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1. Sex and Age of the Population.

Sex and age

Nations differ in the proportions of the sexes and ages of their people, and these differences are of fundamental importance, as they regulate both strength and development. Thus, in the middle of the Census year, there were 345,392 boys and 340,980 girls in their first year of age; 207,943 young men and 215,114 young women of 20; 123,301 men and 132,183 women of 40; 62,494 men and 68,570 women of 60; 10,551 men and 13,471 women of 80; 37 men and 90 women returned of the age of 100 and upwards; and each intermediate age has its allotted numbers in diminishing gradation as the generation dies away. A change in these proportions changes the character of the nation.

The numbers are here taken from the graduated table (p.47.), and it may be well to remark that although minute instructions were given, the ages are not in every case exactly returned in the English or in any other Census; not generally from any fraudulent intent, but because they are not exactly known or remembered.1 In the Report of 1851 we questioned the value of the evidence alleged in support of some historical instances of extreme longevity, and since then the instances investigated tend to show that while a certain number of individuals in each generation live, as the ancients discovered, 100 years (saeculum) or more, the number of such cases is exaggerated among the illiterate in every country where birth registers are not kept. It must not, however, be assumed for a moment to be impossible that a small remnant out of a vast number of people should live over a century. The probability is the other way; for under an ascertained law the numbers of a generation fall off at a rate of mortality continually increasing, but yielding a series of lives terminating at no definite point; and man goes through successive changes, which are not completed in less than a hundred years, to which term a perfect life may in ages to come approximate. All that is here insisted on is that these exceptional instances are now rare, and require the support of strong evidence, which should only be accepted after having undergone the searching criticism of competent inquirers. The Census itself, by recording the ages every ten years, tends to check the disposition to put on the dial of life as age advances, and it is probably to this that must be ascribed the progressive diminution since the year 1841 of recorded centenarians, rather than to an y decline of their actual numbers. The persons of the age of 100 and upwards when the ages were first returned amounted in 1821 to 216, and in 1841 to 249; in the two Censuses following to 215 and 201; in 1871 the number fell to 160, to 41 men and 119 women.2 Many of these men and women must have been born before 1771,—before Lord Liverpool,3 a prime minister now historic, was born—in the early part of the reign of George III.; and in those years the births certainly exceeded the births previous to 1721, of which the centenarians of 1821 were the survivors.

NUMBERS RETURNED of the age 100 and upwards.
Sex. 1821. 1841. 1851. 1861. 1871.
Males 68 83 78 55 41
Females 148 166 137 146 119
Total 216 249 215 201 160
Born in or before 1721 1741 1751 1761 1771

The registry of Baptisms in the church since the sixteenth century and the civil Registration of Births in operation since 1837 have led to a more exact knowledge of the ages of the population in England than in some other countries, and if the people had all been taught to read and write, the ages would have no doubt been returned as accurately as they have been in Sweden. As it is, a certain excess has been thrown on the decennial years, 50, 60, 70, and so on, at the expense of the contiguous ages. Erroneous These inequalities are rectified in the Graduated table, where the numbers are distributed at the several ages by the method of differences, which takes into account the law of the decrement of the living in England, either by age or emigration.4 The numbers between the ages of 15-25, and every successive decennial, agree with those returned, for no attempt has been made to correct any but accidental mistakes.


124,808 persons, of the age of 80 and upwards in 1871, were born before the French revolution, and lived through the great war, when amidst the struggle the English race increased so rapidly to meet the demands on its resources; 499,779 that had passed the term of three score years and ten had not attained to four score years; and no less than 1,050,138 men and women were 60 and under 70 years of age in 1871 against nearly half that number (549,218) in 1821. At the next earlier age, 40-60, of which 50 is the middle point,—the intellectual age, the age of masters, the legislative, the judicial age,—the numbers rise to 3,973,863. At the age 20-40, when growth is complete,—the athletic age, the reproductive age, the soldier's age, the beautiful age,—the numbers were 6,841,897. At the ages under 20,—the infant, the school, the apprentice ages,—the numbers were 10,436,225; this is the coming generation of Englishmen.

Infants and adults

The numbers of the population are divided into two equal parts by the age 22 ½. Boys by the law of England may consent to marry at the age of 14, girls at 12, but cannot legally marry under the age of 21 without the consent of their guardians. The law has fixed on 14 as the age at which boys and girls can distinguish right and wrong in the legal sense; under 7 children are legally irresponsible; between 7 and 14 they are in certain cases responsible. The number of boys under 14 was 3,886,868; of girls under 12 the number was 3,397,983. The number of persons of full age in the legal sense was 12,067,428; of infants under the age of 21 there were 10,859,282; the number of children under 7, irresponsible in the legal sense, was 4,203,427. These legal divisions of life are evidently based on the "seven ages" of Hippocrates, which have, however, no advantage over the quinquennial division of life first established in the national statistics of Sweden.

Varro's stages of life

Varro's division of life into equal stages ending at 15, 30, 45, 60, and 75 or more served to distinguish in his view the Roman pueri, adolescences, juvenes, seniores , and senes .5 In English the different stages of life are designated by the words babe, suckling, infant, child, implying no distinction of sex; and by boy, girl, lad, lass, youth, maiden; and young, middle-aged, old-man, woman. The terms are precise enough for popular use, and the numbers represented closely enough by the living at certain, ages may be compared with the corresponding groups twenty years ago. In 1851 and 1871 the numbers of babes and sucklings (under 1 year) were 496,552 and 686,372; of infants (1-5 years) 1,858,793 and 2,394,442; of children (5-10 years) 2,098,808 and 2,714,932; of boys (10-15 years) 970,260 and 1,225,209 of girls (10-15) 952,248 and 1,207,224; of youths (15-20 years) 893,938 and 1,098,192; of maidens 886,640 and 1,109,854; of young men (20-30 years) 1,566,855 and 1,888,020; of young women (20-30 years) 1,647,274 and 1,980,586; of men of middle age (30-50 years) 2,059,231 and 2,547,084; women of middle age (30-50 years) 2,121,059 and 2,724,505.

The school age

The number of children of the school age, 3 and under 13 as defined by the Education Act is, of boys, 2,687,631, of girls, 2,686,670; the numbers of the two sexes are nearly equal, and they comprise 5,374,301, or 23 per cent., nearly one fourth of the population.

The recruiting age

The number of men of the age, 17 and under 26, at which recruits are accepted under the present regulations is 1,834,954, including effectives serving at those ages. If there were a conscription of young men at the age of 20, the annual contingent furnished by England and Wales would be about 207,943, who, if they continued under the flag five years, would amount to 1,017,862. After striking off those unfit to serve the available force may be readily ascertained. Now, though the British army is recruited by voluntary enlistment, the mean age of recruits is about 20 years.

The number living is continually increasing; thus the number of young men attaining the age of 20 twenty years ago (1851) was 171,812, and 207,943 in 1871; so if the recruiting staff does not get volunteers in that proportion, it is not for lack of men, but of inducements to serve.

Survivors of previous Censuses

The population of England and Wales was first enumerated in 1801 with distinction of sex, and in 1821 with voluntary distinction of age in nine tenths of the cases,6 which it is believed fairly represented the ages of the whole population. In 1831 only the numbers of males under and above the age of 20 were distinguished. In 1841 and the three Censuses following the ages were affixed to each name in the Schedule, and the numbers living in each quinquennial age have been published. We are thus able to follow each generation from Census to Census through several stages; for it is evident that the 2,002,856 boys under the age of 10 years in 1841 must have been born in the ten previous years; and the 1,864,198 youths in 1851 of the age 10-20, provided migration did not intervene, were their survivors; so were the 1,689,180 young men of 20-30 counted in 1861; and the 1,430,127 men of 30-40 enumerated in 1871: they were all alike the survivors of the children born in the ten years preceding the Census of 1841, which are represented by the births in 1831-40, if we neglect the slight difference between the births in the ten years ending on the Census day of 1841 and the ten years ending December 31, 1840.

