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30th June 1891.


Total population of England and Wales.

THE total number of persons returned as living in England and Wales at 12 p.m. on April 5th, 1891, was 29,001,018.

This shows an increase of 3,026,579, or of 11.65 per cent., upon the returned at the previous enumeration of April 1881.

Not only was this increase absolutely less than that of the, preceding decennium, 1871—81, but the rate of increase was lower than in any previous decennial period in the century, that is, in any decennium since the first enumeration in this country.

Date of
Number of
POPULATION. Increase of
since last
Rate of
per Cent.
Persons. Males. Females.
1801, March 10th 1,575,923 8,892,536 4,254,735 4,637,801
1811, May 27th 1,797,504 10,164,256 4,873,605 5,290,651 1,271,720 14.30
1822, May 28th 2,088,156 12,000,236 5,850,319 6,149,917 1,835,980 18.06
1831, May 29th 2,481,544 13,896,797 6,771,196 7,125,601 1,896,561 15.80
1841, June 7th 2,943,945 15,914,148 7,777,586 8,136,562 2,017,351 14.52
1851, March 31st 3,278,039 17,927,609 8,781,225 9,146,384 2,013,461 12.65
1861, April 8th 3,739,505 20,066,224 9,776,259 10,289,965 2,138,615 11.93
1871, April 3rd 4,259,117 22,712,266 11,058,934 11,653,332 2,646,042 13.19
1881, April 4th 4,831,519 25,974,439 12,639,902 13,334,537 3,262,173 14.36
1891, April 5th 5,460,976 29,001,018 14,050,620 14,950,398 3,026,579 11.65

Difference between estimated and enumerated population.

Had the rate of increase remained as it was in 1871-81, the addition to the population would have amounted to 3,729,929, whereas it was in reality only 3,026,579; and, as official estimates of the population in the years following on an enumeration are based on the hypothesis that the preceding intercensal rate of growth has been maintained, the estimated population in April 1891 was 703,350 in excess of the actual population. Such differences between estimates of this kind and reality are unavoidable when the interval between two consecutive enumerations is so long as a decennium.

The factors that determine the growth of the population.

The growth of a population is determined by two factors, firstly, the balance between births and deaths, and secondly, the balance between emigration and immigration. Of these two, the former is in this country always a cause of increase, for the births invariably outnumber the deaths; while the latter is always a cause of decrease, for the emigrants are invariably more numerous than the immigrants. Such at any rate has been the case since 1851.

The recent decline in the rate of growth may, therefore, be due to either of two causes, namely, a falling-off in the excess of births over deaths, that is, in the " natural increment," or to an increase in the excess of emigrants1 over immigrants. As a matter of fact, it was due to both these causes, acting in combination.

Decline of natural increase and increased loss by emigration.

For had the excess of births over deaths, or natural increase been in the same proportion to the population as it was in the preceding decennium, the addition to the population from this cause would have amounted to 3,919,543, whereas it was m fact only 3,630,761, so that there was a falling-off of 283,782 under this heading. Again, had the loss by excess of emigrants borne the same proportion to the population as m 1871-81, the decrease under this heading would have been only 189,614, whereas the figures show that it must have amounted to no less than 604,182.

These two deficiencies, namely, the 288,782 from diminished natural increase and the 414,568 from increased excess of emigrants, together make up the 703,350, by which the enumerated population falls short of the number estimated on the hypothesis of a maintenance of the preceding intercensal growth.

The decline in the natural increase was not due to increased mortality, for the mean annual death-rate in 1881-91 was lower than in any earlier decennium, but to a persistent decline , in the birth-rate, which, as the following table shows, was unprecedentedly low:—

Intercensal Periods. Increases per cent
by Births.
Decreases per cent
by Deaths.
Gain per cent by excess
of Births over Deaths
or Natural Increase.
1841-51 34.64 23.73 10.91
1851-61 36.19 23.58 12.61
1861-71 37.56 23.98 13.58
1871-81 37.89 22.80 15.09
1881-91 34.26 20.28 13.98

It is only, however, as compared with 1871-81 that the natural increase shows any decline; as compared with any earlier decennium, it is still in excess.

As regards the increased loss from excess of emigrants over immigrants, there are no means of ascertaining with accuracy in what degree it was due to increased emigration and in what, if any, to diminished immigration. This much, however, is certain, that emigration was excessively active during the decennium, for while the number of persons of English or Welsh origin who left the "United Kingdom for places outside Europe in the interval between the enumerations of 1871 and 1881 was, so far as could be ascertained by the Board of Trade, 996,038, the number in the next intercensal period rose to 1,571,856. The loss to the population by the excess of emigration amounted as already stated, to 604,182, and, as the following table shows, was very considerably greater than the aggregate losses in the three previous decennia.

