total
Female Staff

Total: 22
Died: 2
Survived: 20
% Survived: 91%

Total
Child Staff or Crew

None.
(Although
some were in
their teens.)

Total
Male Staff and Crew

Total: 896
Died: 701

Survived: 195
% Survived: 21%

Total
Crew and Staff

Total: 918
Died: 703
Survived: 215
% Survived: 23%

Total
Women

Total: 434
Died: 110
Survived: 324
% Survived: 75%

Total
Children

Total: 112
Died: 56
Survived: 56
% Survived: 50%

Total
Men

Total: 1680
Died: 1357
Survived: 323
% Survived: 19%

Total
On Board

Total: 2226
Died: 1523
Survived: 703
% Survived: 32%

 

You must obey orders. When they say 'Women and children to the boats,' you must go when your turn comes.

Breakdown of Passengers by Class

You must obey orders. When they say 'Women and children to the boats,' you must go when your turn comes.

Women

Children

Men

Total

First Class
Women
(Servants*)

Total: 141
Died: 4 (0)
Survived: 113 (24)
% Survived: 97% (100%)

First Class
Children 

Total: 7
Died: 1
Survived: 6
% Survived: 86%

First Class
Men
(Servants*)

Total: 171
Died: 105 (10)
Survived: 54 (2)
% Survived: 32% (17%)

First Class
Total 

Total: 319
Died: 120
Survived: 199
% Survived: 62%

Second Class
Women
(Servants*)

Total: 92
Died: 13 (0)
Survived: 78 (1)
% Survived: 86%

Second Class
Children 

Total: 25
Died: 0
Survived: 25
% Survived: 100%

Second Class
Men
(Servants*)

Total: 155
Died: 138 (4)
Survived: 13
% Survived: 8% (0%)

Second Class
Total

Total: 272
Died: 155
Survived: 117
% Survived: 43%

Third Class (Steerage)
Women

Total: 179
Died: 91
Survived: 88
% Survived: 49%

Third Class (Steerage)
Children

Total: 80
Died: 55
Survived: 25
% Survived: 31%

Third Class (Steerage)
Men

Total: 450
Died: 391
Survived: 59
% Survived: 13%

Third Class (Steerage)
Total

Total: 709
Died: 537
Survived: 172
% Survived: 25%

Total
Women

Total: 412
Died: 108
Survived: 304
% Survived: 74%

Total
Children

Total: 112
Died: 56
Survived: 56
% Survived: 50%

Total
Men

Total: 776
Died: 648
Survived: 128
% Survived: 16%

Total
Passengers

Total: 1300
Died: 812
Survived: 488
% Survived: 37%

Further Steerage Breakdown

Third Class
British Women
boarding in Southampton

Died: 16
Survived: 14
% Survived: 47%

Third Class
British Children
boarding in Southampton

Died: 17
Survived: 8
% Survived: 32%

Third Class
British Men
boarding in Southampton

Died: 110
Survived: 15
% Survived: 12%

Third Class
Total British
boarding in Southampton

Died: 143
Survived: 37
% Survived: 21%

Third Class
Non-British Women
boarding in Southampton

Died: 41
Survived: 27
% Survived: 35%

Third Class
Non-British Children
boarding in Southampton

Died: 29
Survived: 9
% Survived: 24%

Third Class
Non-British Men
boarding in Southampton

Died: 174
Survived: 30
% Survived: 15%

Third Class
Total Non-British
boarding in Southampton

Died: 244
Survived: 66
% Survived: 21%

Third Class
Women
boarding in Cherbourg

Died: 11
Survived: 17
% Survived: 61%

Third Class
Children
boarding in Cherbourg

Died: 4
Survived: 7
% Survived: 63%

Third Class
Men
boarding in Cherbourg

Died: 51
Survived: 9
% Survived: 15%

Third Class
Total
boarding in Cherbourg

Died: 66
Survived: 33
% Survived: 33%

Third Class
Women
boarding in Queenstown, Ireland

Died: 23
Survived: 30
% Survived: 57%

Third Class
Children
boarding in Queenstown, Ireland

Died: 5
Survived: 1
% Survived: 17%

Third Class
Men
boarding in Queenstown, Ireland

Died: 46
Survived: 5
% Survived: 9%

Third Class
Total
boarding in Queenstown, Ireland

Died: 74
Survived: 36
% Survived: 33%


I saw a lot of Italians, Latin people, all along the ship's rails — understand, it was open — and they were all glaring, more or less like wild beasts, ready to spring. -- Fifth Officer Harold Lowe