Factors of population

Leaving immigration out of account, the numbers found by the Census living in the country at any age depend on two totally distinct factors: (1) on the numbers born in the year of their birth, and (2) on the numbers of them that (a) die or (b) leave the country between the date of birth and the date of enumeration. The mean ages of a population may therefore be reduced in three ways: (1) most obviously by a high rate of mortality shortening their lives, inasmuch as numbers living at the advanced ages will all thereby be reduced; (2) by the emigration of adults in undue proportion; and (3) less obviously but as certainly by increase of births, for then the numbers at advanced ages are fewer than they should be in proportion simply because the numbers of children born years ago", of which adults are the survivors, were fewer than the children born in recent years. Thus the 806,722 men of the age of 50-60 in the year 1871 are the survivors of the 1,689,578 boys of the age of 0-10 when the Census of 1821 was taken; and if the boys of that early age had amounted in 1821, as they did in 1871, to 2,896,209, the 806,722 men of 50-60 would have been raised in the same proportion to about 1,400,000, the expected number of surviving men at that age half a century hence.


All Ages 3,883,363 7,175,571 11,058,934 3,948,527 7,704,805 11,653,332
  0— 5,951 5,186,815 5,192,766 34,573 5,155,114 5,189,687
 20— 1,806,007 1,376,327 3,182,334 2,080,991 1,423,360 3,504,351
 40— 1,569,571 329,168 1,898,739 1,463,843 583,118 2,046,961
 60— 483,524 248,499 732,023 359,887 477,973 837,860
 80— 18,305 34,726 53,031 9,228 65,126 74,354
100 and upwards 5 36 41 5 114 119

2. Mean Age of the Population.

Mean age at three censuses

The mean age of the English population has remained constantly since 1851 at 26.4 years. This is the same result as is obtained by adding up the ages of every Censuses. person living, and dividing by the total number of such persons.7 The mean age of males was less than the mean age of females by 0.8 of a year, for the mean age of the males was 26.0, of the females 26.8 years.8 The mean age in England of the people of 20 years and upwards remained also very constant; it was at the three last Censuses 40.4, 40.7, and 40.8 years.

The fact to observe is that the people of England, which calls herself Old, are younger than the people of many other countries, and certainly younger than the people of the countries of stagnation, not because life is shorter, but because the "births, instead of remaining stationary, are continually increasing, and infusing youthful blood into the people. The emigration of adults also reduces the mean age of the left.

The mean natural age of the people living, deduced from the Life Table, is actually 32.1 years—of the males 31.77, of the females 32.33. That would be the actual age of the population had there been no migration and had the births remained constant.

3. Successive Numbers in a Generation enumerated.

It has been before shown that from the numbers living at the decennial ages enumerated since 1821 we can trace a generation, say born between two Census years, through several of the successive stages of life. This is so important in enabling us to look before and after us, and it admits of so many useful applications, that we must invite attention to its discussion. Take the 1,864,198 youths living at the ages 10-20 in 1851; follow them to 1861, when their numbers will naturally be reduced by deaths, of which we know the numbers very nearly, and may be further reduced by emigration or augmented by immigration; after the balance is struck the 1,689,180 enumerated at the age 20-30 remain, so they have been reduced by 9.4 per cent. of their original number, 7.2 per cent. by death and 2.2 per cent. by the excess of emigrants leaving, over immigrants entering the Kingdom. The same reasoning applies to other stages of life, and to the other Decrements of Censuses at which the ages of the people were enumerated; and it is clear that From the decreasing numbers as age advances the rates of decrease attaching to each of the several decennial intervals of life can be determined, these rates depending on the rates of mortality and of emigration appropriate to the age. The three orders of rates, and their geometrical mean, deduced from the last four Censuses are compared in the Tables with the rates of the English Life Table from which the element of emigration is excluded, as in it the decrements are from death alone.

The effect of emigration is merely to remove a portion from the population to be enumerated to America, for instance, or elsewhere, so that they cannot come into account in the English Census; and once taken out of the population at the age 20-30, or any other stage of life, the numbers of their survivors are kept out of the next numbers enumerated in successive decenniads of life at successive decennial Censuses, unless they return, as some do, to the motherland as they advance in years.

The above rates can be employed as factors, and on the assumption that they remain for a tune constant, or vary not enough to produce any marked perturbation, the ages unenumerated in 1831, in 1811, and even in 1801 and 1791 can be determined by their means with sufficient accuracy. This has been attempted, and the results are shown in the Tables. Thus, from the 1,027,487 men living of the age 30-40 in 1841, by means of the appropriate factor, the numbers of men of the age 20-30 in 1831 were deduced; they were compared with the numbers of the same age deduced by another factor from 1,295,104 youths of 10-20 years of age enumerated in 1821. The number of the men of the age 20-30 in the Kingdom in 1831 was thus found to be 1,207,641; and the same method applied to the ten other decenniads of life gave a total of 6,968,155 males and 7,136,065 females of all ages, making the total population 14,104,220, or only 33,539 more than, and probably quite as near the truth as, the 14,070,681 enumerated. The numbers at the several ages in 1801 and 1811, determined by the same method, yield aggregate populations only very slightly in excess of those enumerated.

Thus we show that the 1,351,422 men aged 20-40 of 1801, in the midst of the long war, have risen to 3,304,477 in the year 1871, the increase of strength being represented by 2,000,000 men of the athletic age.

The results obtained by the same method for the latter part of the last century are shown in another table; they are less certain, but generally agree with other estimates, and with what is known of the state of the country at that period.

But her past is of much less practical importance than her future population to England. Who can foresee ? Will the population stand still? or will it go on increasing for any definite time, and at what rate ? Will the labourers multiply faster than the demand for their arms? or will there be a scarcity of hands to work and of heads to elicit, to control, to utilize the inexhaustible forces of nature ? Difficult as the problem is, science yields at least a partial solution.

4. Probable number of people living at decennial ages in 1881.

Population 1881

This problem, of no slight practical importance, is divisible into two parts : having divided the males and females of 1871 into ten groups of ten-year ages, we must first inquire how many of each group will be alive in 1881? That can be determined from the Life Table, by the method already referred to, with great certainty; but an. uncertain number of them will be in other lands in that year, and the numbers remaining can be determined on the hypothesis that the law of migration is constant for a definite time, and will rule for the ten years to come as it has in the 30 years past. Without entering into arithmetical details, the result is, that out of the existing population 19,365,188 at the several decennial ages in the table will probably be living in England and Wales in 1881, 3,561,522 having died or emigrated in the period of ten years. They will be ten years of age and upwards.

But what will be the number of boys and girls aged 0-10, necessarily unborn when the Census of 1871 was taken, probably living here under the age of ten in 1881. To this there is no such clue as that which has hitherto guided us. It depends upon another important factor, namely, the number of births in the ten years, and the number of births depends mainly upon the number and fertility of the women at the ages 20-40. Now the number of women of that age has latterly continually increased; thus the women of the age 20-40 were 2,552,889 in 1841 and in 1871 no less than 3,515,284, the proportion of them married showing no diminution.

Hence it may be inferred that the children will probably increase as fast in the next as in the preceding ten years, thus amounting to 6,640,910 in 1881. So unless some great perturbation intervene, which is always possible, there will be, in the next ten years, an addition of 3,079,388 to the population of England and Wales alone, making the numbers by the estimate twenty-six millions six thousand and ninety-eight.

Railroads, ships, houses, fabrics, food, raw materials, products of every kind must keep pace with this accession to population; and so must the power of England.

5. Actual increase of Population.

The increase of numbers has every ten years been found greater. In the first ten years of the century, during the war, the increase was 1,298,358; in the ten years up- to 1821, six years after the battle of Waterloo, a great stride was made, and the increase was 1,718,135: the lengthening columns of population steadily marched on, and the muster roll of recruits attained the high figure of 2,174,327 in the ten years that ended in 1861. The increase of the increase was least in the interval from 1841-51, after the potato disease and the cholera epidemic. Indeed, although the numbers increased, they did not increase in the same proportion to the population; for the annual rate of increase constantly declined for each successive decenniad from 1.53 per cent. in 1811-21, to 1.45, to 1.33, to 1.22, and to 1.14 in 1851-61. Had this decrease of rate, as it did from 1841 to 1861, gone on down to 1871, the population in the middle of that year would have been 22,311,021, whereas it was 22,926,710. The cause of this unexpected turn of population will be discussed in a subsequent page.