POPULATION. Difference—
being loss by
excess of
Emigration over
Increase* per Cent in previous
being loss by
excess of
Emigration over
As determined
by Natural Increment
As actually
As determined
by Natural
Increment only.
As determined
by actual
1861 20,188,335 20,066,224 122,111 12.61 11.93 0.68
1871 22,791,234 22,712,266 78,968 13.58 13.19 0.39
1881 26,138,746 25,974,439 164,307 15.09 14.36 0.73
1891 29,605,200 29,001,018 604,182 13.98 11.65 2.33

* The rates of increase in this table refer to the intervals between the several censuses without correction for the very slight inequalities of the periods.

Population in each intercensal year.

It is desirable for many purposes, to know what was the probable population of the country in each of the intercensal years, as well as in the census years themselves. If it be assumed that the rate of growth was uniform throughout the whole decennium and that this rate of growth continued to the middle of the present year, the population of England and W ales in the middle of each year was as follows:—

1881 26,046,112
1882 26,334,776
1883 26,626,639
1884 26,921,737
1885 27,220,105
1886 27,521,780
1887 27,826,798
1888 28,135,197
1889 28,447,014
1890 28,762,287
1891 29,081,047

Proportion of males and females.

Of the 29,001,018 persons enumerated, 14,050,620 were males and 14,950,398 were females. This gives an excess of 899,778 females; an excess which would, however, be considerably reduced were the Army, the Navy, and the Merchant Service abroad not excluded from the reckoning.

To each 100 males enumerated there were 106-4 females. The proportion of females to males has been steadily increasing at each census since 1851, having been successively 104-2, 105-3, 105-4, 105-5, and 106-4 to 100.

The rate of increase in the last decennium was 11.2 per cent, for males and 12.1 per cent, for females. But the "natural increment" of the males, that is the number of male births minus the number of male deaths, was 1,821,366, or 14-5 per cent, of the male population in 1881, while the natural increment of the females was 1,809,395, or 13-6 per cent, of the female population. From this it follows that the 604,182 persons who constituted the balance of emigrants over immigrants consisted of 410,648 males and 193,534 females, and that the increased proportion of females in the population was due entirely to the excess of male emigrants. Had there been neither emigration nor immigration, the females would have been only 104-7 to 100 males.

Males. Females.
Persons enumerated in 1881 12,639,902 13,334,537
Births minus Deaths(April 1881-April 1891) 1,821,366 1,809,395
Population in 1891, by natural increase 14,461,268 15,143,932
Population in 1891, as enumerated 14,050,620 14,950,398
Difference, or excess of emigrants over immigrants 410,648 193,534

Number of families.

According to the instructions given to the enumerators every occupier of a tenement. whether such tenement consisted of an entire house, or of an apartment or part of a house was to have a separate schedule for himself and family, and thus the number of schedules collected should tally with the number of families, or separate establishments. It is, however, to say the least very doubtful whether this instruction was rigidly observed by the enumerators, and it is certain that in very many cases lodgers, occupying separate apartments, if they received separate schedules, did not make use of them, but were returned as members of their landlord's family The number of separate occupiers must therefore be in excess of the number of schedules. As however, a similar under-statement of occupiers doubtlessly occurs in every enumeration, the figures may be used for purposes of comparison, without much risk.

The number, then, of schedules collected in 1891 was 6,146,901, showing an increase or 513,709, or 9.1 per cent, upon the number collected in 1881. This increase is considerably less than that of the population, of which the growth was 11.7 per cent.; and while the average number of individuals in a family was 4.61 in 1881, in 1891 it had apparently risen, in spite of the diminished birth-rate and marriage-rate, to 4.72. The change is but slight, but seems to point to an increasing under-statement of occupiers.

Number of houses.

As regards houses there is a similar uncertainty to that concerning families. The instruction to the enumerators was that they should consider every building that was separated from the next adjoining building by an unbroken party wall and such only, to be a separate house. There is, however, very good reason for believing that this instruction was not universally observed, and that often a block of buildings, consisting according to the definition of several distinct houses, was treated as a single house while on the other hand portions of one and the same house, held as different tenements, were often counted as separate houses. There is, moreover, very good ground for believing that the introduction into the enumeration book of a new column, in which particulars were to be inserted as to the number of rooms in a tenement has, by confusing the enumerator, materially added to the frequency of these errors, so that the figures must be received with some reservation.

Taking them however, as they stand, the inhabited houses numbered 5,460,976, showing an increase of 629,457, or of ISO per cent, upon the number returned in 1881.

While the inhabited houses underwent this increase, the number of uninhabited houses and of houses in process of construction actually declined. Of the former there were 380,117, and of the latter 38,407, whereas in 1881 the numbers bad been respectively 386,676 and 46,414.

