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in the year 1879. The mean rate of increase was 0141 annually; that was probably the excess of the births over the deaths. Grain, fruit, animals, also, increase in geometrical progression; but the increase of capital, at compound interest, is the most familiar example of this kind of progression, and may render it intelligible to the general reader." 134.

Proportion of Persons who marry in England-Marriage Age—

Fecundity of Females.

It appears that 10 in 20 of the people of this country are born in wedlock-and, by the census returns, that the number of women who attained the mean age of 24.3 years in the middle of 1840 was about 143,830, of which it is calculated 113,361 married for the first time. The result therefore is that 79 women in 100 who attain the age of 24 are married, and that 21 in 100 are never married.

About 132,236 men were enumerated at the mean age of 25.5 years at which men are first married. So that of 100 men enumerated who attain the average age at which marriage is consummated 82 do marry and 18 do not. Making allowance, however, for soldiers, sailors, &c. not included, it seems that the proportion of men who marry is only 78, or 1 less than the proportion which was found for the female sex.

It is further stated the returns show that, by re-marriages, about 100 women marry 108 men, and 100 men 113 women.

"More women are married than men ; but the women are married at an earlier age, when the number of them living is greater than the number of men living at the age when men marry: so that, at the respective ages of marriage, about 79 in 100 of each sex marry. Of 100 women married, 8 were widows; of 100 men, 12 were widowers."

"As the number of marriages, however, has increased for many years, and the expectation of life among women at the nuptial age is greater than that of men, it is probable that about 1 in 3 widowers and 1 in 4 widows re-marry.

"The fact, that one-fifth of the people of this country who attain the age of marriage never marry; and that the women, though capable of bearing children at 16, and certainly nubile at 17, do not marry until they attain a mean age of 24.3, the men until they are 25, proves that prudence, or 'moral restraint,' in Mr. Malthus's sense of the term, is in practical operation in England to an extent which had not been conceived, and will perhaps scarcely be credited when stated in numbers."



It has been elsewhere laid down as an axiom, that poverty is the state in which population most rapidly advances, and that marriages are more frequent, more early, and more prolific, among the poor than among the rich and this is accounted for by the supposition, that a man of education looks to advancement in the world before he saddles himself with the expenses and cares of domestic duties, whereas, as a poor man cannot be in a worse condition, he looks, on the contrary, to the possession of a wife and helpmate as the only solace at his command.

If this be true, and the tables at present furnished do not enable any very accurate test to be applied, it must be inferred that of the one-fifth who never marry, by far the larger proportion are people of education seeking for advancement as the first necessity of their lives, and yet too insecure to give "hostages to fortune," according to Bacon's definition, in the shape of a wife and children.

The influence of these circumstances on the progressive increase of the population and on the fecundity of marriage is very curiously yet clearly brought out.

"The actual fecundity of the married women of this country may probably be expressed accurately enough, if a correction be made for the increase of marriages, and for the illegitimate children borne before and after marriage by women who marry, at 5 children to every woman married, and 4.5 children to every wedding. The 5 children replace the 2 parents, and those persons who from early death or from other circumstances bear no children.

"The number of women living and enumerated, June 1840, was, in round numbers, 1,630,000 aged 15-25; 1,272,000 aged 25-35; 900,000 aged 35-45; and these three ages, at which 3,802,000 women were living may be considered the ages of childbearing, the middle period being that in which the greater number of children are produced.

"The 3,735,000 women living in the 2 years, June, 1839-41, between the ages 15-45, gave birth to 562,346 children annually: 66 women produced 10 children every year only 1 in 7 women (6.6) at the childbearing age gave birth to a child in the year. Children are occasionally borne at 15, or as late in life as 55; but if the mothers of the 562,346 children had all been aged 17-40, there would have been only 1 annual birth to 5 women living of that age. It has been calculated that, on an average, 2 years intervene between the birth of every child; or that of 2 women one has a child every year. After a correction has been made for unprolific women, the difference between 1 in 2, and 1 in 5 or 6, corroborates the previous result, and shows how much, notwithstanding the increase of population, the reproductive force is repressed by prudence.

"The population of this country may have increased, and may increase by an augmentation in the number of marriages and births; or, by a diminution in the number of deaths, and the consequent prolongation of life. The annual number of births may be increased in two ways: by an increase of the number of persons married, and by earlier marriages, which shorten the interval elapsing between successive generations. Thus 113,361 women were annually married (for the first time) in each of the two years ending June 30th, 1841, when 160,000 women attained the age of 20. If 10,000 be subtracted for sickness, infirmity, and incapacities of various kinds, 150,000 will remain who might have married, and thus have augmented the numbers married by one-third (32.7) per cent. The increase by birth, exclusive of illegitimate children, is about 3.4 per cent. annually; and if the marriages and births be increased one-third, or in the above ratio, the increase by birth will rise to 4.3 per cent., leaving, after subtracting the loss by death, (which shall be supposed to remain stationary at 2.2 per cent.) instead of 1.3, the present rate, 2.1 per cent. annually as the rate of increase, raised to its height by the greater number of married child-bearing women.