6. Possible increase or decrease of Population.

Movement of population

Under the previous computation the births in the 10 years 1871-80 will be 8,702,562; the unreplaced emigrants and dead, 5,623,174; and besides the large numbers replaced- by immigrants a certain number of the English will be in other parts of the world. But it is evident that all these numbers are variable; they may be altered by new causes, they may be voluntarily increased or diminished within certain limits.


The deaths may be increased by destructive epidemics arising out of bad hygienic conditions, and the neglect of measures to provide adequately for the new army of three millions to be called out in the next ten years, a number amazing as it must be to any Military Control Department, and larger than Xerxes marched over the Hellespont; or the mortality may be immeasurably reduced, if the mind, the science, the power, and the administrative skill of the country be energetically directed to that object.


The births , again, are under control to an extent which has not yet been duly appreciated, but is now rendered clear by the Census. This will be shown by an examination of the facts. Leaving unregistered births out of account, the number of children registered as born in wedlock during the ten years 1861-70 was 7,043,090; the wives, all between the ages of 15 and 55, were more than three millions one hundred and fifty thousand, and the number of unmarried women of those ages was full two million seven hundred and ninety thousand, who bore only 457,006 children in the ten years. But as the greater part of the children of this country are borne by women of the age 20-40 we may take them here as the basis of calculation, and then to every 100 wives of that age 35.87 children were born annually (1861-70); while to every 100 spinsters and widows living of the same age only 3.34 children were born. But in 1871 the number of wives enumerated at the age 20-40 was 2,080,991, who at the above rate would give birth to 746,452 children in the year. And the number of spinsters and widows of the same age was 1,423,360, who, if married with the same fertility as the wives, would in that year have borne 510,559 children, but at the actual registered rate only bore 47,540 children, leaving 463,019 over.

The married women are to some extent a selected class, and so, striking off 333,931 from the unmarried women of the age 20-40, there are left 3,000,000 married or marriageable women, living through 1861-70, who at the rate actually observed among the wives would have borne 10,761,000 children, instead of 7,500,096.

At the birth rate cited, to every wife of 20-40 a child is born nearly every three years (2.8); but in some counties the mean interval between each birth approaches 2½ years, and looked at physiologically it might, after allowing for wives with no children and other drawbacks, be reduced to two years, which, with the additional marriages, would have the effect of doubling the number of births. There is, therefore, no doubt that even in England the number of births in wedlock admits of great expansion, and would receive it in the event of great demands on the resources of the nation to fill up its ranks from losses in war, from the ravages of a decimating plague, from the efflux of a great emigration; or to meet any extraordinary development of commence and industry.

Then, as only 78,225 of the young women of the ages 15 to 21 are wives, of ages ranging in number from 151 at 15 to 43,652 at 20, there remains a further reserve of 1,240,743 maidens unmarried; so that England is in truth fertile in men, ferax hominum , and holds an ample reserve to meet whatever demands may be made upon her by fate in the future.


A danger quite different from that of depopulation is descried ahead of some thinkers:—Over population outstripping the means of subsistence, poverty, starvation and misery, Prophesied before 1801, and, though long delayed, inevitable. This danger on examination will be found as unreal as its converse, for in spite of numerous exceptions, there is abundant evidence of the prudence of all classes of the existing population. Thus, scarcely any men marry under the age of 20; of 100 men of each age, 77 are bachelors at 20-25; 39 are still bachelors at 25-30; 23 are bachelors at 30-35; 15 are bachelors at 35-10, and 12 are bachelors at 40-45; after this ago bachelors dwindle down from 10 to 7. Out of the same numbers, the spinsters under 20 are 97; at 20-25 they are 65; and in the successive five-year periods 36, 22, 17, and 14; after the age of 45 the spinsters gradually decline from 12 to 10 in 100 women living of the respective ages.

In sixteen English, counties and in all North Wales, from 40 to 45 per cent. of the women of the reproductive age, 20-40, are spinsters. And after marriage the births are evidently kept down in England, but happily not to the extent that France has shown is possible.

In both England and France the number of unmarried women of the age 15-55 who bear children is the same; it is small and does not exceed one in sixty.

To 100 wives of the ages between 15 and 55 in England, 22 children are born annually; in two counties, Norfolk and Hereford, the number falls below 20, and that is the lowest point attained.

French birth-rate

In France, according to the last returns of 1863-69, the proportion of children born annually to 100 wives of 15-55 was 15.

Legitimate Births to 100 married Women. Illegitimate Births to 100 unmarried Women. Legitimate Births to 100 married Women. Illegitimate Births to 100 unmarried Women.
ENGLAND AND WALES (1861-70) 22.35 1.64 35.87 3.34
FRANCE (1863-69) 15.10 1.62 26.39 3.33

Thus, at the French rate, the English wives would have borne annually in 1861-70 only 475,918 children, whereas their lawful children actually registered were 704 309.9 475,948 births would not have replaced the 479,450 annual English deaths in the period., so the population, without any emigration, would have declined. In France more women marry than in England, and though they have fewer children to a family the population is not sensibly declining.

This is a question of numbers which are not much swayed either way by the direct action of the wealthy, the scientific, or the highly cultivated. It involves the sustained systematic policy of two masses of people,— of the Catholic peasant proprietors and of the artizans of France, with few settled colonies, on the one hand; of the Protestant workmen, labourers, miners, artizans, and mariners of England, with vast colonial possessions, on the other. The social policy in both cases may perhaps be considered open to censure, and yet may not be without vindication in the circumstances of the two nations. If the French parent asks how many of his children have a chance of a livelihood on a parcel of the dear land he loves so well and regulates his family accordingly, he appears to have the sanction of the school of economists founded by an Englishman: while on the English side we contend, with the facts revealed by the Census in our hands, that the English people have instinct tively pursued a great and wise policy: they have increased at variable rates; by increasing rapidly since the last century they have exalted England to a height over topped by no other power; they have peopled colonies; they have planted wide in perpetuity the English race; and they have exercised a great part in the government of the finest regions of the earth. That they have done under great discouraged ments and at great sacrifices. Malthus told them at the beginning of the century that by the principle of population they were increasing in geometrical progression that they were thus perpetually pressing upon the means of subsistence, which increased in arithmetical progression; that this was the inevitable cause of misery, of which the only mitigations were destructive diseases cutting down their numbers, or the diminution of marriages and births by prudence. And in the eyes of an impartial observer an agricultural labourer in the country, an artisan in the towns, or a poor clerk, with the current wages, must have appeared a bold, certainly not a prudent man, who undertook to marry—to keep himself, his wife, and any number of children from one to ten, under all the chances and changes of his own existence and of the world he was living in. He might die; he might be maimed; lie might be thrown out of work; his family — he himself—-might die of want. The difficulties he had in bringing up a family were real; and they had to be met every day. But greatness was opening on the country; so in the midst of struggling poverty, in spite of difficulties, in the face of death itself, the nation, conscious of its energy, fought on through the conflict, led by the same daring spirit as animated its fathers at the cry of the king:

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with our English dead!

Thousands perished in the strife, but millions survived with all the vigour of their breed.

The labouring classes were supported in their course by that national institution, the English Poor Law, which, with all its radical defects, is a recognised system of insurance of the whole population, secured on property, against death, by starvation. This law, after the American "War and the French devolution, came into full operation under Mr. Pitt's administration and the administrations that followed. The 2,004,239l. expended in poor relief in 1785 rose to 4,077,891l. in 1802, to 6,656,106l. in 1813, and to 7,330,254l. .10 in 1820. The old, the infirm, the helpless, and orphans were not only relieved, but able-bodied men were found work; on certain conditions they had a right to work and relief. This was found open to abuse in administration, and under the new poor law the expenditure was suddenly reduced in 1837; it has since risen in amount, but not in proportion to the population. The Government and the territorial proprietors had displayed as great resources and as great courage under the new conditions as the workmen of the country who went on marrying and multiplying; and so instead of revolutions, and agrarian outrages, and great suffering, and high mortality, and a dwindling race, England had a high poor rate, a vaster population, an immense development of industry at home, and of commerce and colonies abroad.