Breakdown of Passengers by Nationality

Nationality FIRST CLASS SECOND CLASS THIRD CLASS Total
Total Survived Died Percent Survived Total Survived Died Percent Survived Total Survived Died Percent Survived Total Survived Died Percent Survived
American 212 141 71 67% 51 24 27 47% 43 12 21 28% 306 177 119 58%
Australian 0       1 0 1 0% 1 1 0 100% 2 1 1 50%
Austro Hungarian 1 0 1 0% 4 1 3 25% 44 7 37 16% 49 8 41 16%
Belgian 1 1 0 100% 1 0 1 0% 22 5 17 23% 24 6 18 25%
British 45 20 25 44% 164 68 96 41% 118 18 100 15% 327 104 223 32%
Bulgarian 0       0       33 0 33 0% 33 0 33 0%
Canadian 27 13 14 48% 2 1 1 50% 5 0 5 0% 34 14 20 41%
Chinese 0       0       8 6 2 75% 8 6 2 75%
Danish 0       3 0 3 0% 7 1 6 14% 10 1 9 10%
Dutch 1 0 1 0% 0       0       1 0 1 0%
Finn 0       4 2 2 50% 55 17 38 31% 59 19 40 32%
French 12 11 1 92% 14 7 7 50% 5 0 5 0% 31 18 13 58%
German 3 3 0 100% 3 0 3 0% 4 1 3 25% 10 4 6 40%
Greek 0       0       4 0 4 0% 4 0 4 0%
Italian 2 1 1 50% 4 2 2 50% 4 1 3 25% 10 4 6 40%
Irish 3 0 3 0% 4 1 3 25% 113 41 72 36% 120 42 78 35%
Japanese 0       1 1 0 100% 0       1 1 0 100%
Mexican 1 0 1 0% 0       0       1 0 1 0%
Norwegian 0       1 0 1 0% 25 8 17 32% 26 8 18 31%
Portugese 0       1 0 1 0% 3 0 3 0% 4 0 4 0%
Russian 0       9 3 6 33% 18 6 12 33% 27 9 18 33%
South African 0       4 2 2 50% 1 0 1 0% 5 2 3 40%
Spanish 3 2 1 67% 4 4 0 100% 0       7 6 1 86%
Swede 3 2 1 67% 6 2 4 33% 104 23 81 22% 113 27 86 24%
Swiss 6 6 0 100% 1 1 0 100% 4 0 4 0% 11 7 4 64%
Syrian 0       2 1 1 50% 79 31 48 39% 81 32 49 40%
Turk 1 1 0 100% 0       8 2 6 25% 9 3 6 33%
Uruguayan 3 0 3 0% 0       0       3 0 3 0%
  FIRST CLASS SECOND CLASS THIRD CLASS Total
Total Survived Died Percent Survived Total Survived Died Percent Survived Total Survived Died Percent Survived Total Survived Died Percent Survived
Grand Total 324 201 123 62% 283 120 163 42% 708 180 518 25% 1315 501 804 38%

The nationality numbers were adapted from lists and raw data compiled by Hermann Söldner. Note: the numbers on this chart do not match the totals on the two tables above. Although I can account for some of the discrepancies (for example, I think he included the musicians among the British Second Class passengers, but I did not), I do not have enough information about his sources to be able to square his numbers with my own.

Few seamen were boatmen, and few boatmen were seamen.

Breakdown of Officers and Crew
by Employment Category

Women

Men

Total

Total
Female Sailing Crew

None.

