Increase of Population

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III - Increase of Population.

THE successful Enquiry regarding the Ages of persons existing in the Year 1821, and the Collection of Ages of the deceased during Eighteen Years to the end of the Year 1830, have conjointly rendered important a knowledge of the amount of Population existing throughout the last one hundred years; that is, during the most extended period of human life; because all the Three elements requisite for calculating the expectancy of human life will then be complete.

Four Enumerations, at the beginning, at the end, and at two intermediate periods, dividing, Thirty Years into three equal parts, affords sufficient assurance of accuracy since the commencement of the present Century, the gradual increase in all the intermediate Years being supplied in England and Wales by the excess of Baptisms beyond Burials, with such proportional augmentation in each Year, as to reach the next stage of actual Enumeration. [See p. 489 of the Parish Register Abstract.] The total increase is between 56 and 57 per cent, in the first Thirty Years of the present Century.

The Marriage Register (already described) affords a large step of 45 Years retrospectively into the last Century, and with sufficient security, supposing only that the Marriages were in like proportion to the Population of the successive Years, as they have been since the Year 1800; that is, as one to 122 annually; but it is to be understood, that the number of Marriages, retrospectively from 1800, is to be increased from a cause now to be explained. The number of Marriages in the several Years between 1754 and 1801 (See p. xxxiii.) would be accurate throughout, were those of 1755 (and subsequently) collected from the same number of Parish-Registers as those of 1800; but an investigation of the Dates at which all Marriages-Registers commence (heretofore impossible) shows a defect to the amount of 250 such Registers in 1755; and the question arises, How many Marriages would these Registers (if extant) have produced in the Year 17551 This can only be decided by supposing the increase of Population between 1754 and 1801, to have been similar in these places to that of the rest of the kingdom, whereby- it is not difficult to add to the Marriages of 1755 in proportion to the defect of Population, thus estimated. The same proses applied to each of the Years from 1755 to 1801, of course exhibits a decreasing series of additions, which entirely cease at the Year 1799.

It is also known by experience, indeed by inspection of the amount of Marriages in any series of Years, that it is so much affected by the price of food, as to require equalization or rectification of the series before it can be confidently applied in calculation; it is even found that the Births decrease and the Burials increase in a Year of scarcity, so that a Table of the prices of Wheat is a necessary appendage of any investigation into the Increase of Population on the authority of the Parish Registers; and none is so unexceptionable as the prices in the Windsor Market, which are carefully noted twice in every Year, for regulation of the Corn-Rents due to Eton College; which prices have been communicated with great readiness by the Registrar Mr. Batcheldor, as permitted and authorized by the Provost; and although they commence at a much earlier date than is necessary for the present purpose, are inserted entire [p. liv, as being the best standard record of the comparative prices of human food in the interior of England during a long series of years.

Previously to the year 1755, Marriages were so irregularly contracted, and the Registry therefore so notoriously defective, as not to be deemed worthy of attention in the Population Act of 1801, which in preference required the number of Baptisms and Burials from the year 1700 to 1760; so that the proportion of Baptisms and of Births to Marriages remains to be investigated; for which purpose the number of Deaths is a necessary ingredient; and herein it is to be considered that if the emigration of persons from Great Britain may in some degree arrest the progress of Population, the immigration from Ireland into Great Britain operates in compensation; and neglecting these disturbing causes as thus neutralized, the Increase of Population accrues from the excess of Births beyond the Deaths. This Increase between the Enumerations of 1821 and 1831 appears to have-been 1,978,312. The Registered Baptisms during these Ten Years have been 3,753,493; the Registered Burials, 2,462,907; to which last may be added 94,890 for unregistered Burials (0,489 Annually), according to the Estimate of the several Clergymen; and about 100,000 may be assumed (10,000 Annually), of which no particular Estimate was obtained. The Total of Deaths in England and Wales will thus amount to 2,657,797; and to balance these Deaths, and provide for the above increase of Population, the Births must have been 4,636,672, showing a defect in the Baptismal Register of 883,179; in fact, that an addition of 24 per cent, is necessary to reconcile it to the Births and to the increase of Population. In this manner the Births appear to have been as 441 to 100 Marriages; the Baptisms as 346 to 100 Marriages, which is rather less than the usual proportion since 1780, (352 to 100) the contemporary Marriages and Baptisms having been ascertained, and the numbers compared; and no better approximation to the Population of the Decennary Years of the first Half of the last Century can be obtained than by reliance on this proportion as applied to the Registered Baptisms and Burials of each Decennary Year. It is fortunate that the expectancy of human life at all ages younger than 75 will not be liable to error on account of this imperfect basis of calculation; which when pursued into detail seems to indicate that the Eastern Counties from the Humber to the Thames, including the East-Riding of York, Lincoln, Cambridge, Norfolk, Suffolk, and Essex, scarcely maintained a stationary Population during that Half Century.