7. Conjugal Condition of the Population.

Marriage is the institution by which the population is primarily regulated; and while it is the great adjuster of the numbers it is at the same time the guardian and the educator of the generations to come. To the urns of Death all contribute; but with the annual marriages and the births the great mass of the population, the young and the old, have nothing directly to do. These events are under the control of about one fourth part of the population in the prime of life. The fertility of marriages is determined first by nature, and, in the second place, by the ago of women, at marriage, as is evident, in spite of all controversy. If the marriage age of women become 20, or 30, or 35, the number of years of marriage and of children to a marriage changes; so does the interval between generations, and the probability that the parents will both live to rear and to launch their offspring in the world under favourable auspices.


Mean Age at Marriage of Persons married in the 10 years 1861-70:— Mean Age at Marriage in 1871:—
  Total Men married 27.8 years   Of Bachelors who married Spinsters 25.3 years
  Total Women married 25.6 years   Of Spinsters who married Bachelors 23.5 years
  Bachelors married 25.7 years   Of Bachelors who married Widows 32.3 years
  Widowers married 42.4 years   Of Widows who married Bachelors 34.1 years
  Spinsters married 24.3 years   Of Widowers who married Spinisters 39.6 years
  Widows married 39.1 years   Of Spinsters who married Widowers 31.8 years
Mean Age of Persons Living in 1871:—   Of Widowers who married Widows 47.4 years
  Bachelors living of the age 15 and upwds 25.3 years   Of Widows who married Widowers 43.4 years
  Husbands living of the age 15 and upwds 43.1 years      
  Widowers living of the age 15 and upwds 60.0 years      
  Spinsters living of the age 15 and upwds 26.5 years      
  Wives living of the age 15 and upwds 40.6 years      
  Widows living of the age 15 and upwds 58.9 years      


Mean Age at Marriage of Persons married in 1866:—
  Total men married 29.9 years
  Total Women married 25.7 years
  Bachelors married 28.3 years
  Widowers married 42.4 years
  Spinsters married 24.8 years
  Widows married 38.3 years

The ages at which two thirds of the people married in England during the last ten years are known, and are shown in the Table. Men and women intermarry at all ages; but eight in ten of the brides and bridegrooms at their first marriage are between the ages of 20 and 30, when growth is completed and the frame has attained maturity; the mean age of both sexes at their first marriage is 25—the bridegrooms being 25 2/3 , the brides 24 3/10, according to the registers. The real disparity is probably about a year.

MEAN AGE of PERSONS who MARRIED in 1861-70, above the Age of 15 Years

AGE. Bachelors. Widowers. Bachelors and Widowers. Spinsters. Widows. Spinsters and Widows.
15 & upwards 25.65 42.4 27.8 24.3 39.1 25.6

MEAN AGE of PERSONS LIVING in 1871, above the Age of 15 Years.

AGE. Bachelors. Husbands. Widowers. TOTAL MEN. Spinsters. Wives. Widows. TOTAL WOMEN.
15 & upwards 25.3 43.1 59.95 37 26.5 40.6 58.9 37.6

Duration of married life

The mean time that a couple of such lives survives can be calculated; it is 27 years; that is the probable duration of married life, during which children enjoy the protection of both parents; who may, therefore, both expect to see their first surviving child attain the mean age of marriage. But there is the further mean lifetime of the surviving parent, which in the case of the father is 9.44 years, of the mother 11.31. The duration of the longest life is 47.84, during which both parents, or one, may be expected to survive, and to look after the interests of their children.

The proportions of the married couples to the widowers and widows would be expressed by the above numbers; there would be to 27 married couples 9 widowers and 11 widows; whereas in consequence of re-marriage the actual number of widowers is less than 3, of widows 6, to 27 married couples. This disruption of families by the death of one parent and by the survival of another, and the reparation by re-marriage, is of so much social importance that by way of further illustration it may be mentioned that to 2,940,782 couples first married at the same ages as now rule, if there were no re-marriages there would be living 1,024,769 widowers and 1,227,769 widows; but in the actual distribution such large numbers lose these titles by re-marriage that the existing widowers are 398,202, the widows 879,173, and the married couples, represented by wives living, 3,948,527, the latter including, therefore, large numbers of re-married widows.

By another method the married pairs returned at the Census of 1871 would be thus distributed: of married pairs 122,233 from the marriage of widowers with widows, 288,582 from the marriage of widowers with spinsters, 149,140 from the marriage of bachelors with widows, and 3,388,572 from the marriage of bachelors with spinsters.11

There is a series of returns of marriages for every year from 1801 to 1870, interrupted only by the break of seven years (1831-7), and since the year 1845 the first marriages have been distinguished in the Registrar-General's Reports, so that taking those facts it is possible, by means of the English Joint Life Table, to estimate the number of pairs, married as bachelors and spinsters in the century, surviving; thus deduced the number of unbroken couples in the middle of 1871 should be 3,321,643. After adding for first marriages in 1871 before the Census was taken, and correcting for the Census date, the number will agree closely with that already obtained.

It is worthy of note that by the table in question of 100 couples married at the age of 25 no less than 54 live 25 years, while nearly 7, or only 1 in 14, live together 50 years, that is attain together the age of 75.Effect of any great alteration in the age of marriage

The age of marriage being of prime importance, it may be interesting to show what the effect of any great alteration would be, such, for instance, as Aristotle, one of the greatest naturalists that ever lived, proposed: for certain reasons he lays it down that the man should marry at 37, the woman at 18. The effect of this would be to reduce the joint mean marriage lifetime to 24 years, while the widowers would be 4, the widows 18, to 24 married couples; so the proportion of widows would be augmented to an extraordinary extent, and orphans, and still more fatherless children, would be multiplied. This would seriously affect the nurture of the offspring of such marriages, especially among free workmen and artizans. All late marriages increase the proportional number of orphans. It is evident then that the problem is much more complex than those economists who take the people to task for marrying early imagine; and on the theory of the survival of the fittest it is probable that nature's many solutions of the problem as to the most suitable age to marry yield, if not the best, at least as good results as Aristotle's. Plato in his Republic asserts that the citizens should be the offspring of women of 20-40, of men of 25-55, which is in close accordance with existing facts.

The mean age of the married population is 41.85 years, and the mean age at marriage being 26.70 years, the mean term of existing married life is 15.15 years. Upon an average husbands and wives have lived so long together. This term is reduced by the increase of marriages raising the proportion of the younger married couples to the whole; for the mean age of the married at the above ages by the English Life Table would be 44.33 and the mean term of existing unions 17.63 years.

Married couples in 1871

The number of married couples who slept under the same roof in England and Wales on the Census night was 3,672,011; and 211,352 husbands were returned apart from their wives, 276,516 wives apart from their husbands; so 65,164 husbands must have then been out of the country, including officers and men in the army, navy, and merchant service.


AGES. Bachelors. Husbands. Widowers. TOTAL.
15-55 4,877,836 5,712,028 294,339 10,884,203
20-40 2,826,188 2,880,500 84,746 5,791,434
20 and upwards 3,493,228 7,717,878 967,467 12,178,573

AGES. Spinsters. Wives. Widows. TOTAL.
15-55 4.077,909 6,139,624 628,689 10,846,222
20-40 2,112,527 3,512,192 172,712 5,798,431
20 and upwards 2,924,038 7,563,004 1,344,286 12,331,328

CONJUGAL CONDITION of POPULATION of ENGLAND and WALES for 1871 compared with that of the FRENCH POPULATION, 1866.

AGES. Per-centage of English Bachelors . Per-centage of French Bachelors . Per-centage of English Husbands . Per-centage of French Husbands . Per-centage of English Widowers . Per-centage of French Widowers .
15-55 44.22 44.82 53.35 52.48 2.43 2.7
20-40 41.76 48.8 56.75 49.74 1.49 1.46
20 and upwards 27.1 28.68 66.1 63.37 6.8 7.95

AGES. Per-centage of English Spinsters . Per-centage of French Spinsters . Per-centage of English Wives . Per-centage of French Wives . Per-centage of English Widows . Per-centage of French Widows .
15-55 41.37 37.6 53.27 56.6 5.36 5.8
20-40 37.66 36.43 59.39 60.57 2.95 3
20 and upwards 25.8 23.71 60.6 61.33 13.6 14.96

Of the 1,277,375 widowed who had been married one time or more 398,202 were still widowers, 879,173 were widows. 9,109,265 of the people are or have been married, of whom only 40,918 are under 20 years of age. Thus of 100 men of 20 years of age and upwards 27 are bachelors, 66 husbands, 7 widowers; and of 100 women 26 are spinsters, 61 are wives, and 13 are widows. To 45 wives there are 10 widows.