Total
Male Sailing Crew
(Officers totaled separately)

Total: 61
Died: 15 (4)
Survived: 38 (4)
% Survived: 73% (50%)

Total
Sailing Crew

 

Total: 61
Died: 19
Survived: 42
% Survived: 70%

Total
Female White Star Crew
 

Total: 20
Died: 2
Survived: 18
% Survived: 90%

Total
Male Non-Sailing
White Star Crew

Total: 746
Died: 595
Survived: 151
% Survived: 20%

Total
Non-Sailing
White Star Crew

Total: 766
Died: 597
Survived: 169
% Survived: 22%

Total
Female Staff, non-White Star Employees

Total: 2
Died: 0

Survived: 2
% Survived: 100%

Total
Male Staff, non-White Star Employees

Total: 89
Died: 87
Survived: 2
% Survived: 2%

Total
Staff, non-White Star Employees

Total: 91
Died: 87
Survived: 4
% Survived: 4%

Total
Female Staff and Crew

Total: 22
Died: 2

Survived: 20
% Survived: 91%

Total
Male Staff and Crew

Total: 896
Died: 701
Survived: 193
% Survived: 21%

Total
Staff and Crew

Total: 918
Died: 703
Survived: 215
% Survived: 23%


It required courage to step into the frail craft as they swung from the creaking davits.

Demographics
of the Lifeboats

Order launched

Time
launched

Number of boat, location

Approx. No. aboard / Capacity / Percentage

Class of
passengers

Men, other than crew, aboard?

1st

12:45

7
FIRST CLASS Deck, Starboard

27/65
41.5%

only FIRST CLASS

over half the occupants were men - several of whom were not even traveling with their wives or families.

2nd

12:55

5
FIRST CLASS Deck, Starboard

35/65
54-61.5%

only FIRST CLASS

approximately half of the passengers were men. "Brides and grooms" were allowed to stay together.

3rd, 1st on Port side

12:55

6
FIRST CLASS Deck, Port

25/65
38.4%

only FIRST

the only male passenger allowed on volunteered to serve as a sailor. He was from 3d class.

4th

1:00

3
FIRST CLASS Deck, Starboard

31/65
48%

only FIRST

at least 17, so slightly more than half were men.

5th or 6th

1:10

1
OFFICERS Deck,
Starboard

12/40
30%

only FIRST

10 of the 12 were men

5th or 6th

1:10

8
FIRST CLASS Deck, Port

27/65
42%

only FIRST

no

7th

1:20

10
SECOND CLASS Deck, Port

55/65
85%

primarily FIRST

no

8th or 9th

1:25

16
SECOND CLASS Deck, Port

42/65
65%

more THIRD than
SECOND

no

8th or 9th

1:25

14
SECOND CLASS Deck, Port

51/65
78%

all, but primarily SECOND

none initially; only lifeboat to turn back to pick up passengers from the water

10th or 11th

1:30

9
SECOND CLASS Deck, Starboard,

40/65
62%

all, but primarily
SECOND

at least 8 were men

10th or 11th

1:30

12
SECOND CLASS Deck, Port

32/65
49%

primarily SECOND

none initially, might have hauled up a male passenger from the water.

12th

1:35

11
SECOND CLASS Deck, Starboard

56/65
86%

all, but mostly
SECOND

at least 5, including men from FIRST CLASS, even though it was not launched from the FIRST CLASS Deck.

13th or 14th

1:40

13
SECOND CLASS Deck, Starboard

54/65
83%

more THIRD than
SECOND, more
SECOND than FIRST

at least 14 were men

13th or 14th

1:40

15
SECOND CLASS Deck, Starboard

57/65
88%

all, but primarily
THIRD

at least 23 were men

15th

1:45

2
OFFICERS Deck,
Port

20/40
50%

FIRST & THIRD

men were removed from the boat before it was moved for launch. At least 1 aboard by the time of launch.

16th

1:50 (had
special
delays)

4
FIRST CLASS DECK, Port

34/65
52%

Primarily FIRST

none initially, but a few male passengers were hauled aboard; only First Class Deck lifeboat to haul up passengers.