The average number of occupants to each inhabited house was 5.31, against 5.38 in 1881, and 5.33 in 1871.

Rate of increase and decrease in different areas.

The increase of population was by no means equably spread over the country. In 271 of the 632 registration districts into which England and Wales are divided for registration purposes the returns (Table XII.) show an actual falling-off in the number of inhabitants, and in 202 out of these 271 districts there had also been a decline of population between 1871 and 1881.

Even when larger areas, such as counties, are taken, there are some in widen the population declined, while in the remainder the rates of increase were excessively unequal.

In the following table the counties are arranged in the order of increase and decrease in the last decennium.


showing Increase.
per Cent.
showing Increase.
per Cent.
showing Increase.
per Cent.
showing Decrease.
per Cent.
Essex 36.3 Sussex 12.2 Buckingham-
5.1 Carnarvonshire 0.9
34.4 Middlesex 11.3 Gloucester-
4.8 Brecknockshire 1.2
Surrey 20.5 Northampton-
10.9 Devonshire 4.7 Cornwall 2.4
19.5 Staffordshire 10.4 Carmarthen-
4.6 Anglesey 2.6
Durham 17.2 Yorkshire, East Riding 9.4 Oxfordshire 3.6 Huntingdon-
Kent 16.8 Berkshire 9.2 Suffolk 3.5 Pembrokeshire 2.9
16.7 Warwickshire 9.2 Somersetshire 3.2 Rutlandshire 3.6
Hampshire 16.3 Worcestershire 8.8 Westmorland 3.0 Flintshire 4.0
Leicestershire 16.3 Hertfordshire 8.4 Norfolk 2.7 Herefordshire 4.3
Derbyshire 14.3 Bedfordshire 7.5 Wiltshire 2.3 Shropshire 4.7
Lancashire 13.7 Cumberland 6.3 Dorsetshire 1.8 Merionethshire 5.3
13.7 Yorkshire, North Riding 6.3 Cambridge-
1.7 Radnorshire 7.4
Cheshire 13.4 Denbighshire 5.4 Lincolnshire 0.6 Cardiganshire 10.9
Yorkshire, West Riding 12.2         Montgomery-

Speaking generally, the countries in which the rates of increase were highest are counties which are largely affected by the presence of London, namely, Essex, Surrey, and, in a lesser degree, Middlesex and Kent; or counties in which coal-mining is the predominant industry, such as Glamorganshire, Monmouthshire, Durham, and Northumberland. Then follow the manufacturing counties; while last of all come the rural counties, with rates of increase far below the general average, or with actual decrease. Of the 14 counties that show a decrease, ten, namely, Brecknockshire, Pembrokeshire, Radnorshire, Montgomeryshire, Cardiganshire, Cornwall, Huntingdonshire, Rutlandshire, Herefordshire, and Shropshire also showed declines in 1881.

There was a decline in no less than nine of the 12 Welsh counties; but notwithstanding this, so great was the growth in Glamorganshire, that the rate of increase for Wales as a whole was almost precisely the same as for England.

The counties to which the figures given above refer are the old historical areas, that is, the areas which are ordinarily meant when the term county is used. But there are also other areas that are designated by the same title, namely, the registration or union counties, which are aggregates of registration districts or poor law unions, and since the passing of the Local Government Act of 1888, the administrative counties'. These latter differ from the ancient counties, firstly, in that certain urban sanitary districts which lie partly in one and partly in another ancient county are for administrative purposes included in that county which contains the larger portion of the population, and secondly, in that many of the larger towns have been made into county boroughs, and have administrative powers of their own. The differences in population between these three kinds of county are often very considerable ; and care must be taken by those who use the census figures not to confound them together. The population, for instance, of the ancient county of Derby is 527,886, while that of the registration county is 432,414, and that of the administrative county only 426,621. The figures for the ancient counties or counties proper are given in Table II., p. 2, those for the registration counties in Table X., page 37, and those for the administrative counties and the county boroughs in Table IV., pp. 14, 15.

Urban and rural populations.

The terms urban and rural are habitually used without any such precise meaning as would enable a clear line of demarcation to be drawn between the two. For statistical purposes, however, some strict definition must be adopted ; and probably it will be best, as certainly it will be most convenient, to define the urban population as the aggregate inhabitants of London and the urban sanitary districts, the remainder of the population constituting the rural population.

At the time of the census in 1881 there were, in addition to London, 966 urban sanitary districts. In the interval between that date and the census of 1891 some of these urban districts had been amalgamated with each other, one or two had been reduced to rural districts, while many new ones had been constituted, the general result being that in April 1891 there were 1,006 urban districts, London being for convenience reckoned as one.