It may be assumed that the number of existing married couples in the country, some of the husbands being temporarily absent, are represented by the 3,948,527 wives. The number in 1861 was 3,488,952, so the increase was 459,575 in ten years. Marriages are broken up, and the dissolution may happen in four ways—by the death of the husband, by the death of the wife, by the death of both simultaneously, or by divorce. Marriages are contracted under various ceremonies, and the number who marry is correctly represented by the registers. Now the number of marriages registered between the two Censuses12 was 1,769,624; add this number to the 3,488,952 wives enumerated in 1861 and the number becomes 5,258,576 marriages, which would, if indissoluble, have given the number subsisting in 1871. This, however, exceeded so much the number of wives enumerated, that 1,310,049 marriages must have been dissolved in one of the various specified ways, or the parties must have emigrated without being replaced; by immigrants in the interval. The mean number of wives living through the interval was 3,718,740, and the rate at which they were taken off the list by death, by widowhood, or by emigration unreplaced was 1 in 28.39 annually, whereas it would be 1 in 27 were it not for the excess of husbands and wives at the younger ages. In a youthful population, such as that of England may be called, the proportion of widows is below the average of a stationary and older population.

Disparities of age at marriage

While the average age at which men and women marry and the average ages of married people in England are very constant, there are remarkable disparities in the ages of husband and wife, not unworthy of notice. Thus, to 1,029,973 husbands of the age 30-40 there wore 070,185 wives of the same age-period, but 269,731 were 20-30, or ten years younger, and 1,549 were under the age of 20; upon the other hand, 84,198 were ten years older than the husbands, or 40-50; 3,944 were twenty years, 320 were thirty years, 42 were forty years older, and 4 were returned at the age of 80-90.

There were 1,057,714 wives at the age of 30-40, of whose husbands 670,185 were of the same age-period; 80,828 husbands were ten years younger, and 42 were under the age of 20; but 265,903 were married to husbands of 40-50, 33,521 to husbands of 50-60, 6,038 to husbands of 60-70, 1,082 to husbands of 70-80, 111 to husbands of 80-90, and 4 to husbands of 90-100; all the relative ages and the proportions are shown in the Tables.

Modes of marriage

Marriage, which could only be contracted after 1753, under Lord Hardwick's Act, in the parish church or public chapel of one of the parties, was further facilitated by the Marriage Act which came into operation in 1837; and under it persons of legal capacity may marry with or without a special religious ceremony; but the marriage must in all cases be recorded in the public registers, to be signed by both bride and bridegroom, and-by witnesses The different modes of marriage adopted in 1861 and Table 73. 1871 are shown in the Table, and the Acts and the law will be found set forth in the work referred to below.13 Since 1857 divorce can be legally effected under certain conditions, and both parties can re-marry. The number of divorced persons is not great, and they have not been distinguished in the Census Tables.

8. Families.

Definition of "family"

The natural family is founded by marriage, and consists, in its complete state, of husband, wife, and children. Family is generally held also in England to be synonymous with household, as a family occupies a house; and the particulars of each family were enumerated in Householders' Schedules. But it happens that families as understood at every Census since 1S01 are more numerous than houses; they are generally in the proportion of six families to five houses. One house in live contains on an average two families. The word household is therefore not strictly applicable, and family is not easily defined for the practical purposes of the Census. After the most careful consideration we held the occupier of a house or apartment to be the head of a family, and therefore have taken the number of such occupiers to represent the number of families.14 The general results appear to agree with those of the earlier Censuses. So the family of the Census may be said to consist always of a head, with generally dependent members, living together in the same dwelling. It may give an composition idea of the composition of such families to state that in 1851 the husband's wife was with him in 42 out of 68 families, that in 11 cases the head was a widower or a widow, and in 14 cases the head was a bachelor or a spinster; that in a very few cases the head of the family was absent. The proportions were deduced from an analysis of 67,609 families. Besides children and servants, domestic or engaged in trade, visitors were constituents of these families. As the occupier has often a vote, and is also a ratepayer, it may be desirable at some future time to extend the analysis of the composition of families to the returns of 1871.

Families to a house

As the number of inhabited houses was 4,259,117 in 1871, and the number of Families to a families was 5,049,016, the number of families was in the proportion of 119 families to 100 houses; and in 1801 the proportion was nearly the same—it was 120 to 100 houses. There was little fluctuation in any intermediate Census, except in 1851, when the proportion was lower. In 1841 families were not counted.

Persons to a family

The number of persons to a family has necessarily a very wide range, but on an Persons to average it was 4.50 in 1871, and nearly the same in 1861; in the previous Censuses the proportion ranged within narrow limits from 4.69 in 1801 to 4.83 in 1851.

The inmates of barracks, prisons, workhouses, and other large edifices are counted as separate families; but if we exclude such cases the average number of persons to a family is reduced to the proportion of 4.40 instead of 4.50.

The number of persons in 2,479 public institutions was 417,579, so the average number to each institution was 169. The average number of special inmates was 146. The number of officers with their families was 55,731, giving 23 to each.

There is a large increase in the institutions distinguished since 1861, when the numbers were 1684, and the special inmates only 274,015. The increase of inmates approaches 90,000.

In London, owing to the excess of occupying lodgers, the number of persons to a family (4.32) is below, and the number of families to a house (1.80) is above the average. Devonshire presents a somewhat similar anomaly; the numbers to a family are below, of families to a house above, the average. The disturbance is produced by Plymouth, where the number of families to a house is 2.22, whereas the proportion in the rest of the county is 1.21.

This vein of the great mine of information in the Census books could, like others, be only partially worked by us. We show of those still in England (1) the number of males and females under twenty and above twenty years of age born in every county, and (2) the county of birth, or the country of birth, of the inhabitants of every division, and of the principal towns.

Persons born out of England

The persons born out of England and "Wales form a considerable portion of the population. They amounted to 1,020,101 persons, of whom 525,421 were males and 494,680 females; of the males 427,159 were over, 98,262 under 20 years of age; of the females 403,428 were over, 91,252 were under 20 years of age. The immigrants are therefore chiefly adults.

805,449 persons were born in Scotland, Ireland, and the Islands in the British Seas 70,812 in the colonies and in India, and 139,445 in foreign parts, and no less than 4,395 in ships at sea.


The most remarkable feature in this table is the decrease since the previous Census of people born in Ireland, the great increase of people of Scotch birth, and the still greater increase of people born in the colonies and in foreign countries. The great war between France and Germany had the effect of recalling many young Germans of the military age from England, and upon the other hand it very likely sent an. unusual number of traders, manufacturers, and people who liked a quiet life from the Continent to England. The table does not show directly how many persons of English birth usually living abroad returned from America and the Continent in consequence of the wars, but it gives the means of calculating the probable numbers, and also the probable number of immigrants by which the existing population of foreign birth is sustained.


The probable number of immigrants in the two decades 1851-61-71, deduced from the numbers enumerated as born out of England and Wales, at the Censuses was 328,938 in the first decade, and 237,544 in the second decade; and the emigrants of English or Welsh origin were 640,316 in the years 1851-60 and 649,742 in the ten years 1861-70. We have not brought into account here the number of persons born in England and Wales who went- to Scotland and Ireland and the Channel Islands during the interval, but they were about 42,991 in the ten years 1851-60, and 53,854 in the ten years 1861-70.15 The general result is affected by the return of English emigrants to England: which will be discussed hereafter.

Birth-places of the inhabitants of London

London, the capital of the empire, is a great centre of population, and affords an example of the special study of which each division may be the subject. In 1871 it contained 2,055,576 persons born within its limits, and 1,198,684 persons born outside its borders. Whence came these multitudes of both sexes, equal in themselves without counting those born there, to a number greater than the inhabitants of any other European city? More than 607,000 of them came from the chiefly agricultural south-eastern, south-midland, and eastern counties surrounding the metropolis. A large contingent of 147,532 was drawn from Devon, Wilts, Somerset, and the other south-western counties. The west-midland counties sent up 84,389; but all the counties north of this region are drawn within the sphere of another attraction, Lancashire and Cheshire, round Manchester and Liverpool, the second great centre of population. London contained 41,029 people born in Scotland, 91,171 born in Ireland, 20,324 born in the colonies, and 66,101 born in foreign parts.