The best Statement which can be given of the progressive Population of England and Wales is here subjoined, on the authority of Mr. Finlaison, of the National Debt Office, who is engaged in a sedulous investigation of the expectancy of human life, from, infancy to old age, founded on the materials herein explained, after subjecting them to all the tests furnished by the present state of Physical and Statistical knowledge.

POPULATION of ENGLAND and WALES, from the Year 1700 to the Year 1830, including the Army, Navy, and Merchant Seamen.

In the middle of the year - In the middle of the year -
1700 5134516 1770 7227586
1710 5066337 1780 7814827
1720 5345351 1790 8540738
1730 5687993 1800 9187176
1740 5829705 1810 10407556
1750 6039684 1820 11957565
1760 6479730 1830 13840751

At the end of each County in the Parish-Register Abstract, is a classification of the ages of the deceased, for the purpose of ready comparison of the several Counties with each other; but from the Increase of Population the decimal annexed thereto is of little use beyond the earliest Years of Life. According to this classification, the probability of life in England (vie probable ) is 25 Years at birth; but in the North-Riding of the County of York one-half are not dead until the age of 38 Years, whereas in the West-Riding of the same Comity, one-half are dead at 18 Years of age. An incredible disparity in adjoining districts, were it not known that the Population of the North-Riding increases slowly, that of the West-Riding rapidly; whence the young are in greater proportion in the latter, and the Mortality of Infants, especially of the Male Hex in the first two years of life, produces this preponderance of early death in the West-Riding. This cause is so powerful, that in Lancashire (where the Population increases even more rapidly) one-half of the individuals born have not attained the age of 12 Years; one-half of the Males being dead at 7 Years, one-half of the Females between 16 or 17 Years of age; such indeed on infant life is the effect of crowded residence in the immediate vicinity of the several factories, that in Lancashire 36 per cent, of Male Infants, 31 per cent of Female Infants die before they are two years old. A rapid increase of Population infers the birth and existence of a large proportion of Infants, and therefore a large proportion of short-lived persons; thereby accelerating pro rata the time of life or age at which one-half of the population collectively are dead.

In like manner the average duration of life, as deduced from 'a summation of the ages of the deceased (vie moyenne ) produces only erroneous inference, unless the Increase or Decrease of Population, which predominates over all other causes, is first taken into account. Thus, by computation of the number of Years of Life of all the 3,938,486 Persons whose ages have been classed [p. xxxvi] the average duration of their lives is found to have been about 33 Years (of Male life 32 Years, of Female life 34 Years); and by pursuing the same process as combined with the rate of increase of Population in the several Counties, the alliance of cause and effect will appear to be quite as regular as is. consistent with the other elements of calculation which must also be admitted into, this investigation [see p. liv.] For the. Actual longevity of the human species cannot be very different in the three several Ridings of Yorkshire and in Lancashire; all in the same climate, and adjoining each other; all the inhabitants fed and clothed alike; yet the average duration of life (vie moyenne ) according to the usual mode of calculation, differs as 25 to 40 years between Lancashire and North-York; West-York (neatly allied with Lancashire) giving 29 Years; East-York 32 Years. It may even be inferred, that where the Population has been stationary, human Life will seem to average at 44 years; and where it has been decreasing, it may stand yet higher in the Scale. Thus the reservation usual in all such cases, "Provided the Population is stationary," invalidates all calculations for ascertaining the average duration of human Life in various places. But inversely, may not the Movement of Population (the rate of its increase or decrease) retrospectively, be inferred from the average duration of the ages of the deceased, collected from modern Registers which afford that element of calculation?

The last Question of the Enumeration Schedule regards the Movement of Population, inquiring the cause of any remarkable increase or decrease, where any such may have occurred? Answers to this Question have not been numerous, and are always inserted in the Notes where any remarkable increase has taken place; instances, of decreased Population are few, and are almost always noticed and explained.