Of these, six had populations exceeding 250,000 ; in 18 the population was between 100,000 and 250,000; in 38 between 50,000 and 100,000; in 120 between 20,000 and 50,000 ; in 176 between 10,000 and 20,000; in 453 between 3,000 and 10,000 ; while in. the remaining 195 it was under 3,000. These last, or many of them, can perhaps scarcely be considered as towns or as more than villages; but their aggregate population is so small as compared with that of the entire 1,006 districts, that it is not worth while excluding them from the list, and so departing from the simple definition of urban that was adopted above.

Urban Sanitary Districts, with
Population of—
Number of
Aggregate Population. Mean Percentage
of Increase of
1881. 1891.
250,000 and upwards 6* 5,843,406 6,375,645 9.1
100,000 to 250,000 18 2,345,356 2,793,625 19.1
50,000 to 100,000 38 2,124,754 2,610,976 22.9
20,000 to 50,000 120 2,984,074 3,655,025 22.5
10,000 to 20,000 176 2,010,812 2,391,076 18.9
3,000 to 10,000 453 2,379,940 2,609,141 9.6
under 3,000 195 357,832 367,282 2.6
Total 1,006 18,046,174 20,802,770 15.3

* Including the Administrative County of London, which is here reckoned as one district.

The aggregate population of these 1,006 urban districts amounted to 20,802,770; so that no less than 71.7 per cent, of the total population of England and Wales were living in districts that had been considered sufficiently urban in character to be invested with the powers of urban sanitary authorities; the division of the people being as follows:—

Population. Per Cent.
Urban 20,802,770 71.7
Rural 8,198,248 28.3
Total 29,001,018 100.0

The population in 1881 of these 1,006 urban districts, a certain number of which, however, were not urban at that date, was 18,046,174, so that the increase in these urban districts in the course of the decennium amounted to 15.3 per cent., while the increase among the inhabitants of the rest of the country was only 3.4 per cent. ; and these figures may be taken as representing with sufficiently approximate accuracy the respective increases in the urban and the rural populations.

The urban population increases, then, very much more rapidly than the rural population, And not only so, but the larger, or rather the more populous, the urban district, and the more decided, therefore, its urban character, the higher, speaking generally and with many individual exceptions, is its rate of growth. This is well seen in the table given on the preceding page, where the urban districts are grouped by their populations. At the bottom of the list are the districts with less than 3,000 inhabitants, districts, as already mentioned, often only urban in name; and in these the rate of increase was only 2.6 per cent. Next above this group come the districts with populations up to 10,000; here the rate was 9.6 ; in the next higher group the rate was 18.9, and so on successively until the districts with from 50,000 to 100,000 inhabitants are reached, and here the rate was 22.9 per cent., and at its maximum. After this, in the still more populous towns, the rate becomes smaller, in the highest group of all being only 9.1 per cent. This appears a contradiction to the statement made above that the growth is generally most rapid in the most populous towns ; but the contradiction is probably, or at any rate possibly, only apparent, and to be explained by the fact that in these excessively populous towns there is no longer space for internal growth, and that newcomers have to settle outside the municipal or official boundary, and so are not reckoned in the population.

Towns with more than 50,000 inhabitants.

Among the towns are 62 with more than 50,000 inhabitants. The following is a list of these, arranged in the order of their populations. In some cases the boundaries of the towns have been extended since 1881; and when such is the case the population given for 1881 is the population at that date of the area as now extended.

URBAN SANITARY DISTRICT, OR TOWNS. Enumerated Population. Increase per Cent.
1881. 1891. 1881-91.
62 Towns 10,294,866 11,759,871 14.2
London 3,815,544 4,211,056 10.4
Liverpool* 552,508 517,951 -6.3
Manchester* 462,303 505,343 9.3
Birmingham 400,774 429,171 7.1
Leeds 309,119 367,506 18.9
Sheffield 284,508 324,243 14.0
Bristol 206,874 221,665 7.1
Bradford* 194,495 216,361 11.2
Nottingham 186,575 211,984 13.6
West Ham 128,953 204,902 58.9
Kingston upon Hull 165,690 199,991 20.7
Salford 176,235 198,136 12.4
Newcastle on Tyne 145,359 186,345 28.2
Portsmouth 127,989 159,255 24.4
Leicester 122,376 142,051 16.1
Oldham 111,343 131,463 18.1
Sunderland 116,542 130,921 12.3
Cardiff 82,761 128,849 55.7
Blackburn 104,014 120,064 15.4
Brighton 107,546 115,402 7.3
Bolton 105,414 115,002 9.1
Preston* 96,537 107,573 11.4
Croydon 78,811 102,697 30.3
Norwich 87,842 100,964 14.9
Birkenhead 84,006 99,184 18.1
Huddersfield* 86,502 95,422 10.3
Derby 81,168 94,146 16.0
Swansea* 76,430 90,423 18.3
Ystradyfodwg 55,632 88,350 58.8
Burnley* 63,339 87,058 37.4
Gateshead 65,803 85,709 30.3
Plymouth 73,794 84,179 14.1
Halifax 73,630 82,864 12.5
Wolverhampton 75,766 82,620 9.0
South Shields 56,875 78,431 37.9
Middlesbrough 55,934 75,516 35.0
Walsall* 59,402 71,791 20.9
Rochdale 68,866 71,458 3.8
Tottenham 36,574 71,336 95.0
St Helens 57,403 71,288 24.2
Stockport 59,553 70,253 18.0
Aston Manor 53,842 68,639 27.5
York* 61,789 66,984 8.4
Southampton 60,051 65,325 8.8
Leyton* 27,026 63,106 133.5
Willesden 27,613 61,266 121.9
Northampton 51,881 61,016 17.6
Reading* 48,769 60,054 23.1
West Bromwich 56,295 59,489 5.7
Merthyr Tydfil 48,861 58,080 18.9
Ipswich 50,546 57,260 13.3
Bury* 54,717 57,206 4.5
Wigan 48,194 55,013 14.1
Hanley 48,361 54,846 13.4
Devonport 48,939 54,736 11.8
Newport* (Mon.) 38,469 54,695 42.2
Warrington* 42,552 52,742 23.9
Coventry* 44,831 52,720 17.6
Hastings 42,258 52,340 23.9
Grimsby* 40,010 51,876 29.7
Bath 51,814 51,843 0.1
Barrow in Furness* 47,259 51,712 9.4

