Islands in the British Seas

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With the co-operation of the respective Lieutenant-Governors very complete statistics for the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands were obtained at the Census of 1871. Tables relating to the Area, Houses, and Population in 1861 and 1871, with explanatory notes accounting for any considerable increase or decrease of population, together with a concise statement of the territorial sub-divisions, civil government, and principal courts, &c. of these Islands will be found in a previous volume.1

The abstracts relating to the ages, civil conditions, occupations, and birth-places, together with tables showing the number of foreigners, the number of blind, deaf-and-dumb, &c., are given in the third volume.2

An alphabetical table of occupations and some interesting deductions from the recent Census of these Islands will be found in the present volume.3


No Census of the Isle of Man was taken earlier than that of 1821, when 40,081 persons were enumerated. The population in 1871 amounted to 54042, showing an increase in the decade 1861-71 of 1,573 persons. In many of the parishes, however, the population has decreased. Mr. J. T. Clucas, Clerk of the Council and Secretary to the Lieutenant-Governor of the Island, attributes this to the emigration of young persons, fewer hands being required for agricultural purposes. The increase of population in the 50 years, 1821-71, was 13,961, or 35 per cent. The increase in the population in the town of Douglas from 12,511 in 1861 to 13,972 in 1871 is attributed to general improvement, and to the town being much resorted to as a watering place.


Enumerations of the inhabitants of Jersey were made under the authority of the local government in 1806 and in 1815, in which years the population was respectively returned as 22,855 and 22,763. The population in 1871 amounted to 56,627, showing a slight increase over that of 1861, when 55,613 persons were enumerated. Lieutenant-Colonel J. E. Murray, the Government Secretary, attributes this increase almost exclusively to the numbers of French families which sought refuge there during the Franco-Prussian war, the greater number of whom resided in the parishes of St. Saviour, St. Brelade, St. Laurence, and St. Helier; the population of this latter parish and town was 29,528 in 1861, and 30,756 in 1871. In nearly all the other parishes there is a decrease of population, attributed partly to emigration, partly to the fact that most of the necessaries of life are dearer in Jersey than in England, and partly to the intermarrying of members of the same family, which is especially noticeable in some of the rural parishes.

The first railway in the Island, connecting the towns of St. Helier and St. Aubin, was opened on the 25th October 1870.

The increase of population in Jersey in the 50 years 1821-71 was 28,027, or 98 per cent.


The first Census of Guernsey and of the adjacent Islands (exclusive of Alderney) was taken in 1821. The population of Guernsey at that time was 20,302. In 1871 the population of Guernsey amounted to 30,593 against 29,804 in 1861, showing a slight increase in the ten years. In the adjacent Islands4 the population decreased from 5,561 in 1861 to 3,376 in 1871, nearly the whole of this deficiency occurred in the Island of Alderney; at the Censuses of 1851 and 1861 there was a large increase of population in this Island, attributable to the Government works then in progress; the decrease in 1871 of 2,194 persons is owing to the discontinuance of these works. The increment of population in the 50 years 1821-71 in Guernsey and adjacent Islands was 13,142, or 63 per cent. The population of St. Peter-Port town and parish was 16,388 in 1861 and 16,166 in 1871.

Islands in the British Seas

The population of the Islands in the British Seas has remained nearly stationary at the last three Censuses: 143,126 in 1851, 143,447 in 1861, and 144,638 in 1871.

In the 50 years 1821-71 the increase of population was 55,130, or 62 per cent.

Excess of women at different periods of age

There is a remarkable excess of women in the Islands in the British Seas; thus to every 100 men of the age 20-40 there were 137 women of the same ages, to every 100 men of the age 40-60 there were 129 women, and to every 100 men of the age 60-80 there were 130 women. The proportions at all ages were 118 women to every 100 men. The excess of women in these Islands is much greater than that observed in England and Wales, where the relative proportions at all ages were 105 women to every 100 men.

Civil condition of women

The unmarried women and widows are in much greater proportions than in England and Wales; thus of every 1,000 women in the islands aged 20 years and upwards, 313 were spinsters, and 170 were widows; the proportions in England and Wales being 258 spinsters and 136 widows. The proportional number of married women to every 1,000 females aged 20 years and upwards is greater in England, viz., 606 against 517 in the Islands.


The classification of the occupations of the inhabitants of the Islands in the British Seas at the recent Census is essentially identical with that of 1861. Arranging the various occupations of the entire population under six large groups, the results show that the professional class comprises 5,932 persons, viz., 4,146 males and 1,786 females engaged in general or local government and in learned professions, or in literature, art, and science, also 1,698 men in the army and navy.

The domestic class numbers 38,146 persons, viz., 1,012 men and 37,131 women; it includes 26,192 women engaged generally in household duties, but assisting in certain cases in the husbands' business.

Under the commercial class only 5,326 persons appear, 5,014 of whom are men, and 312 are women. This class includes 29 men engaged in railway service, 23 of whom are returned in the Island of Jersey.

The agricultural class comprises 14,848 persons, viz., 11,815 men, and 3,033 women, and includes 706 males and 262 females, who returned themselves as land proprietors; 3,832 males and 240 females are returned as farmers.

The industrial class consists of 25,730 persons, 16,751 of whom are men and 8,979 women. Prom among the different orders of occupations in this important class may be mentioned 6,664 persons engaged in art and mechanic productions, 11,198 working and dealing in textile fabrics, and 4,251 working and dealing in minerals.

Owing chiefly to imperfect returns, the large number of 54,656 persons, viz., 27,484 males and 27,172 females are returned under the indefinite and non-productive class, including 866 males and 3,419 females of independent means, 13,480 boys and 13,191 girls under 15 years of age returned as scholars, and 9,662 boys and 10,300 girls of the same ages returned as children of no stated occupation, and of whom it may be inferred that a certain number, aged 3-15, were under tuition at home although not described as scholars. The detailed tables relating to the occupations of the inhabitants of each of these Islands present many interesting particulars for the statistical enquirer.


Of the 144,638 inhabitants in 1871, 112,938, or 78 per cent., were natives of these Islands, 18,990, or 13 per cent., were natives of England and Wales, 1,284, or one per cent., were natives of Scotland, 4,328, or three per cent., were natives of Ireland, 1,394, or one per cent., were natives of British Colonies and East Indies, and 5,647, or four per cent., were born in foreign parts: 57 persons were born at sea. Of the 22,712,266 inhabitants of England and Wales, 25,655, or about one per 1,000, were natives of the Islands in the British Seas.

Blind and deaf-and-dumb

The number returned in these Islands at the recent Census as blind, viz., 201, is proportionally higher than that at the previous enumeration; this represents one blind person in every 720 of the population, while in 1861 the proportion was one in 728.

In the number returned as deaf-and-dumb there is a perceptible decrease, 77 or one in every 1,878 of the population being so returned in 1871, whereas in 1861 the proportion was one in 1,649.

The number of idiots or imbeciles returned in 1871 either in lunatic and other asylums, or out of asylums, was 180, viz., 79 males and 101 females, and 207, viz., 100 males and 107 females were returned as insane.

729 persons were enumerated in the Islands in the British Seas on the Census night in hospitals and workhouses, and 51 persons, viz., 40 males and 11 females in prisons.

1 Vol.I.,pp.560-569. See also Summary Tables to Vol.I.,p.xli.

2 Vol.III.,pp.619-647. See also Summary Tables to Vol.III., Nos.IV.,XI. to XVI.,XXII. and XLVII.

3 Appendix A.,pp.151-160.

4 The adjacent islands are Alderney, Herm, Jethou, The Caskets, Le Marchant, Sark, and Brechou.

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