"I shall not discuss the litigated question, whether early marriages are more fruitful than late marriages; for, if even women who married at a mean age of 30 bore as many children as women married at 20, it will be immediately perceived that the annual number of births, and the rate of increase, will be widely different in the two sets of circumstances. It may be assumed that at the birth of their children the age of the mothers will be advanced equally in both cases six years, for instance, on an average-from the time of marriage; the mean age at the time the children are born will consequently be 36 years and 26 years. The interval from the birth of the mothers to the birth of the children will be 36 years and 26 years; and, according to the same law, the interval from the marriage of the mothers to the marriage of the children will be equally 36 years and 26 years. Now, in this case, altogether independently of the reduction by death in the 10 years, if the same number of women continue to marry, and if the expectation of life and the fecundity of the women remain unchanged, the births

will be raised above or depressed below the present number, in the inverse ratio of 36 and 26 to 30. At present, the interval from generation to generation, from the birth of the parents to the birth of their children, may be 30 years; in the case of the early marriages, a generation would be reproduced every 26 years; of the late marriages, every 36 years; and, as by the hypothesis, the number born in each generation would be the same, the number born in a given time would differ in the ratio of the intervals which separated the generations." 138.

"I do not advance the preceding numerical statements as absolutely correct or definitive; and I hope to be able to resume the examination of these important subjects at a future time, when more extensive materials have accumulated and have been analyzed. None of these qualifications will, however, invalidate the general principles; and the facts prove, beyond all question, that the population of the country is susceptible of an immense expansion; that it is voluntarily repressed, and always has been repressed, to an extent which has not been clearly conceived or stated; and that the means in the hands of nature, and of society, for increasing and diminishing the population are simple, efficient, and quite compatible with our ideas of the benevolence of the divine government of the world.

"Writers upon population have, perhaps, exaggerated the influence of the increase of population on the strength and prosperity of states; but its importance is unquestionable, and it must always be interesting to understand the laws which regulate the death-the reproduction of individuals; and which, in the midst of the struggles of the antagonist forces of disease and death, the losses by war, want, vice, and error, ensure the perpetuity and life of nations." 139.

"When the rate of increase is to be lowered, the usual course appears to be to defer to the extent required the period of marriage. If the supplies of subsistence were cut off, if science and industry were unable to convert a larger proportion of the materials of nature into food, and all the outlets and demands of emigration were closed, the population might unquestionably be brought to a stationary condition without increasing the deaths by reducing the number of marriages. At present one-fifth of the women who attain the age of 24.3 years never marry; if one-half of the women who attain that age never married, and illegitimate births did not increase, the births would ultimately not exceed the deaths, and the population would remain stationary. But the same end would be almost as effectually and less harshly attained, though four-fifths of the women who arrived at the mean age of marriage continued to marry, if instead of beginuing to marry at 18, none married under 23, and the mean age of marriage were raised to 30 years; for the interval from generation to generation would be thus extended, the children to a marriage diminished, and the number of women at 30 would be reduced by the loss of the younger lives." 140.

And thus Mr. Farr would show that if any part of the population of this country is increasing too fast, "the means of repression are simple, would not be harsh in their operation, and are at the command of the immediate sufferers." Again, he adds

"Should the time nevertheless come, when the country is sufficiently populous, and it should be desirable to retard or stop the progress of population-the analysis of the marriages, births, and deaths, in connexion with the census returns, will show, as has been already proved, that this may be effected without raising the mortality. The principle of an increase of the population in geometrical progression has nothing in it fatal, irresistible, inexorable; upon a rigorous analysis of the facts, it is seen that it consists of nothing but an excess of births over the deaths, and becomes a negative quantity, or a decrease of population in geometrical progression,' if the births cease to maintain the same ratio to the population; and the births may always be reduced rapidly by retarding the period

and number of marriages: so that the mathematical terror, a geometrical progression,' cannot alarm any one in the light of day. I do not desire to disguise or underrate the gravity of the fact, that the population of England has increased, as the censuses prove, and the excess of births over deaths leaves beyond doubt -in a geometrical progression for 40 years, and at a rate by which, if continued, it will double every 49 years."

This very able paper concludes with the following consolatory remarks for the disciples of Malthus.