Of the 1,865,212 inhabitants of London above 20 years of age, 842,793 were males, and 1,022,419 were females; the female immigrants flowing in at 15, and reaching the maximum in the ten years following.

London contributes its full quota to the population; and it had born in it 436,364 children settled in outside counties, the greater share going to the counties in the three divisions around it; to the south-western, the west-midland, and the north-western counties, drawn thence by the activity of manufacturing industry.

Of the 4,661,407 inhabitants of 62 of the principal cities of England, London excepted, 364,620 were born out of England; reduced to 134,931 after deducting 229,689 of Irish birth, and to 61,482 after deducting 73,449 of Scotch birth. The proportion of people born out of the United Kingdom is the greatest in London.

Birth-places of the inhabitants of Lancashire and Cheshire

As another illustration of the Tables of Birth-places, Lancashire and Cheshire may be taken: 741,225 of their population were born outside their boundaries, 224,003 coming from Ireland, 52,585 from Scotland, 104,831 from Yorkshire, and the rest chiefly from the west, the north-midland, the northern counties, and Wales. 18,452 of the inhabitants were of foreign birth.

10. Balance of the Population.

In the intervals between two Censuses there is a continual inflow and outflow of people of all ages, some entering the gates as visitors, some as settlers, some as newborn infants; and others leaving it as travellers, as emigrants, as passengers to that "country from whose bourne no traveller returns." If we had had such registers of Population population as have been recommended by the Statistical Congress, starting from the nominal list of the Census of 1861, the numbers who came into the country in any way would be added to the register, and the numbers who left would be struck off; the difference between the incomers and the outgoers, added to the numbers of 1861, should, when the balance is struck, equal the population of the Census of 1871.

Unfortunately, no such population register exists; but it does not follow that we have no means of determining approximately the inward and outward movement of the people. Statistics is in some respects, in the present day, dealing with men like trigonometry dealing with lines and angles, able to deduce from certain given data others of which there is no trace; from a basis of observed facts other facts can be determined; thus by means of the English Life Table, the number of persons enumerated tit the several ages, the number of persons born in other countries at successive Censuses, and the number of English birth in other parts, it is possible to determine the income and outgo of people from the English and Welsh divisions of these islands.

Exceptional increase of population between 1861 and 1871

Upon inspecting the Table 10 it will be seen that the decennial rates of increase of the home population, at a maximum in 1811-21, gradually but invariably decreased from 18 per cent. to 12 per cent. in 1851-61; in the ten years ending in 1871 there was a sudden turn and augmentation in the rate, which rose from less than 12 to more than 13 per cent. The addition to the population, which had been about two millions every ten years (1831-51), and 2,138,615 in 1851-61, rose to 2,646,042 in the ten years ending in 1871. This exceptional increase appears to be due very probably to the return of persons of English birth living usually on the Continent, and to the reflux of emigrants from the United States, owing to the civil war in the States, and to the foreign and civil war in France during the intervening interval; while the unsettled insecurity abroad diverted industry and trade from their ordinary channels. After the effects of the cotton famine were over, there was an increased demand for the products of English coal mines and iron manufactures. We shall submit the facts in brief on which the above opinion is based.

For the exact determination, accurate enumerations of the population, complete registers of births and deaths, and true returns of" all emigrants and immigrants, are required. We may assume that the enumeration of the population was rather more complete in 1871 than in 1861 or 1851; but this may be left out of account. The births have been more fully registered every year since the Act came into operation in 1837, yet some are still missed; but the births in the preceding ten years can be very accurately calculated from the number of their survivors enumerated under ten years of age on the Census Day. That has accordingly been clone, and the calculated can be compared with the registered numbers in the three decenniads (1841-71).

Emigrants and Immigrants

The number of emigrants returned by the Emigration Commissioners may be accepted as sufficiently correct. The number of immigrants from Scotland, Ireland, the Channel Islands, and foreign parts, can be deduced nearly enough by a method described elsewhere, from the numbers returned at the several Censuses as born in those parts, and so can English immigrants to other parts of the United Kingdom. But there is no register of returning emigrants, nor of any excessive inflow of English people home, from foreign residences, and from travel. This being, however, the only unknown quantity, can be determined from a simple equation, on the assumption that the other quantities are known.16

Balance sheets of the population

We have framed what may be called two balance sheets of the population, which present some remarkable results. Thus it appears, that whereas the number in the reflux of people determined by the same method was 74,527 in the years ending in 1861, it was 251,984 in the ten years ending in 1871. That a certain number of these were English people living in France we know from the returns; and the facts in the American Census show that a large number of the English emigrants, destined according to our returns to the United States, do not stay there.


ENUMERATED POPULATION at home and abroad, 31st March 1851 18,054,170
BIRTHS in the 10 years proceding the Census of 1861, estimated by the English Life Table from the number of children under 10 years of age in 1861 6,664,884
NUMBER of IMMIGRANTS, estimated from the numbers of persons born in Scotland, Ireland, or other parts, and enumerated in England and Wales at the Censuses of 1851 and 1861 328,938
DEATHS registered in the 10 years 1851-60 4,210,715  
EMIGRANTS to the Colonies, &c. registered in the same years 640,316  
Estimated EMIGRANTS to Scotland, Ireland, and the Channel Islands 42,991  
Calculated Population in 1861 20,153,970
Population enumerated on 8th April 1861 20,228,497
Excess of enumerated Population over the number calculated 74,527

This would imply that in the 10 years about 74,527 emigrants returned to England and Wales. The state of things shown in the next 10 years was very different.


ENUMERATED POPULATION at home and abroad, 8th April 1861 20,228,497
BIRTHS in the 10 years preceding the Census of 1871, estimated by the English Life Table from the number of children under 10 years of age in 1871 7,636,233
NUMBER of IMMIGRANTS, estimated from the numbers of persons born in Scotland, Ireland, or other parts, and enumerated in England and Wales at the Censuses of 1861 and 1871 237,544
DEATHS registered in the 10 years 1861-71 4,794,498  
EMIGRANTS registered in the same years 649,742  
Estimated EMIGRANTS to Scotland, Ireland, and the Channel Islands 53,854  
Calculated population in 1871 22,604,180
Population enumerated on 3rd April 1871 22,856,164
Excess of enumerated Population over the number calculated as above, made up chiefly of the reflux of Emigrants and of English usually living abroad 251,984

Emigrants to America

The United States Census distinguishes the number of persons of English birth; so we are able to estimate from the numbers at successive Censuses the number of emigrants i. naming in the United States to sustain the people there of English birth, by the same methods as have been applied to determine the number of emigrants from England and Wales to Scotland, Ireland, and the Channel Islands. The results confirm the conclusions arrived at from our figures, and prove that great numbers of English-born emigrants to the United States do not remain there. That large numbers have actually returned in the last 10 years is shown in the table supplied, subsequently to our calculation, by the Emigration. Commissioners, and in the explanatory note by Mr. Walcott.

11. Density of Population.

Density of population

We may now study the population on the land which affords it dwelling-places as well as sustenance. In the earlier stages of civilization the whole of the food of a family, with little variety in nature, is drawn from a narrow circle; and as the produce varies in amount from year to year its members are exposed to alternations of famine and abundance. But when many families, with many wants, are brought into communication with each other, and produce a great variety of interchangeable articles for which there is a general demand, they suffer less from privation; for the number of persons living on the soil is no longer limited by the minimum amount of the crops in each homestead. Instead of one savage to a square mile there may be five houses, as there may have been in the later Saxon times,17 or about fifteen houses inhabited by eighty-three people, as there were in the days of Queen Elizabeth. In the reign of Queen Victoria the houses on the same area are on an average seventy-three, occupied by eighty-seven families and three hundred and ninety people.