17th

1:50

C
OFFICERS Deck,
Starboard

39/49
80+%

primarily THIRD,
some FIRST

at least 10, including J. Bruce Ismay, White Star director

18th

2:05

D
OFFICERS Deck,
Port

17/49
35%

all

at least 4, including those hauled out of water

not launched;
floated off
partially
submerged

2:20

A
on the Roof of the Officers Quarters,
Starboard

unknown (only 13 reached the Carpathian alive)/49

any who could
climb aboard
or hold on

all but 1 were men

not launched;
floated off
upturned

2:20

B
on the Roof of the Officers Quarters,
Port

unknown (only 28 reached the Carpathian alive)/49

any who could
climb aboard
or hold on

all men, but few were passengers

NOTES ON THE TABLES ABOVE

  1. There is no exact or definitive number for the people aboard the Titanic, nor for those who survived. Estimates you can find on the web range widely, and even among reputiable scholars, numbers differ by as many as 40 passengers. There are official documents, such as a Contract Ticket List, a Certificates of Clearance, lists of alien passengers prepared for the United States Immigration Service. There were two official lists of deceased passengers created in 1912. There are discrepancies, inaccuracies, inconsistences, omissions, and other mistakes with both names and numbers. Researchers, such as Michael A. Findlay, Philip Hind, and Lester J. Mitcham, have been able to correct many errors and solve many mysteries, but there will always be a few problems that will never be solved. Because of their research, however, even if an exact number will never be known, wild guesses and faulty estimates from the past can now be rejected.
  2. In several cases the distinction between a passenger and a member of the crew is not clear. Some employees, such as musicians and employees of Harland and Wolff (the shipbuilder), were on board for work. So, even if they were given First or Second Class accommodations, I have included them among the crew, not among the passengers. Until recently, 1296 was my total for number of passengers in the first table. That figure was based on research done by Michael Findlay in the 1990s. With the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, I did some more tabulations, based on more recent estimates and revised it upward to 1300. The number of passengers in the first and second tables now agree. The total numbers in the table for nationalities do not agree, however, since they are based on calculations done by Hermann Söldner, who must have used different sources than I have.
  3. Despite the discrepancies, I think the numbers are close enough to draw some legitimate conclusions. However, I urge you use caution and skepticism as you review them.
  4. Figures for the crew are even less reliable than the numbers for passengers. No accurate crew list was compiled at the time.

DISCUSSION OF THE TABLES ABOVE

To me, a non-statistician, the tables above show significant indications of class discrimination. Evidence of numbers and testimony have proven that only on one side of the Titanic did the rule "Women and children first," apply. What becomes even more clear when looking at the numbers is that a more important concept of the day was "First Class first."

CLASS DISTINCTIONS

  1. For some perspective, here is the price of tickets: First Class tickets ranged from £30 for a berth to £870 for a luxury suite with a private fifty-foot promenade and the only private lavatory and toilet facilities in all the ship. A Second Class ticket could be purchased for as little as £12. Steerage tickets ranged from £3 (for children) to £8, but family tickets were also available to make tickets even more affordable to large families. I have seen various estimates of how much that would be worth in current US dollars, so I think it makes more sense to make a different comparison. The cheapest ticket would have cost a clerk, typist, or shipyard worker a month's salary, and in many cases families would have had to use all their savings to afford the passage. The most expensive First Class ticket was similar in price to that of a very expensive luxury automobile.
  2. The lifeboats were launched from the First Class decks first and the Second Class decks second. There were no decks or lifeboats dedicated to the Third Class.
  3. First Class suites, berths, and social rooms were located principly on the center of the ship on decks A, B, and C (or more poetically the Boat Deck, Promenade Deck and Bridge Deck), with additional cabins on decks D and E. They had either immediate or easy access to the Boat Deck where all of the lifeboats were housed. Lifeboats numbered 1 through 8, which were the first to be launched, were located in the fore of the ship, the First Class Deck. The numbers indicate that First Class Passengers utilized any lifeboat available without compunction.
  4. Second Class rooms were mostly located on decks D and E, with some on lower decks F and G. Where Second Class passengers were on the same deck as First Class passengers, the Second Class passengers were further aft. Some Second Class passengers would have had easy access through a stairway to the stern of the Boat Deck (Second Class Deck) where lifeboats numbered 9 through 16 were located. More by cultural than physcial barriers, the Second Class passengers would have been prohibited from entering the First Class section of the Boat Deck.
  5. Steerage passengers had rooms on lower decks F and G, with some exceptions, and no direct or immediate access to lifeboats on the boat deck. Many steerage passengers who survived did so only by reaching the last of the lifeboats that were launched.
  6. It is difficult for us now living more than a century later to realize and imagine how different people lived and thought. Bigotry of all sorts, especially classism and racism were commonplace and accepted or expected by both the privileged classes and races and the underprivileged.
  7. By law, passed for public health reasons, gates separating steerage passengers from the other passengers had to be locked. Back then steerage passengers were equated with emigrants who were equated with disease and pestilence, and it was thought important to give passengers in more luxurious accommodations peace of mind that the ship would not breed contagion or other hazards to their well-being. The locked gates proved to be the most deadly, but there were other measures used on steerage passengers alone. Before boarding, steerage passengers had to submit to a health inspection, for at least obvious signs of infection, lice, or disease.As a public health measure, the public toilets in steerage had an automatic flushing feature.
  8. Since adult male passengers were more likely to die than women and children, the sex of the passengers should probably by factored in when comparing the survival rate by class, but the percentages are not significantly different. More than 62% of the steerage passengers were adult males, compared to and 64% in Second Class, and 57% of the First Class passengers.
  9. There is contradictory evidence about the degree of physical restraint used to keep steerage passengers from getting to the lifeboats. In addition to the reports that the locked gates remained locked, there were stories that passageways were blocked by armed guards. Testimony by at least one steerage passenger indicated there was no such restraint, which if true would indicate at least one crew member to unlock and free the passageways.
  10. Annie Kelly, an Irish steerage passenger, said that the stewards not only did not wake the steerage passengers with an alarm but told alarmed third class passenger who came up to the deck to go back down as there was no danger. However, similar assurances were given to First and Second Class passengers.
  11. Colonel Archibald Gracie testified at the American inquiry that a "mass of humanity" from steerage poured up onto the boat deck only after all the lifeboats had been launched.
  12. According to several writers and historians, indifference toward steerage passengers and resignation by many steerage passengers may have been more responsible for the low percentages of steerage passenger survival than physical barriers.
  13. Walter Lord, in A Night To Remember, indicates that the White Star Line always denied class distinction in filling the boats, and that both US Senate and British inquiries backed them up.
  14. A contempt for "foreigners" was admitted by the crew in their own testimony, especially when telling stories of men who showed cowardice. The testimony of one officer at the U.S. Senate hearing so angered the Italian ambassador he demanded (and received) a retraction and an apology.