The Remarks which state the Increase of Population to have resulted from the operation of the Poor Laws, are too frequent for distinct insertion; they suppose persons to marry with a direct view of thereby obtaining a weekly allowance, or at least in reliance on that kind of resource in time of need; nor can it be denied, but that such an effect seems very naturally to follow from the compulsory nature of the Relief afforded to the Poor in England; and it is quite certain, that whenever employment is scarce, the married man will have a preference, lest he should be constrained to apply to the Overseer for gratuitous aid: but there is reason to suspect that the Poor Laws are less conducive to an Increase of Population than they are usually stated to be in argument, and in the remarks inserted in. the Population Returns; because the ratio of increase in Scotland does not materially differ from that in England and Wales; not more than would be expected did no Poor-Rate exist.

Yet the Poor-Rate with other local taxes in England, absorbs one-fifth of the entire rental of land and houses and other fixed property; while in Scotland the Poor-Rate is small in amount, indeed is rarely imposed; and this although the Poor-Laws are similar, (though not the same)in both Countries; the difference of burthen resulting from what at first sight appears a small difference in the Law: the English Poor-Rate being levied entirely on the Tenant, the Scottish Poor-Rate being payable, one half of it, by the "Proprietor; who having thus always felt a cogent interest in averting an immediate inconvenience, has therefore prevented the introduction of Poor-Rates by foresight and timely attention; while the English Proprietor not exposed to such immediate inconvenience, has suffered his benevolence to overpower his prudence, and has thereby imposed on his posterity a burthen which would not have existed had he been liable to sustain it himself at the time of his own liberality; a burthen which probably cannot be alleviated unless; by imitation of this part of the Law of Scotland in the present exigency and pressure of the Poor-Rate; by which all private property in the Counties near the Metropolis is seriously endangered, the final transfer or extinction of Real Property being enforced by the confiscation of Personal Property, to the extent authorized by the absolute and unlimited operation of the Poor-Laws.

A class of Remarks more frequent in Scotland than in England, goes some length in accounting for- the Increase of the Agricultural Population; not immediately from the prosperity of Agriculture during the first Twelve or Thirteen years of the present Century, but consequentially , from the disuse of Farm-house Servants (Male Servants especially) when the Master began to live in a very superior manner to his domestics, and the Mistress to dislike the trouble of providing for them. The dismissed Labourer in such cases could not but become a Cottager, and in his new situation could scarcely fail to become a Married Man.

The Manufacturing Population is invariably on the Increase; not only as every short period of prosperity and increased wages produces imprudent Marriages, but also because in many Manufactures, Children are able to maintain themselves at an early age, and so to impose little expense on their Parents, to the obvious encouragement of marriage.

But this is not a proper place for going deeply into the causes of increasing Population; which may be deemed a solid good, or a dreadful evil, according to the circumstances of the nation in which it occurs. If a commensurate increase of Food and of Raiment can be produced by Agriculture and by Machinery, an accession of Consumers in the home market cannot but be beneficial to all parties; and the Increase of Population in such case may be deemed equally desirable in itself, and conducive to National strength and National prosperity.

The concluding pages of this Preface exhibit a Comparative view of the Population of the several Counties in 1801,1811, 1821 and 1831; with an opposite page of miscellaneous information: the Area of each County; the Divisional Meetings of Magistrates in Petty Sessions [See p. 1.]; the number of Acting Justices of the Peace, or County Magistrates (from a Parliamentary Document;) the number of Parishes; of Enumeration Returns (which vary in number at the discretion of the Overseers, in joining or separating parts of the same Parish); and of Parish Register Returns. Much of this is not applicable to the Counties of Scotland.

The Population of Ireland (amounting to 7,767,401) has been enumerated concurrently with that of Great Britain, and through the meritorious exertions of Mr. Hatchell has been completed and arranged in the same manner, the inquiries having been similar throughout. The Population of France was also enumerated in 1831, but without distinction of Sexes, or any other particulars. In all Nations where Registers exist of Births, or Burials (with ages of the deceased), and of Marriages, it is clearly adviseable that actual Enumeration should take place in the Year next after a Decennary Year, as in 1831, so as to include the Register of 1830 and of the preceding nine Years; nor is repetition of such Enumeration desirable at a shorter period than Ten years: not in England certainly, an established period possessing many conveniences of calculation and analogy, merely because it has been established; and because the expense of such an extended operation, though not heavily imposed on the national revenue, is not of small amount on the several Parishes and County-Rates collectively; so that any proposal for more frequent Enumerations will not be lightly entertained by the Legislature of the United Kingdom.

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