* The areas of these towns were extended in the decennium 1881-91, but
in every case the population in 1881 relates to the town as constituted in 1891.

The rates of increase differ enormously in the different towns, and while there are some in the immediate neighbourhood of London, as Tottenham, Leyton, and Willesden, which, have doubled or more than doubled their populations during the decennium, there are others in which the increase has been considerably less than that of the country at large. In all, however, with one exception, there has been some amount of increase. This exception is Liverpool, in which great city, the next after London in population, there has been a decline of 6.3 per cent.

It must not be supposed that a falling-off in the rate of increase, or even an actual decline in the population, of a great town, implies any corresponding decline in its prosperity. It may, indeed, imply the very opposite. For it may be that the limited area within the official boundary of the town has become too valuable for ordinary residence, and that warehouses and business premises have taken the place of dwelling-houses ; the displaced inhabitants, as also the new-comers, settling themselves outside the recognised town limits. This process, as is well known, has long been going on in the central districts of London, where the resident population has diminished with each successive census; and doubtlessly it has been going on, if in a less conspicuous degree, in other cities. Thus the real growth of a great town can oftentimes' only be properly estimated if the official boundaries are ignored and the ring of suburbs be included within its area. The case of Manchester illustrates this. In 1881 it was found that of the 20 great towns, which at that date had a place in the Registrar-General's Weekly Return, Manchester was the only one in which the population had declined in the preceding decennium, the falling-off being 2.8 per cent. But in the interval between the enumerations of 1881 and 1891 the municipal area of Manchester was extended so as to include the former suburbs, and the population of this wider area, so far from having fallen off in 1871-81 by 2.8 per cent., had in reality increased by some 8 or 9 per cent, so nearly as can be estimated, and now in 1881-91 has further increased by another 9.3 per cent. A similar change would occur in the figures for Liverpool if the excessively restricted municipal area of that city were extended so as to include the suburbs; for, while the municipal population has been declining, the population in these extra-municipal suburbs has increased by somewhat more than 60 per cent., and the population of the whole area, municipal and suburban together, has gone up 5.9 per cent, during the decennium.2

County boroughs.

In a schedule to the Local Government Act of 1888 a list of large boroughs is given, to which were granted by that Act the position of administrative counties arid the title of county boroughs ; these boroughs being stated to be either counties of themselves or to have had on June 1st, 1888, populations of not less than 50,000. To the boroughs thus scheduled have since been added by order two others, namely, Oxford and Grimsby, raising the total number of county boroughs to 63. Among these are 10 in which the population enumerated in April last did not reach 50,000, namely, Bootle, Canterbury, Chester, Dudley, Exeter, Gloucester, Lincoln, Oxford, Worcester, and Yarmouth; while, on the other hand, there are in the list of urban sanitary districts two boroughs, namely,3 Newport (Mon.) and Warrington, and six non-municipal urban districts, namely, Ystradyfodwg, Tottenham, Aston Manor, Leyton, Willesden, and Merthyr Tydfil, in each of which the population now exceeds 50,000.


The population of London, meaning thereby the London of the Registrar-General, which, with an insignificant exception,4 coincides with the administrative county of London, was 4,211,050, showing an increase of 395,512, or 10.4 per cent, upon the population of 1881. Thus the population of London increased in a somewhat lower ratio than the population of England and Wales as a whole ; and the fact is notable, inasmuch as it is the first time that such a phenomenon has presented itself, London having been found in every preceding intercensal period to have gained more or less in its proportions as compared with the country at large.

