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The late Mr. Buckle, in his learned History of Civilization, pub. 1857, says:
Now it has always been suspected that on an average the male and female births are tolerably equal; but until very recently no one could tell whether or not they were precisely equal, or, if unequal, on which side there was an excess. ... By the simple experiment of registering the number of births and their sexes; by extending this regis. over several years, in different countries, we have been able to eliminate all casual disturbances, and ascertain the existence of a law which, expressed in round numbers, is, that for every 20 girls there are born 21 boys; and we may confidently say that although the operations of this law are of course liable to constant aberrations, the law itself is so powerful, that we know of no country in which, during a single year, the male births have not been greater than the female ones.
The same writer has further pointed out that if this proportion were greatly disturbed in any country, even for a single generation, society would be thrown into the most serious confusion; and there would be a great increase in the vices of the people. He adds:
The causes of the difference have never been solved, although physiologists have made many efforts to ascertain it. They did not indeed discover the fact. The statisticians did this; as they have also discovered that the relative age of the parents does affect the sex of the children.
It used to be supposed that some of the Eastern countries, where polygamy prevails, furnished an exception to this rule; but more precise obs. have corrected and contradicted the loose statements of the earlier travellers; and in no part of the world, so far as our knowledge extends, are more girls born than boys; while in every part of the world, for which we have statistical returns, there is a slight excess on the side of male births.
The following important T., showing the Marriage and Birth rates for the years 1860-1 in four of our largest towns (cities in point of pop.) compared with those in the chief agricultural counties of England, is from an important paper submitted by Dr. John Edward Morgan, M.D., to the Social Science Congress, in 1865, The danger of Deterioration of Race from too rapid increase of Great Cities; and which, as well at the time as since, has engaged much attention. It shows unmistakably that the natural increase of pop. is materially influenced by different conditions of life.
MARRIAGE AND BIRTH RATES TO EVERY 1000 POPULATION.
In 1862 Mr. Frederick Hendriks read before the Statistical So. of Lond. a paper, On the Vital Statistics of Sweden, from 1749 to 1855. This is a most exhaustive production. We must be content to extract a few of its more prominent results.
One living child had been born ann. to the following numbers of the entire pop. :
I in 29:09
average of the three periods, 39'39.
One living child had been born ann. to the following numbers of Female pop. :
The stillborn children being added did not materially affect the results.
One child (living or stillborn) had been born to the following number of women between the ages 15 and 55:
1 in 8:97)
I in 8:43 average, 8.53.
To each 1000 female children born between 1749 and 1855, there had been on an average 1044 males.
To one marriage contracted, the following were the number of children born alive : Between 1751-1775 average 3.98
3'77 average of the three periods, 3'99.
The illegitimate births had increased from 6.78 p. 100 of all births (including stillborn) in 1831-35, to 9 ̊55 in 1855; at which last date they stood in relation to legitimate births as 1055 to 100. The illegitimate births in 1851-55 were one to every 165 of the entire female pop.; and I to every 45 of the unmarried women over 15 years of age. Among the illegitimate births the proportion of boys to 1000 girls was 1027, against 1047 in the legitimate births.
Wars and famines each exercise an influence more or less considerable upon the births of a nation. "War (says the Reg.-Gen.) removes married men from their homes to occupy garrisons and encampments, to man the fleets, or as workmen, to furnish the mighty equipments of sea and land." This is an influence in add. to the even more direct one, of the number of men of a marriageable age who are killed. Then war too often produces famine, and famines lessen in a marked degree the reproductive powers. These considerations will be followed out under their respective heads: FAMINES; WARS. In the Kingdom of Greece, in 1861, the pop. (excluding the Ionian Islands) was 1,096,810. The marriages were 7175; the births 32,405,-males, 16,775; females, 15,630. The marriages were at the rate of 6:54 p. 1000 of the pop. ; the births 29'54 In the Ionian Islands the births in 1864 were 25'42 p. 1000. p. 1000.