WOMEN AND CHILDREN FIRST?

  1. In simple terms, almost all of the women and children in First and Second Class survived, while most of the women and children in steerage died. In contrast, most of the men in First, Second, and Third Class died.
  2. The "Women and children only" rule was applied on the port side of the ship. It is not clear whether or not the "Women and children first" rule was applied on the starboard. Men comprised the majority of passengers aboard the First Class starboard deck lifeboats, but there was testimony that the men did wait until all the women present and willing had already boarded.
  3. First Class women and children were about 6% of those aboard the Titanic, but constituted 20% of the survivors. In contrast, steerage passengers were a third of all aboard, but only one fourth of those saved.
  4. At least three of the four women in First Class who perished had the opportunity to board a lifeboat but elected to stay with their husbands and/or family. When they initially made their decisions, most passengers still believed that the Titanic would and could not sink and may have been fearful for the safety of the lifeboats and the boarding process itself. There were several
  5. Over half of the women in steerage perished.
  6. All of the lifeboats launched from the starboard First Class Deck had more men than women aboard.
  7. Who was a child was relative depending on class. For example, 14 year old Lucile Carter in First Class was considered a child, but a 14 year old Annie McGowan in Steerage was considered to be an adult. The only child in First Class to go down with the ship was Lorraine Allison. The Allison family was separated from their infant son. The Allisons refused to board a lifeboat until they could find their missing baby. Since the child's nurse had already been taken him on board a lifeboat, the rest of his family never found him and died together.
  8. It may be statistically insignificant because of low numbers, but children from Second Class were the only members of a group to have a 100% survival rate.
  9. Less than a third of the children from steerage survived.
  10. Although half of the Irish women (defined as women boarding in Queenstown) survived, only one of the six Irish children survived (and I am including 14 year old Annie McGowan, whom some do not).