Distribution of population

On inspection of Table 27 it is evident that the population is unequally distributed over the face of the country, and that there is no more population in a county than its produce will support in a certain degree of- satisfaction; but by produce we must understand not food only, but whatsoever will purchase food. Very little food is produced in London or in other cities upon their few square miles of territory, and yet these cities command an ampler supply than some purely agricultural parishes. Mines attract round them large populations, as their coal, iron, and copper are readily exchanged for food. What population in the present state of agriculture will the land support? Herefordshire cultivates hops, apples, and a valuable breed of cattle, which yield the inhabitants extraneous income, and a certain number of the gentry draw income from without while others expend their rents elsewhere; but the 151 persons to a square mile—including the county town and Leominster, where artisans and shopkeepers congregate—give a fair conception of the number of people an area of average fertility, without mines, without manufactures, will support in the present state of agriculture. The numbers on its area are 125,370, Glancing back through the past, it appears that in 1801 the population was 88,436; and it was not much less in Queen. Elizabeth's day, when the numbers living, estimated from the births, deaths, and marriages, were 70,526, or 85 to a square mile. Improved culture alone has nearly doubled the number of people, and has supplied them with better dwellings, better clothes, and probably a fuller, and certainly a steadier, supply of subsistence.

Population in 1600

The population of England and Wales in 1600, at the end of Queen Elizabeth's reign, did not amount to more than 83 on a square mile—that is, on 640 acres of territory; so about 40 acres of land were required to support a family. Taking the several divisional groups of counties, Wales, the mountainous northern counties, and Yorkshire—where the coal and metal industries were scarcely dreamt of—the land was still less peopled. Kent and Sussex, with their vast woodlands, and the surrounding counties, had only the average density of 83 persons to a square mile; the counties on the Severn had still fewer; the south-midland and eastern counties near London, had 95 persons to a square mile; the south-western counties, including Devon and Cornwall, with their mines and fisheries, were more thickly peopled, and the counties palatine of Chester and Lancaster had already made some onward strides towards that mass of population which now lives and toils on their acres; they had 101 when Middlesex and Surrey had 373 persons to a square mile. That the population of the kingdom remained then chiefly agricultural, with the trades attached to agriculture in the small towns, is clear from these facts: the exports were of raw, or imperfectly manufactured articles, and even the fisheries were undeveloped. This is nowhere more forcibly shown than in a remarkable paper by that great but unfortunate statesman, Sir Walter Raleigh, drawn up in 1603, and afterwards quoted by De Witt, in which he affirms that

"the greatest fishing that ever was known in the world is upon the coasts of England, Scotland and Ireland; but the great Fishery is in the Low Countries and other petty states wherewith they serve themselves and all Christendom."

The Dutch, he says, send yearly one thousand sail of ships to the east countries with salt and wine only, we not one ship in that way; they have six hundred great long ships in the Baltic timber trade we none at all: the wool, cloth, lead, tin, and divers other commodities are in England; but our wool and our cloth, kerseys northern or Devonshire, and our bayes, go out rough, undressed, or undyed to the Low Countries. Our iron ordnance he praises as a jewel of great value, far more than it is accounted, but nothing else manufactured.18

Density in divisions and counties

How the density of the population increased in each division through three centuries is shown in the subjoined table; and it will be evident that the increase is partly due to the progress of agriculture, especially of root culture including potatoes, and of the fisheries, hut mainly to the development of the manufactures, of the commerce, of the industrial arts in cities; and of the mining and metallurgical operations of the counties in which minerals abound.

[The Populations of 1801 and 1871 are given as enumerated on the Census days; the Populations for 1600 and 1700 were estimated from Mr. Rickman's return of Births, Deaths, and Marriages.]

No of Groups Counties constituting the Divisions in 1st column. AREA. POPULATION.
Statute Acres. Square Miles. 1600. 1700. 1801. 1871.
  ENGLAND AND WALES 37,319,221 58,311 4,862,902 6,045,008 8,892,536 22,712,266
I. MIDDLESEX, SURREY 664,495 1,038 386,647 862,566 1,086,362 3,631,400
II. KENT, SUSSEX, HANTS, BERKS 3,421,227 5,346 440,878 444,110 797,908 2,006,909
III. HERTS, BUCKS, OXON, NORTHAMPTON, HUNTS, BEDFORD, CAMBRIDGE 3,008,107 4,700 444,497 516,652 639,334 1,186,842
IV. ESSEX, SUFFOLK, NORFOLK 3,361,131 5,252 496,574 580,144 715,565 1,253,961
V. WILTS, DORSET, DEVON, CORNWALL, SOMERSET 5,061,422 7,908 761,576 917,788 1,104,438 1,879,914
VI. GLOUCESTER, HEREFORD, SALOP, STAFFORD, WORCESTER, WARWICK 3,950,387 6,172 496,917 680,271 1,104,339 2,739,473
VII. LEICESTER, RUTLAND, LINCOLN, NOTTINGHAM, DERBY 3,556,989 5,558 432,598 479,260 656,924 1,427,135
VIII. CHESHIRE, LANCASHIRE 1,913,419 2,990 301,494* 343,612 865,791 3,380,696
IX. YORKSHIRE 3,882,851 6,067 405,428 435,443 859,133 2,436,355
X. DURHAM, NORTHUMBERLAND, CUMBERLAND, WESTMORLAND 3,408,971 5,327 291,499 366,384 475,497 1,356,998
XI. MONMOUTHSHIRE AND WALES 5,090,222 7,953 404,794? 418,778 587,245 1,412,583
* The estimated population of the 8th Division in 1600, as given in the Census Report of 1841, was 276,031; but as it was 301,494 in 1570 and 309,464 in 1630, the population in 1570 is substituted for that in 1600.
? The estimated population of the 11th Division in 1630 is here substituted for that of 1600: in the Census Report of 1841 the estimated population in 1570 was given as 422,479, and in 1600 as 379,071.


No of Groups Counties constituting the Divisional Groups in 1st column. DENSITY of POPULATION—PERSONS to a SQUARE MILE.
1600. 1700. 1801. 1871.
  ENGLAND AND WALES 83 104 153 390
I. MIDDLESEX, SURREY 373 428 769 3,498
IV. ESSEX, SUFFOLK, NORFOLK 95 110 136 239
VIII. CHESHIRE, LANCASHIRE 101 115 290 1,131
IX. YORKSHIRE 67 72 142 402

One English county, Westmorland, and one Welsh county, Brecknock, have now each 83 persons to a square mile; the same density of population as the whole of England at the end of Elizabeth's reign. Without mines, Brecknock is mountainous, as those who have stood on the Brecon beacon will remember; and so is Westmorland, as all Lake pilgrims are well aware. Radnor has 59 persons, Merioneth has 77, and Montgomery, reaching from Plynlimmon to Shropshire, along the Upper Severn streams, has 89 persons to a square mile. Cumberland, with Carlisle, has some manufactures, and is more populous; the population is 145 to a square mile. The mining and manufacturing populations conceal the bareness of Northumberland.

Any density of a large county approaching 200 to a square mile implies mines, manufactures, or the industry of cities. Thus, Shropshire has 189, Wilts 191; but Shropshire has coal and iron works on a limited area, Wilts is not without an ancient manufacture. Dorsetshire is an exception to the rule, for with no manufactures and its full portion of uncultivated land, it has 200 people to a square mile: allowing for the supplies from the sea, this population is dense.

Culture of Hertfordshire and Lincolnshire

We subjoin from the latest returns the culture of the two important purely agricultural counties of Hereford and Lincoln, where the land carries on an average 151 and 158 persons respectively on each square mile.

  Acres. Acres.
TOTAL ACREAGE(As given in Census Report) 532,898 1,767,962
Uncultivated 67,989 277,015
Under all kinds of Crops, Bare Fallow, and Grass, Permanent Pasture,Woods,* &c. 464,909 1,490,947
  Under Corn Crops 112,056 620,684
  Under Green Crops 37,009 236,401
  Under Flax and Hops 6,129 22,262
  Bare Fallow, or uncropped Arable Land 9,157 26,345
  Under Clover, Grass, &c. 43,590 164,910
  Permanent Pasture 222,083 404,901
  Woods 34,885 35,444
  Orchards, &c.? 21,016 1,984
  Market Gardens? 79 384
  Nursery Gardens? 143 95
  Number. Number.
Horses 18,549 61,164
Cattle 69,123 194,344
Sheep 313,981 1,494,083
Pigs 33,497 124,232
* Including acreage of woods, coppices, or plantations.
? These are already included under the headings above.