Year of Enumeration. Population in England and Wales and in London at the Ten
England and Wales. London. Persons in London to
100 in
England and Wales.
1801 8,892,536 958,863 10.78
1811 10,164,256 1,138,815 11.20
1821 12,000,236 1,378,947 11.49
1831 13,896,797 1,654,994 11.91
1841 15,914,148 1,948,417 12.24
1851 17,927,609 2,362,236 13.18
1861 20,066,224 2,803,98 13.97
1871 22,712,266 3,254,260 14.33
1881 25,974,439 3,815,544 14.69
1891 29,001,018 4,211,056 14.52

It was pointed out in the last Census Report that in the centre of London was a group of districts in which the population had long been undergoing decrease, owing to the substitution of business premises for dwelling-houses; and that round this central area, and constituting the rest of Registration or Inner London, was a circle or ring of districts, all of which had undergone more or less rapid increase, the growth, speaking generally, being greater the farther the district was from (he centre, and (he rate of growth, it may be added, showing in most cases a tendency to become smaller and smaller; arid, lastly, that outside this Registration London was a wide belt of suburban districts, conveniently designated the Outer Ring, in which the population was increasing with extraordinary rapidity.

All these phenomena are repeated in the present enumeration. All the central districts that showed decreases in 1861-71 and in 1871-81 showed, with one exception, further decrease in 1881-91. The exception was Whitechapel, which, after declining 3.0 per rent, in 1861-71 and 6.8 per cent, in 1871-81, showed an increase of 4.3 per cent, in the next decennium, probably owing to an additional influx of foreigners. On the other hand, two of the districts in the Inner Ring which had previously shown increases, namely, St. Pancras and Stepney, are now added to the list of districts in which the population is declining.

The following table shows the changes in these central districts in the last three decennia.

Districts in Central Area. Decrease per Cent. Districts in Central Area. Decrease per Cent.
1861-71. 1871-81. 1881-91. 1861-71. 1871-81. 1881-91.
St George Hanover Square 0.0 4.2 10.4 Holborn 2.5 7.1 6.8
Westminster 3.0 9.1 19.9 London City 33.0 32.3 25.5
Marylebone 1.5 2.7 8.1 Shoreditch 1.7 0.5 2.0
St Pancras* +11.4 +6.7 0.8 St George in the East 1.7 1.9 3.4
St Giles 1.0 15.6 12.1 Stepney* +2.0 +1.5 1.6
Strand 14.3 18.8 18.2        

* In these districts the population decreased in the last decennium only.

The total decrease in this central group of districts in 1881-91 was 7.2 per cent. ; having been 2.7 and 4.6 per cent, in the two next preceding decennia ; the whole decrease in the 30 years amounting to 13.9 per cent. It will be noticed that the rate of decrease has become larger and larger with each successive decennium.

In all the remaining districts of Registration or Inner London, of which the following table gives particulars, there was, as already said, an increase, this increase being, as a rule, only slight in such districts as border on the central area, but very large in such as are more remote. Taking the whole group together, the increase in the ten years amounted to 17.5 per cent., having been 29.8 and 29.3 per cent, in the two next preceding decennia; so that here also, as well as in the central area, there has been gradually diminishing growth.

Other Districts of
Inner London.
Increase per Cent. Other Districts of
Inner London.
Increase per Cent.
1861-71. 1871-81. 1881-91. 1861-71. 1871-81. 1881-91.
Paddington 27.7 10.6 10.1 Poplar 46.9 34.5 6.5
Kensington 71.6 35.6 1.9 St Saviour Southwark 0.7 11.5 3.8
Fulham 64.9 74.0 64.5 St Olave Southwark 20.1 10.1 1.4
Chelsea 11.5 24.6 9.2 Lambeth 28.6 21.8 8.5
Hampstead 69.0 40.8 50.5 Wandsworth 77.6 68.3 46.1
Islington 37.6 32.3 12.9 Camberwell 55.7 67.6 26.1
Hackney 50.0 49.2 23.1 Greeenwich 17.0 30.4 26.0
Bethnal Green 14.3 5.7 1.7 Lewisham 61.2 42.2 30.0
Whitechapel* -3.0 -6.8 4.3 Woolwich? -2.8 10.2 32.8
Mile End Old Town 27.5 13.3 1.8

* In this district the population increased in the last decennium only.

? In this district the population decreased in the decennium 1861-71.