"Both these writers (Dr. Price and Mr. Malthus) contributed essentially to the development of the true theory of population; both rendered important services to mankind by their investigations; but the facts since elicited, and the further prosecution of the inquiries which they commenced, have shown that, while the study of the doctrine of population is fraught with instruction, and is suggestive of prudence, it is calculated to inspire a calmer confidence in the ordinances of nature, and to confirm our faith in the destinies of England. The expansion of which the reproductive force in the population is susceptible, and the progress of science and industry, must set at rest all dread of depopulation; which has apparently never prevailed for any length of time since the earliest historical ages. The population, it has been proved, has increased in a geometrical progression ever since the first census in 1801 and the rate of progression has been such that, if it continue, the numbers will have doubled in 1850: double the number of families will exist, and must be supplied with subsistence in England: but there will also be double the number of men to create subsistence and capital for her families, to man her fleets, to defend her inviolate hearths, to work the mines and manufactories, to extend the commerce, to open new regions of colonization; and double the number of minds to discover new truths, to confer the benefits and to enjoy the felicity of which human nature is susceptible." 141.

"The fallacy to which I have referred rests on this doctrine: the population is increasing in a geometrical progression, the means of subsistence in an arithmetical progression, and unless wars, destructive epidemics, marshes, dense towns, close workshops, and other deadly agents, carry off the excess of the numbers born-unless the outlets of life and blood be left open-the whole people must be exposed to a slow process of starvation.' This has been considered by some the doctrine of population. The nature of the increase in geometrical progression has been already examined; and there is no evidence whatever to prove that while capital increases in geometrical progression (compound interest) the subsistence and power of the people of these islands have increased, or will increase, in arithmetical, and not in geometrical progression. It is not known how much subsistence has increased in the last 40 years; and it is pure empiricism to pretend to say that the rate of progression has been, or will be arithmetical, if anything more be meant by that formula than the plain incontrovertible fact that the increase of subsistence is limited. But independently of these considerations, and any matters of controversy which it would be inconvenient to advert to here, the facts in the previous part of this paper dispose of the fallacy,—which, if it cannot be employed by any but the most depraved to sanction the destruction of life, might slacken the zeal of some in ameliorating the public health, by lending a colour to the dreadful notion that the excess of population is the cause of all the misery incidental to our condition or nature; and that the population might at the same time be diminished and saved from starvation, by epidemic diseases, unhealthy employments, or pestilential localities. What are the facts? An increase of the deaths can only diminish the population if the number of births remain stationary. It has been shown that the number of births may be increased to an incredible extent; experience has proved that the births almost invariably increase when the mortality increases; and it will be seen, in the Tables of the

Report, that where the mortality is greatest, the births are most numerous, and the population is increasing most rapidly. An increase of the mortality is therefore no specific for establishing an equilibrium between subsistence and population. The more, in fine, the doctrines of population are studied, the more deeply must be impressed upon the mind the sacredness of human life, and of the safeguards by which it has been surrounded by God and the laws." 143.

The Second Paper, devoted to the registration of the causes of death, is chiefly explanatory of the nosological arrangement adopted, furnishing, for the information of the Registrars of Districts and the profession generally, a statement of the chief objects to be kept in view in reference to the registration.

It is prefaced by the invitation of the Presidents of the Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons and the Master of the Society of Apothecaries, circulated in May, 1837, to "all authorised practitioners throughout the country to follow their example, and give, in every instance which may fall under their care, an authentic name of the fatal disease, and to assist in establishing a better registration in future throughout England."

In reference to this subject some question has lately been raised as to the equity or fairness of calling upon members of the medical profession to contribute the information required by the Registrars, as adding one more to the already large demands made upon their gratuitous labour by Poor Law Guardians and public institutions-a question no doubt which never would have been raised were there not too many examples constantly before them of an ungenerous effort, first to undervalue, and secondly to profit by, professional time and services, left without remuneration.

So important however to mankind do we consider a complete and accurate registration of the causes of death, that we would fain hope-even though the legislature and government may have thrown upon medical men the onus and labour of providing the information at their own cost, -which by its value and importance might well have merited remuneration-that nevertheless it will not be withheld.

The explanatory statement thus describes the dependence of the Registrars upon the profession, and the public objects to be attained by their assistance.

"The recent Act for registering Births, Deaths, and Marriages in England, presents an opportunity for obtaining that great desideratum in medical statistics, a more exact statement of the causes of death, in the case of every registered death throughout the whole of England and Wales, after the month of June next ensuing.

"The Register-Books in which all deaths are to be registered after the last day of June, 1837, contain columns wherein may be inserted the cause of death, in juxtaposition with those other important illustrative circumstances, the sex, the age, and the profession or calling of the deceased person. Each Register-Book will also be assigned to a particular District of small extent, and will thus show in what part of the kingdom each death has occurred. If, therefore, the cause of death be correctly inserted, there will exist thenceforward public documents, from whence may be derived a more accurate knowledge, not only of the comparative prevalence of various mortal diseases, as regards the whole of England and Wales, but also of the localities in which they respectively prevail, and the sex, age, and condition of life which each principally affects.

"For the attainment of this object, it is necessary to ensure, as far as it is possible, the correct insertion of the cause of death.' It is obvious that on

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