ADULT MALE PASSENGERS

  1. Honor and shame ruled society in 1912 unlike they do a hundred years later. Gentlemen were expected to be honorable and feared being shamed. Men aboard the Titanic, especially those among the upper class, had to weigh their own survival with doing what society would deem the right thing. To survive but live in shame was a risk some men would not take. Different men, dispite which class they belonged to, made different decisions. Famously several of the wealthiest men, John Jacob Astor, George Widener, and Isodor Strauss, refused to board a lifeboat on grounds of honor, even after it was clear that the Titanic would sink.
  2. Men in First Class had no better than a one in three chance of surviving, so compared to women, even women from steerage, they fared poorly. Compared to men from other classes, they did remarkably well. At the time when most of the lifeboats from the First Class decks were launching, it was not certain among the passengers that the Titanic was doomed, and many of the men from First Class who could have gone aboard a lifeboat (those on the starboard side) elected to remain behind.
  3. Even though some men had no trouble boarding lifeboats, there was a report that the wealthiest man on the Titanic, John Jacob Astor, attempted to board the lifeboat with his wife, but was rebuffed by Second Officer Lightoller, who told him, "Women and children, only, sir." Other accounts are differ, however, including one that he was seated in a lifeboat, but gave up his seat at the last minute. Another is that Astor chose to stay behind to encourage William Carter to get on board, promising the boy that he would take care of his dog.
  4. An adult male in Second Class had only an 8% chance of surviving. Even adult male steerage passengers had a better chance of surviving than that. Without supporting evidence, it is hard to say that the men from Second Class gave up their seats to women from steerage, but if it was true, they were more gallant by far than the men from First Class.
  5. Men in Second Class had no physical barriers to pass, so honor and resignation may have reigned high. However, more compelling than a sense of good manners and gentlemanliness was probably the stigma of shame and cowardice that would be attached to many adult males who had the audacity to survive the sinking. As a result, adult male survivors had compelling reasons for their defensiveness and inventions of excuses for boarding a lifeboat.
  6. Panic and confusion may have been an even greater consideration for the loss of life by many men. As Lawrence Beesley, a Second Class passenger, reported in his 1912 book, The Loss of the SS Titanic, a false rumor that men were allowed to board lifeboats on the port side caused many men to cross over to the side of the ship where they had a much smaller chance of being allowed on board a lifeboat.
  7. A high percentage of the men in steerage who got to lifeboats reached them only by leaping onto them after they were launched or by scrambling aboard the two emergency lifeboats as they floated off moments before the Titanic finally went down.

NATIONALITIES

  1. The numbers used above are adapted from a list of country of origin created by researcher Hermann Soldner. His compilations were published in Switzerland in 2000 as a booklet, "RMS Titanic: Passenger and Crew List 10 April 1912-15 April 1912." His research was used as the primary source for the Country of Residence section of the Encyclopedia Titanica.
  2. Most official lists provide no breakdown by nationality beyond British and Non-British.
  3. If any stereotype can be read in the demographics, one might be tempted to cite those spunky Irish, almost all of whom were in steerage, but whom survived by greater precentage than the British, of whom only slightly more than half were in steerage. However, to put that premise in doubt, even more significant is that almost half of the Irish were women, and gender, not nationality, may have been a greater factor in determining likelihood of survival.
  4. Passengers with Third Class tickets are usually billed as immigrants and refugees, and the image that that description can be bring is one of disreputable,  disease-laden, dark complected foreigners. However, almost two thirds were English-tongued British, Americans, and Irish, or fair skinned Scandinavians. The British and Swedes had among the worse survival rates among nationalities in steerage.
  5. By percentage, the Japanese did the best, with a 100% survival rate, but since there was only one Japanese passenger on board, that's a meaningless statistic. The Chinese, Spanish, and Swiss also had a very high survival rate, but there numbers were also all very small. The French survived as well as the Americans, but there were one tenth as many French as Americans.
  6. Nationality is not equivalent to ethnicity. For example, although there is a designation for Finland, ethnic Finns living in Sweden were counted among the Swedes. Peter Bjorkfors, in his Finns on the Titanic article, produces a different total than the list above. Ethnicly the majority from Austria-Hungary were neither German nor Magyar (Hungarian), but from the various Slavic ethnic groups. There were contemporary accounts of many Italians aboard the Titanic, but the statistics do not bear this out. It appears likely "Italian" was the label given most any foreigner with a dark complection.
  7. Haiti is not listed, but one passenger who must have been listed as French was Joseph Philippe Lemercier Laroche, who had been born in Haiti. He had been living in France for more than a decade, and his wife and two children were all born in France. He has been called the only passenger aboard the Titanic of known African ancestry.
  8. Countries, borders, and geopolitical understanding were quite different in 1912 than they are today. There were two Australians and five South Africans, but both nations were considered to be part of the British Commonwealth, so they were originally tallied as British. I have separated them out and subtracted the number from the British totals. There are probably many others from Commonwealth nations that should also be separated out. Turkey and Syria were both part of the Ottoman Empire, but researchers have discovered that most Middle Easterners aboard the Titantic were actually Lebanese Christians. Those listed as Syrians had one of the best survival rates of any nationality in steerage.
  9. Because of the small sample sizes and inexact determination of ethnicity, it seems inappropriate to make any broad conclusions about the personalities of national groups based on survival rates. There was a controversy back in January 2009 that caused this site to get a huge number of hits. The controversy occurred after the BBC and other journalists reported on research that concluded that British passengers were more likely to perish than Americans because they were more polite. In any eyewitness accounts I've read, I've seen no evidence that British men failed to get on lifeboats because of a greater degree of gentlemanliness. Surely the stigma of shame and cowardice, as well as opportunity, fear, confusion, and panic, were greater factors than politeness in who boarded the lifeboats.