The same tendency to diminution in the rate of growth is visible, though to a much smaller degree, in the population of the Outer Ring, that is to say, in that belt of suburban districts which lie outside the boundary of Registration London, but are included in the Metropolitan Police District. Here the increase in 1861-71 was 50.8 per cent.; in the next decennium, 1871-81, it declined slightly, falling to 50.5 per cent.; while in 1881-91 the fall became more distinct, and the rate was only 49.5. It would thus appear that even this wide belt of suburbs is beginning to show some signs of repletion; and possibly were we to extend the inquiry to a still wider radius, we should find that there was a further ring of districts, outside the Metropolitan Police Area, in which the gradual filling up of the central areas was causing more and more active growth.

Population. Rates of Increase or Decrease
per cent.
1861. 1871. 1881. 1891. 1861-71. 1871-81. 1881-91.
Central Area 1,187,687 1,155,462 1,101,994 1,022,529 -2.7 -4.6 -7.2
Rest of Inner London 1,616,160 2,098,323 2,713,550 3,188,527 +29.8 +29.8 +17.5
Inner or Registration London 2,803,847 3,253,785 3,815,544 4,211,056 +16.0 +17.3 +10.4
Outer Ring 4,18,873 631,856 951,117 1,422,276 +50.8 +50.5 +49.5
Greater London 3,222,720 3,885,641 4,766,661 5,633,332 +20.6 +22.7 +18.2

Parliamentary areas.

The number of Members of the House of Commons for England and Wales, irrespective of the Universities, being 490, and the enumerated population being 29,001,018, an equal numerical distribution would give one member to 59,186 persons. The figures in Table III., pp. 3-13, show how far on either side the actual distribution departs from such equality. Taking the extreme limits, there are, among the single member constituencies, seven in which the population is under 18,000, namely. Durham, Pontefract, Bury St. Edmunds, Grantham, Salisbury, Montgomery District of Boroughs, and Penryn with Falmouth, while on the other hand there are also seven with populations above 100,000, namely, Cardiff District of Boroughs, Wandsworth, West Ham (South), Romford Division of Essex, Croydon, Deptford, and the Walthamstow Division of Essex.

In the following table the constituencies are grouped according to the proportion between their population and their members, and the number of constituencies in each group is given.

Population to one Representative. Number of Constituencies.
10,000 and upwards 7
90,000 to 100,000 19
80,000 to 90,000 26
70,000 to 80,000 66
60,000 to 70,000 08
50,000 to 60,000 28
40,000 to 50,000 79
30,000 to 40,000 23
20,000 to 30,000 19
10,000 to 20,000 15
Total 490

Population of the United Kingdom.

So far this Report has referred exclusively to England and Wales, that is, to that portion alone of the kingdom in which the enumeration was carried out under our immediate superintendence. By the courtesy, however, of our colleagues in Scotland and Ireland, and with the assistance of the enumeration books forwarded to us for compilation by the respective governors of the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, we are enabled to submit in summary, subject to any future correction of the, as yet, unrevised figures, tables showing the population of the United Kingdom and of the islands in the British seas on the night of the census.

The total population of the United Kingdom consisted on April 6th last of 37,740,283 persons. This was an increase of 2,855,435 upon the enumerated population in 1881, and was equivalent to an average daily addition of 781 persons to the community throughout the decennium, the daily addition having been 931 in 1871-81 and 701 in 1861-71.


1821. 1831. 1841. 1851. 1861. 1871. 1881. 1891.
United Kingdom 20,893,584 24,028,584 26,730,929 27,390,629 28,927,485 31,484,661 34,884,848 37,740,283
England 11,281,883 13,090,523 15,002,443 16,921,888 18,954,444 21,495,131 24,613,926 27,482,104
Wales 718,353 806,274 911,705 1,005,721 1,111,780 1,217,135 1,360,513 1,518,914
Scotland 2,091,521 2,364,386 2,620,134 2,888,742 3,062,294 3,360,018 3,735,573 4,033,103
Ireland 6,801,827 7,767,401 8,196,597 6,574,278 5,798,967 5,412,377 5,174,836 4,706,162

Rate of increase in the decennium.

The decennial rate of increase was 8.2 per cent., and lower than in either of the two next preceding decennia, in which it had been successively 8.8 and 10.8 per cent. The falling-off in the rate of growth was shared by all the divisions of the kingdom, but unequally; the smallest decline of growth being in Wales, where the increase was only very slightly lower than it had been in the previous decennium, falling merely from 11.8 to 11.6 per cent. ; while the greatest change was in Ireland, where the population declined no less than 9.1 per cent., the decline in the two previous decennia having been respectively 6.7 and 4.4 per cent.


1821-31 1831-41 1841-51 1851-61 1861-71 1871-81 1881-91
United Kingdom 15.0 11.2 2.5 5.6 8.8 10.8 8.2
England 16.0 14.6 12.8 12.0 13.4 14.5 11.7
Wales 12.2 13.1 10.3 10.5 9.5 11.8 11.6
Scotland 13.0 10.8 10.2 6.0 9.7 11.2 8.0
Ireland 14.2 5.5 -19.8 -11.8 -6.7 -4.4 -9.1

NOTE.—Where no minus sign is prefixed the figures denote au increase.