12. Proximity of Population.

Density implies degree of proximity of people to each other;19 but it may be convenient to express explicitly this important relation of nearness, of neighbourhood which differs so much, not only in foreign countries, and in colonies, but in English counties. The proximity may be here given hi a few illustrative instances. It is deduced by dividing first the area of a country by the population. Now the acreage of England being constant and the population increasing, the number of acres to a person is continually diminishing; thus the number of acres to a person was 4.12 in, 1801 and 1.64 in 1871; and going back to a period for which there is a probable estimate of population, the end of Elizabeth's reign (1600), there were then 7.71 acres of land to each person living. The acres of land to each person in the three successive periods were 7.71, 4.12, and 1.64 acres, and the proximity expressed in yards was 208, 153, and 96.

Nearness of people to each other

It will be noticed that the difficulties of intercommunication between all the individuals of a population do not increase as much as its numbers; for if the population of a county has increased four-fold the distance to be travelled by a messenger proceeding from person to person, or from house to house, is only doubled and generally the distance to be travelled in going from person to person in two equal counties is inversely as the square root of the numbers on the same area. This has an important bearing on every kind of intercommunication. The distance to be travelled in going from person to person in England and Wales, if the 9,060,993 persons livin in the middle of the year 1801 had been equally distributed would have been 781,086 miles; while the distance to be travelled in visiting the 22,782,812 living in the middle of 1871 would only have been 1,238,553 miles.

Mean distance from house to house

The mean distance from house to house in 1801 was 364 yards; in 1871 only 221 yards. On the hypothesis of uniform distribution the distance to be travelled by a postman, for instance, in visiting all the houses would have been 325,744 miles in 1801, and only 536,345 miles in 1871.

It will be seen how much the concentration of the people in houses diminishes the distance to be travelled; it is reduced in the ratio that the square root of the number of persons to a house bears to unity.

The concentration of houses in cities while it increases the proximity of masses of the people diminishes the distances to be travelled in visiting the houses of those cities, and at the same time economises the connecting roads and all the other channels of communication.

1 The chief exception is that many women of 30, or 40, or more, are returned at the ages 20-30.

2 Mr Rickman shows that among 3,988,496 persons on the burial registrars of 1813-30, 1,900 were returned of the age of 100 and upwards, of whom 637 were males, 1,263 were females. One male 124 years of age died, he says, at Boughton-under-Blean in Kent in the year 1824.— Preface 1831, Vol. I. p. xliii.

3 Born 7 June 1770.— Life by Younge, p. 4. Lord Liverpool was one of the few Statesmen who knew the power of England, not like Chatham or Canning by the institutions of genius, but by careful study.

4 The nature of this error is shown by Mr. Rickman's Returns of the number of persons buried in 1818-24 at each year of age. (Census of 1831, Vol. I. P. xxxvii.)

Age. Numbers. Age. Numbers. Age. Numbers.
49 8,940 59 9,899 69 12,913
50 12,443 60 16,135 70 20,974
51 7,607 61 9,860 71 12,538

See also the Registrar General's First Report, and the early Reports of the Commissioners of the Irish Census, where the error is illustrated by diagrams.

5 Censorinus de Die Natali, cap. xiv

6 See Census of 1831, Enumeration Abstract, Vol. I., p. xxxvii.

7 It was actually obtained from the graduated table by the much simpler process of adding up successively the numbers in the column headed P, to form the second column of figures headed Q, and then adding up successively the numbers in Q to form a third column Y'x (not printed); then Y'x /Qx -.5 = mean number of years the population of the age X and upwards have lived over that age;so Y'o /Qo - .5 is equal to the mean age of the population of all ages over 0.

8 In France (1866) the mean ages of the males and females were 31.2 and 31.8 years.

9 The average Annual legitimate births in England 1861-70 were 704,309, whilst at the French birth-rates the English married women aged 15-55 would have borne 475,948 children.

10 These figures for 1785 and 1803, from Marshall's Digest, are cited by Mr. Goschen in his Reports and Speeches on Local Taxation, p.62; and the others from official sources have the sanction of his authority. With every increase of population there has been a corresponding increase in the value of real property.

11 The comparison is somewhat disturbed by the increase of population and the excess of the living at the earlier ages, and also by third and fourth marriages. In the 10 years 1851-60 the annual marriages were 160,173, of which 131,014 were Between bachelors and spinsters, 6,900 between bachelors and widows, 14,572 between widowers and spinsters, and 7,687 between widowers and widows. The mean ages of bachelors who married spinsters of 23.5 was 25.3; of bachelors who married widows of 34.1 was 32.3; of widowers who married spinsters of 31.8 was 39.6; of widowers who married widows of 43.4 was 47.40. from these ages the joint expectations being found, and multiplied into the numbers of marriages of the four classes, the proportions of the married couples of each kind at the Census have been deduced approximately.

12 Correctly enough represented by the marriages in the 10 years 1861-70.

13 The Marriage Law of England, by James T. Hammick, Barrister-at-Law, 1873.

14 The enumerator was instructed to deliver for each occupier or Lodger in his district a Householder's Schedule; and he was given the following general rule:— "The term occupier is to be understood to apply to the resident owner, or to a person who pays rent, whether (as a tenant) for the whole of a house or (as a lodger) for any distinct floor or apartment." See pp. 169-70, (Appendix B.) where exceptional cases are also referred to.

15 The numbers of persons born in England and enumerated in Scotland, Ireland, and the Channel Islands were 77,354 in 1841; 103,288 in 1851; 126,783 in 1861; and 157,071 in 1871.

16 Let:

Py = population living in the year y .
Py + n = population living n years afterwards.
b = births,
i = immigrants,
d = deaths,
e = emigrants in the intervening n years,
x = refluent emigrants and persons usually living abroad.
Py + b + i + x - d - e = Py + n .
x = Py + n + ,em>e + d - (Py + b + i ).

17 The number of Hydes of 120 acres each was, according to Brady, 274,950, each supporting a Free Family; that would be rather more than five to a square mile. The labourers were attached in various degrees of subjection to these Hydes.

18 Observations on Trade and Commerce, by Raleigh, cited in Anderson's History of Commerce, edition of 1790, vol. II p. 287-93. The paper is said to have been written in 1603, and to have been presented to the King a little before Raleigh's execution.

19 Let the area of a place be expressed by A in any superficial units, and the population by P: then P /A = D = mean population on those several units. This is generally called the density of population, and by M. Prony the specific population. It enables us to express with precision the notions conveyed when we say this country is populous, that is thinly peopled, that is a desert; the value of D in the latter case being zero.

We have taken a square mile as the measuring unit of area in the table, which implies that although the number of people may differ on every square mile of a country, still on an average of the whole the number is as there stated. Thus the populousness of the several countries can be compared.

Now, instead of dividing the population (P) by the area (A), we may divide the area (A) by the population, and then
A /P = ? = the mean area to each person. It may be called, for the sake of convenience, the areality of the population; it is the mean number of acres or hectares, square yards, or any other units expressed by A, to each unit of population. ? = 1 /D , so ? is the reciprocal of D. Divide the area by the Houses (H) and we have A /H = ?. = areality of Houses.

The nearness of house to house or of person to person varies in every part of a country, hut assuming, as in the case of areality, that the mean areality is given, the mean proximity of each person can be at once determined, as the proximity varies in the ratio of the square roots of the areality.

Thus the areality of the population of England in 1871 is expressed by 1.64 acres, or of 7,928 square yards to a person; in 1801 it was 19,934 square yards to a person; and the proximity of person to person, which was 96 in 1871, was 152 in 1801.

Assuming that there were five persons to a household in 1801, and the same number in 1871, then the proximity of the households is found by multiplying the proximity of persons by the square root of 5. It would be 339 in 1801, and 214 in 1871.

gain, as persons are grouped together in houses, houses are grouped together in towns, and if the areality of towns is determined by the same convention as in the case of persons and houses, the proximity of towns can be determined by the same method.

The general formula for proximity when the areality A /P = ? is given is—

p = 2 (cos 30o /3 )½ ?½ = (2½ /3¼ ) ?½

(2½ /3¼ ) = c is a constant, and log c = 0.0312347.

NOTE.—The degree of proximity may be expressed by taking contact as unity and dividing this unit by the distance from person to person.

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