TITANIC CREW, EMPLOYEES, AND SERVANTS

  1. The crew of the Titanic were divided into Deck Crew, Engineering Crew, and Victualling Crew. I have created my own employment category of Sailors to single out officers, able-bodied seamen, quartermasters, lookouts, and masters-at-arms from other members of the deck crew.
  2. Seventy percent of the 60 sailors on board survived, many, but not all, because they had been commanded to take charge of lifeboats or to serve as rowers. It may have been the duty of the captain to go down with the ship, but that was not true for most other officers.
  3. Other members of the deck crew were non-sailors. The non-sailing crew were 38% of those aboard the Titanic but only 25% of the survivors. Non-sailing crew members included trimmers, firemen, greasers, window cleaners, carpenters, messmen, engineers, stewards and stewardesses, bell boys, lift attendants, boots, baths, barbers, chefs, cooks, butchers, bakers, confectioners, platemen, scullions, medical staff, and a gymnasium instructor. Only a couple of the non-sailing crew, all firemen, were recruited as rowers on lifeboats.
  4. All 30 engineer and electrical engineers perished. They were true heroes who stayed down below until almost the end trying to keep the ship afloat and the electrical system working.
  5. Some members of the Titanic's crew were not employees of the White Star line. These included nine Guarantee Group members (employees of the shipbuilder, Harland and Wolff, who were on board to familiarize the crew with the ship), eight musicians, two Marconi operators, five postal clerks, and the nearly seventy members of the staff of the First Class a la carte restaurant. This group of non-White Star line crew members had the worst rate of survival.
  6. The musicians, who traveled in Second Class, and the Guarantee Group, three of whom traveled in First Class and five of whom in Second Class, are included among passengers in some lists, as is Frans Olof Carlsson, who was the first mate on the liner St. Louis, but had been stranded by the coal strike and was traveling in First Class to return to his ship. I have included them with the crew. All were men; all perished.
  7. Almost all of the a la carte restaurant workers were French. All but two were men. Both women, neither of whom were French, reached a lifeboat. Only one male restaurant worker survived.
  8. As an indication of class distinction, the first official lists of Titanic passengers did not include the names of the maids and manservants who traveled with the First Class passengers. They were merely extensions of the passenger. For example, "Cardeza [sic], Mrs. J. W. M. and Maid."
  9. The story quickly emerged that four maids died, trapped below deck, because they had been sent down to the purser's office to fetch their employers' valuables. In the first official lists, indeed, four maids are listed among those who perished, the maids of Mrs. Cardeza, Mrs. Douglas, Mrs. Hays, Mrs. Penasco y Castellana. Researcher Michael Findlay, however, has disproved the myth by documenting that all four of these women, Bertha LeRoy, Fermina Oliva y Ocana, Annie Perreault, and Anne Ward, survived. In fact, all female servants traveling in First and Second Class survived.
  10. While maids, nurses, and valets traveled in First Class, three chauffeurs and a cook traveling with First Class passengers were given Second Class accommodations. The cook (a female) survived, but none of the chauffeurs (all male) did.
  11. Only two menservants survived. One was Henry Sleeper Harper's Egyptian dragoman (an interpreter and guide) named Hamad Hassah, "whom he picked up in Cairo as a sort of a joke [according to Walter Lord]." The Harpers also brought on board the lifeboat their other "pet," a Pekingese, named Sun Yet-sen. The other surviving manservant was Gustave Lesueur, valet to Mr Thomas Cardeza. Cardeza was traveling with his mother, and there was a report that the mother, son, and two servants boarded Lifeboat 3 as an entourage.