The population of England and Wales now forms 72.8 per cent., or nearly three-quarters of the total population of the United Kingdom, the proportion borne by it having increased uninterruptedly in each successive decennium. The population of Scotland constitutes 10.7 per cent, of the whole, which was also the proportion borne by it at each of the two preceding enumerations. On the other hand the inhabitants of Ireland, who in 1821 and 1831 were nearly one-third of the aggregate population, now form only 12.5 per cent., or one-eighth of it.


1821. 1831. 1841. 1851. 1861. 1871. 1881. 1891.
England 54.0 54.5 56.1 61.8 65.5 68.3 70.6 72.8
Wales 3.4 3.4 3.4 3.7 3.8 3.8 3.9 4.0
Scotland 10.0 9.8 9.8 10.5 10.6 10.7 10.7 10.7
Ireland 32.6 32.3 30.7 24.0 20.1 17.2 14.8 12.5

Islands in the British Seas.

The population of the Isle of Man, which in 1881 was found to have declined 0.9 per cent, in the preceding decennium, is now returned as 55,598, showing an increase of 2,040, or 3.8 per cent.

POPULATION of the ISLANDS in the BRITISH SEAS enumerated at each of the Censuses, 1821 to 1891

1821. 1831. 1841. 1851. 1861. 1871. 1881. 1891.
89,508 103,710 124,040 143,126 143,447 144,638 141,260 147,870
Isle of Man 40,081 41,000 47,975 52,387 52,469 54,042 53,558 55,598
Channel Islands:                
Jersey 28,600 36,582 47,544 57,020 55,613 56,627 52,445 54,518
Guernsey (with Herm
and Jethou)
20,339 24,540 26,698 29,806 29,850 30,685 32,638 35,339
Alderney No Return 1,045 1,038 3,333 4,932 2,738 2,048 1,843
Sark 488 543 785 580 583 546 571 572

A similar change has occurred in the case of Jersey. For here also there was a decline of 7.4 per cent, between 1871 and 1881, whereas the present population, numbering 54,518, shows, an increase in the decennium of 4.0 per cent. In Guernsey the population which in 1881 had increased by 6.4 per cent. now shows a further increase of 8.3 per cent., and numbers 35 339 persons. It is only in the small islet of Alderney that there has been any decline in the last decennium, but the inhabitants of this islet are so few, only 1,843, that this change scarcely affects the aggregate for the islands in the British seas, which has increased 4.7 per cent., and consists of 147,870 persons.


1821-31. 1831-41. 1841-51. 1851-61. 1861-71. 1871-81. 1881-91.
15.9 19.6 15.4 0.2 0.8 -2.3 4.7
Isle of Man 2.3 17.0 9.2 0.2 3.0 -0.9 3.8
Channel Islands:              
Jersey 27.9 30.0 19.9 -2.5 1.8 -7.4 4.0
Guernsey (with Herm
and Jethou)
20.7 8.8 11.6 0.1 2.8 6.4 8.3
Alderney No Return -0.7 321.1 48.0 -44.5 -25.2 -10.0
Sark 11.3 44.6 -26.1 0.5 -6.3 4.6 -0.2

Such, sir, are the results of the recent enumeration, so far as they have as yet been ascertained. Doubtlessly the detailed revision to which the documents will now be subjected will necessitate some slight alterations hereafter in the figures. These alterations, however, it may be confidently predicted, will not be such as to affect the general results in any serious degree.

We have the honour to be,
Your most obedient Servants,

BRYDGES P. HENNIKER, Registrar-General.               
WILLIAM OGLE, Statistical Superintendent.               


1 "Emigrant" as used in this report includes:—(1.) Emigrants proper, that is persons who have left the country to' establish themselves outside Europe. (2.) Persons who have gone abroad as travellers, &c. (3.) Persons who have migrated from England and Wales to other parts of the United Kingdom. (4.) Any persons who died in the decennium, but, whose deaths were not registered at the date of the enumeration. " Immigrant" of course is used to include the opposites of these groups. The return of emigrants on page 117 includes most of group 1 and also some out of group 2, but of the other groups no numerical account whatsoever can as yet be given.

2 In making the above calculation, the following areas have been taken as approximately representing suburbs: The sub-districts of Crosby and Litherland, with the parishes of Bootle, Walton-on-the Hill, and Wavertree, and the extra-municipal parts of West Derby and Toxteth Park.

3 By an order already issued, Newport will become a county borough in November next.

4 The civil parish of Penge is included in the administrative county of London but not in Registration London.

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