In 1863 an Act was passed providing for the Regis. of Births and Deaths in Ireland. The Act came into operation in 1864. During the first quarter there were regis. 30,330 births, affording an ann. ratio of 1 in 48 of the inhabitants. In the quarter ending 30th June, 1864, there were regis. 38,701, affording an ann. ratio of I in 37. The birth-rate varied in the different provinces as follows: In Leinster, I in 38; in Munster, I in 34; in Ulster, I in 38; in Connaught, 1 in 41. The returns of course were not perfect. We shall speak more at large upon the subject under IRELAND.
For the first time we meet with some statistics regarding the Birth-rate in Australia, which should be authentic. The Reg.-Gen. for Melbourne returned the pop. for that city and suburbs during 1863 at 114,000; and the births for the same year were returned as 5,590. The birth-rate was thus 48′9 p. 1000. The rate was taken separately for the II districts of the city and suburbs. The highest birth-rate was 79'5, the lowest 33'9 p. 1000 of the pop.
In 1864 obs. of a similar character were taken in Sydney. The total pop. of that city and suburbs then was 43,625. The births in the year were 1993-being at the rate of 45 7 p. 1000 of the pop. The obs. were taken separately for the 8 districts of the city. The highest birth-rate was 64'9, the lowest 37°3 p. 1000. The range of fluctuation was therefore much less than in Melbourne. The Melbourne Argus (1865), commenting on these figures, said:
When we compare the foregoing figures with similar data for European Countries and Capitals, we find that the two Australian Colonies enjoy an absolute supremacy in the matter of births. The prolificness of our pop. is something evidently never dreamt of in the philosophy of the antipodean nations. In England the average birth-rate for the ten years 1852-62 was 34 p. 1000; in Lond. it was 33.8 p. 1000. The highest average rate in any English county during the same period was 41 p. 1000 in Staffordshire and Durham-a ratio not even equal to the average rate of birth in the suburbs of either Sydney or Melbourne, and lower by nearly 40 p. 1000 than the birth-rate of North-Melbourne. The lowest birth-rate at home [England] is that of the extra-metropolitan part of Surrey, which was 294 p. 1000, or nearly 5 p. 1000 less than the lowest Melbourne suburb, and 8 p. 1000 less than the lowest Sydney suburb. The same with other countries. Scotland has a birth-rate of 34'4 p. 1000, rising in the towns to 38 p. 1000. In France the birth-rate is 266 p. 1000; in Austria 39'4 p. 1000; in Italy 382 p. 1000-none of these rates at all approaching the average birth-rate of either Sydney or Melbourne.
The highest birth-rate in the Melbourne suburbs was considerably higher than that of any of the Sydney suburbs.
In 1865 Mr. W. L. Sargant read before the Statistical So. a paper: Inconsistencies of the Census of 1861, with the Reg.-Gen. Reports; and Deficiencies in the Local Registry of Births. The conclusions at which the author arrives will be given in our art. CENSUS, under this date—especially under conclusions numbers 7 and 8.
The births regis. in the U.K., 1865, exclusive of the islands in the Brit. seas, amounted to 1,006,223, and this is below the actual number, as all the births are not regis. in Ireland or England.-Dr. Farr.
More boys are born alive than girls, and the boys dying in greater numbers, the provision of nature brings the sexes nearly to an equality at the age of marriage. Thus of 1000 children born in England 512 are boys, 488 girls; 334 men, 329 women, live to the age of 20. The excess of boys is reduced from 24 to 5; and if there was no emigration and foreign service, the men of the age of 20-40 would exceed the women in number. An unchanging million of ann. births will produce, according to the law of vitality in England, a pop. of 20,426,138 males, 20,432,046 females, large numbers differing quite inconsiderably.-Dr. Farr, 1866.