LIFEBOATS

  1. Lifeboats were the luxury of the First Class. The White Star Line staff was deferential to the First Class in all things, so it was natural that the launching of the lifeboats began on the First Class decks. Half the lifeboats, and all of the first six launched, contained only passengers from First Class, plus crew members to do the work. Although no one but First Class passengers could board a First Class deck lifeboat, First Class passengers were welcome to board First and Second Class deck lifeboats.
  2. Lawrence Beesley, a surviving Second Class passenger, reported that several women in Second Class were turned away when they tried to enter the part of the deck reserved for First Class where half the lifeboats were located. Later, however, First Class passengers easily found their way to the lifeboats not located on the First Class deck.
  3. The total capacity of the combined total of lifeboats was rated at 1,178, but the rating was not necessarily a practical number. According to testimony provided at the British inquiry, a more realistic capacity for a lifeboat rated for 65 was closer to 50, except on the most favorable conditions. On the night of the sinking of the Titanic, the sea was absolutely smooth and still -- "most favorable conditions."
  4. All of these early launched "First Class" lifeboats were notorious for being launched at less than half capacity. The number of passengers was also far below what would have been a comfortable number.
  5. All of the lifeboats launched from the starboard First Class Deck had more men than women aboard. Whether or not they boarded after all the women were given a chance is not certain.
  6. The crew loading passengers on the port side were quite extreme in enforcing a "Women and Children Only" policy. They not only refused to allow men to board, but in at least one case, physcially removed men who had seated themselves.
  7. According to testimony of Dr. Washington Dodge, a third of the lifeboats had been launched, including those furthest from capacity, before there was a general consensus among the passengers that the Titanic would or could sink.
  8. Especially early on, when only the First Class passengers had the option to board, most believed that boarding a lifeboat was not wise or necessary. The crew was not well trained in lowering the boats, the pulleys did not function smoothly, so anyone watching the jerky, delayed, and hesitant lowering might easily conclude that the safer option would be to stay aboard the world's largest most luxurious lifeboat, the Titanic itself.
  9. Although lifeboat 4 picked up six or eight passengers from the water and D hauled in at least one man before they distanced themselves from the ship, the only lifeboat to go back to try to rescue people after the Titanic went under was 14, not a "First Class" lifeboat. It was only able to pick up three or four passengers from the water.
  10. Testimony has made it clear that Captain Smith and the chief officers of the Titanic knew before the first lifeboat was launched that the Titanic would sink, but no one among the crew took measures to ensure that all boats were adequately filled.
  11. Naval traditions and social customs and some absence of knowledge did not give the crew doing the actual loading of the lifeboats any capacity for planning or making any but the most pressing reasoned judgments.
  12. The decision to allow so many lifeboats to be launched at less than half capacity when it was known that the Titanic would sink in a matter of hours rested with Captain Smith. Some have charged that it was his indecision, rather than any overt decision by him, that cost so many lives.

RESOURCES WITH TITANIC FACTS AND STATISTICS

RESOURCES USED FOR CALCULATING THE TABLES:

There were earlier efforts attempted to compile passenger names and information, as well:



All photographs used on this page have been included in the belief that they are in the public domain. The animated illustration at the top of the page showing the sinking of the Titanic is based on the following six sketches of the sinking drawn by Jack Thayer, a 17-year old surviver, who also drew them while on board the Carpathian on April 15, probably not long after he came aboard. His sketches were first published to illustrate an account he wrote that was included as a chapter in Sinking of the Titanic and Great Sea Disasters - As Told by First Hand Account of Survivors and Initial Investigations edited by Logan Marshall, was published in 1912 by several publishers, including The International Bible House, which was my source. How accurate the sketches are cannot be confirmed, but Thayer showed the Titanic breaking in two, which was not widely believed until after Robert Ballard's underwater team proved him right in 1985.


Jack Thayer's sketch of the sinking of the Titanic

This page maintained by John R. Henderson (jhenderson @ icyousee . org).
I am a librarian at Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY, but this page has been an avocational activity.
First created on 6 June 1998. Last modified & links last checked on 21 July 2014.
URL: http://www.icyousee.org/titanic.html