of Lond. a paper: ObserDeaths, and Marriages. We can only briefly refer
In 1866 Mr. T. A. Welton read before the Statistical So. vations on French Pop. Statistics, particularly those of Births, The paper is pub. in the Journal of that So. [vol. 29, p. 254]. to the interesting facts it presents. He says: Births appear to be relatively most numerous in the division of Alsace, where marriages are few and late, and least numerous in that of Western Normandy, though marriages are even less numerous than in Alsace they are earlier. Some cause, apart from the custom of the people as to marriage, must exist for such a disparity in the porportion of births. Thus
Proportion of Women
36'1 48'1 47'I
1000 Inhabitants. 32°3
A further examination of the birth-rates in the year 1856 does not present less singular results. Thus we find in Britanny and the division of the Adour, higher proportions of births than in Lower Garonne and Upper Seine. Comparative lateness and even paucity of marriages do not seem to be at all incompatible with relatively high birth-rates, and vice versá :
Proportion of Women
Upper Seine Perplexed by these figures, we may reasonably consult the statistics, in order to ascertain what is usual out of France. We shall find that in the same year (1856) a marriage-rate of 8'5 in England was co-existent with a birth-rate of 35'0 p. 1000 inhabitants; and that Belgium, with a marriage-rate of 73, had 29'6 births per 1000 inhabitants. Rather more than 4 births to one marriage were recorded in both these countries. The same may be said of Britanny and Alsace.
He concludes, naturally, that the exceptional circumstances must be looked for in the districts where the birth-rate is low. [MARRIAGES.] [POPULATION.]
In 1866 Mr. Samuel Brown read before the Statistical So. a paper: On the Statistical Progress of the Kingdom of Italy; and the same is pub. in the Journal of that So. [vol. 29, p. 197]. From it we derive the following facts. The births in 1862 were 833,054males, 428,922; females, 404,132; being 106 to 100. Parma and Piacenza show the highest rate of male births, being 112.5 to 100; and Sicily the lowest, 104'5 to 100. The town pop. shows the highest rate of births, being 4'1 p.c. of the total inhabitants, and rural 37 p. c.-total, 383 p.c. In regard to fecundity of pop., Sicily shows the highest, 428 p. c. of the total inhabitants; and Umbria the least, 334 p.c. Dividing the number of births by that of marriages, the town communes give 501 p.c., and the rural 4:58 p.c.-mean for the whole kingdom, 4'71 p.c. By this rule the Marches show the highest rate, 5'59 p.c., and Piedmont the lowest, 4'39 p.c.
But the crowning work of the year 1866 was the pub. by the Belgian Gov. of Bulletin de la Commission Centrale de Statistique, a work prepared by the enlightened Belgian officials, under the supervision of M. Quetelet, to whom we are indebted for its able preface. In the work itself is presented the leading vital statistics of the principal European pop. An able summary of it will be found in the Statistical Journ. [vol. 31, p. 146]. We have here, as in other cases, to limit ourselves to a few of its leading facts. The regis. of births is not so perfect as one could wish in several countries. In some the civil regis. is still incomplete, and where it is conducted by the religious denominations, some omissions must be expected. In 17 countries the returns of the births in the census year were found to exhibit a little excess over the average of the few years preceding-which might be anticipated from the fact that in most countries the pop. was increasing.
The most remarkable rate of fecundity is shown in Russia; and especially in the single year under obs. , when it was nearly twice as high as in France. The general average may be fairly taken at about 333 in 10,000, or 3 p.c.
In the stillborn the remarkable fact is observed that males exceed the females in the proportion of 1335 to 1000-the excess of males amongst children who die in birth being six times as great as the excess of the males in children born alive. And this result is general, since the limits vary only from 1456 in France to 1254 in the Netherlands: the latter being nearly 5 times as great as the lowest excess of males in children born alive.
The following T. of results we compile from the materials of several tables in the work. The year of obs. is generally the "census year;" where the obs. extend over several years, the "mean" is given:
Statisticians have calculated that if the pop. of the world amounts to between 1200 and 1300 million persons, the number of deaths in a year would be about 32 millions. Assuming the correctness of this calculation, the deaths each day would be nearly 88,000; 3600 per hour, 60 per minute, and thus every second would carry into eternity one human life from one part of the world or another. But reproduction asserts its superior power; for, on calculating the probable ann. births on the globe, the result shows that whereas 60 persons die per minute, 70 children are born, and thus the increase of the pop. is kept up.-Lancet, 1867. The excess of births over deaths in the U.K. is now more than 1000 per day. In England it is above 250,000 a year; in Scotland, above 40,000; in Ireland it is estimated at nearly 70,000.
Our great store-house of modern information on all subjects connected with the births, marriages, and deaths of our pop., and not only of our own pop., but incidentally of many other pop., consists of the ann. reports of our Reg.-Gen.-supplemented as they are decennially by the reports of the Commissioners of the Census. It is impossible to speak too highly of these several productions, or of him under whose actual (as distinguished from nominal) direction they are we mean Dr. Farr, and with him we always associate, although we do not always name, his talented staff of assistants. Since these reports have become what they are, we have had little occasion to look beyond them for information. We propose to complete this paper mainly by their aid.
The number of births regis., and the ann. birth-rate to 1000 of pop. respectively, in each of twelve large towns of the U.K. in the year 1867, was as follows: Bristol, 6004 and 364; Birmingham, 13,029 and 380; Liverpool, 19,561 and 399; Manchester, 13,365 and 370; Salford, 4517 and 394; Sheffield, 9296 and 41°3; Leeds, 10,254 and 44'3; Hull, 4142 and 389; Newcastle-on-Tyne, 4815 and 387; Edinburgh, 6422 and 366; Glasgow, 18,322 and 417; Dublin, 8240 and 25'9. The natural increase of pop. by excess of births over deaths during the year was 981 in Newcastle-on-Tyne, 1250 in Salford, 1487 in Hull, 1662 in Edinburgh, 2011 in Manchester, 2283 in Bristol, 3727 in Sheffield, 4008 in Leeds, 4711 in Birmingham, 5050 in Liverpool, and 5779 in Glasgow. The second quarter of 1868, said the Reg.-Gen., is the first time that 200,000 children have been born alive in England and Wales in a quarter of a year. The exact number reached 202,892—2230 a day, 1 a minute, if we might divide a child. The marriages in 1867 had been fewer than in either of the three preceding years, but in 1864, 1865, and 1866, they had been unusually numerous. The death-rate in the second quarter of the year 1868 being lower than in the spring quarter of any year since the national civil registration began, the extraordinary result is presented of no less than 14 of the 40 counties of England having twice as many births as deaths-viz., Kent, Berkshire, Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire, Huntingdonshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Somerset, Staffordshire, Worcestershire, Lincolnshire, and Durham. The same may be said, too, of South Wales, taken as a whole.
In the 30 years 1840-1869 the regis. births in England and Wales (of children born alive) have exceeded the regis. deaths by 6,551,031, averaging 218,368 a year. In the five years 1840-44 the ann. average of this natural increase was 168,771; in the five years 1845-49 it was 158,734, being kept down by the high mort. of the years 1847, 1848, and 1849; in the five years 1850-54 the ann. average was 209,913; in the five years 1855-59, 234, 894; in the five years 1860-64, 259,412; in the 5 years 1865-69, 278,481.
The ann. average number of births has increased from 520,058 in the first five years of the 30 years series-i.e. 1840-44, to 766, 105 in the last five years-i.e. 1865-69; while the ann. average number of deaths has only advanced from 351,286 in 1840-44 to 487,624 in 1865-69. Thus the regis. births show an increase of above 47 p.c.; the regis. deaths an increase of not quite 39 p.c.
The following T. shows the ann. births in England over a period of 25 years, distinguishing the illegitimate; and also defining the relative proportions of the sexes, both legitimate and illegitimate. The T. is instructive in many respects:
The theory has heretofore been that the proportion of males in illegitimate births was smaller than in the case of legitimate births. The fact appears to be entirely the other way in England: that is since 1851, further back than which we have no accurate statistics on the subject. We had, however, better place on record the obs. which have been taken of an opposite character. They are none of them very recent, nor can even the date of obs. now be fixed in most of the instances.
The only two cases in this T. in which the illegitimate males exceed the legitimate are Amsterdam and Frankfort; and in these cases the excess is greater than in any recorded year in the English returns as given above.
The following T. shows the proportion of male births to each 1000 female births in various European countries:
That the seasons affect the fecundity of the pop. appears to be a fact founded upon