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CHAPTER VIII.: population of other, countries in europe considered - William Godwin, Of Population. An Enquiry concerning the Power of Increase in the Numbers of Mankind 
Of Population. An Enquiry concerning the Power of Increase in the Numbers of Mankind, being an Answer to Mr. Malthus’s Essay on that Subject (London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, 1820).
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population of other, countries in europe considered
The reader however would have some reason to be dissatisfied with what has hitherto been delivered on the subject of European population, if I confined my observations to Sweden only.
I will here therefore subjoin a few remarks tending to shew that there is nothing which has been collected concerning the other countries of Europe, that in any respect weakens, but is rather calculated to confirm, the conclusions I have formed.
These remarks shall be particularly directed to two points: first, the proportion which the women capable of child-bearing exhibit to the gross population; and secondly, the proportion between marriages and births, as it is found in the different countries of Europe.
The best information that can be had on the first of these points, viz.; the proportionate number of the females capable of child-bearing to the whole of any mass of population, exclusively of the Swedish accounts, is to be found in the collections that have been inserted by Dr. Price, in his Observations on Reversionary Payments. These I will take in the order in which they occur. At the same time it is proper to observe, that his conclusions are of little avail, in balance with those I have already exhibited; first, because they are in all cases built upon a very small number of persons compared with the enumerations of Sweden; and, secondly, inasmuch as those numbers are arbitrarily and artificially taken, and rest upon no better evidence than that of the bills of mortality for the respective districts and countries.
Dr. Price's object having been very different from that which we are here considering, I find myself under the necessity of subjecting his statements to a certain process, before they can be applied to the purpose of this investigation. The enquiry of that, writer was respecting the value of lives, and the different probabilities that exist as to the age at which human creatures shall die. He therefore supposed a thousand, or ten thousand, or a hundred thousand persons to be born at the same time, and then calculated, according to certain observations, by what degrees the ranks of this brigade or legion of human creatures would become thinned. My business is not with an imaginary number of persons, all born on the same day, but with real human societies, as we find, or may conceive, them constituted. Real human societies, particularly in old established countries, are made up of persons of all ages, from the cradle to the extremity of decrepitude. To find out therefore from Dr. Price's Tables how many women, between the ages of twenty and forty-five years, would be living in any community at any assigned period, 1 was reduced to the necessity of striking an average between the number of females that, according to Dr. Price, would reach the age of twenty, and the number that would reach the age of forty-five, and of thus settling the proportion that would be living in any community at a given time. For example:
In Table the Eighth, shewing the Probabilities of Life at Norwich, in Dr. Price's worka , it is calculated that out of 1185 births, there were 467 living at the age of twenty, and 311 at the age of forty-five, which gives an average of 389. Of these if half were females, we shall have females proper for child-bearing 195, about one sixth part of the whole.
Table the Ninth is Mr. Simpson's Calculation of the Probability of the Duration of Life in London, founded on the London Bills of Mortality for ten years, from 1728 to 1737 inclusiveb . In this Table it appears that of one thousand births, 360 were living at twenty years of age, and 192 at forty-five, giving an average of 276. Of these, one half, or 138, may be taken to be females proper for child-bearing, being one seventh of the whole.!
It is easy in the same manner to ascertain the number of females proper for child-bearing in every Table of Population, in which the ages are specified. I shall therefore content myself with exhibiting the general results, which, being thus brought together, may readily be compared one with another.
Every one will perceive that there is nothing in these Tables in the slightest degree calculated to impeach the Swedish authorities. In France and Holland, where we have least reason to depend on the accuracy of the accounts, the women proper for child-bearing are stated as one fourth of the community. In London, on the contrary, they are only as one to seven, and one to eight. The average of the whole however is something under one to five.
The next question is as to the number of births to a marriage, whether any accounts that have been collected in other parts of Europe might lead to a suspicion that the Swedish Tables have put them down at too low an amount.
One of the most considerable authorities on this subject is John Peter Sussmilch, a German author, who is copiously quoted by Dr. Price in his Observations on Reversionary Payments, and by Mr. Malthus in the Essay on Population. The title of his work, first published in 1765 in two volumes octavo, and since enlarged into three,' is Die Gottliche Ordnung, & c.; or, The Order of Divine Providence, as Displayed in the Births, Deaths, and Increase of the Human Race.—I may observe by the way, that the object of Sussmilch in writing was precisely the reverse of that of Mr. Malthus; his view being, first to shew the possibility of an increase in the population of the earth, and then to recommend the adoption of such means as he could suggest for realizing that increase.
This author appears to have exerted great in dustry in collecting all the documents lie was able to procure respecting the population of Europe in general, and particularly of the German dominions of the king of Prussia, whose subject he was.
The following is a part of his collections under the last of these heads. They begin with the year 1694, and end with 1759, comprising a period of sixty-six years.
In the electoral mark of Brandenburgh, the proportions of births to marriages were tolerably uniform, the extremes being only 38 to 10, and 35 to 10, and the mean about 37 to 10c .
In the dukedom of Pomerania the extremes of the proportions of births to marriages, in different periods of five or six years, were 36 to 10, and 43 to 10, and the mean about 38 to 10d .
In the new mark of Brandenburgh, the extremes of the proportions of births to marriages were 34 to 10, and 42 to 10, and the mean about 38 to 10e .
In the dukedom of Magdeburgh the extremes of the proportions of births to marriages were 42 to 10, and 34 to 10, and the mean 39 to 10f .
In the principality of Halberstadt the extremes of the proportions of births to marriages were 42 to 10, and 34 to 10, and the mean 38 to 10g .
I have thought proper to give these extracts in the very words of Mr. Malthus.
From the Tableau Statistique des Etats Danois it appears, that the whole number of marriages for the five years subsequent to 1794 in the Danish dominions, was 34,313, and of births 138,799h This is a little more than four for one, or 443/1000 to one nearly.
In a paper, presented in 1768 by B. T. Hermann, to the Academy of Petersburgh, and published in their Transactions, Volume IV, a statement is given under fifteen heads, viz. Petersburgh, the government of Moscow, Twer, Novogorod, &c., of the number of children that a marriage yields in each of these provincesi , which numbers, being added together, and then divided by 15, give a quotient of 7/15 children to a marriage.
The following Table of Proportions between Baptisms and Marriages in England and Wales, is exhibited by Mr. Rickman, in his Observations prefixed to the Abstract of the Answers and Returns made pursuant to the Population Act of 1811, and ordered by the House of Commons to be printed 2 July, 1812.
From whence it appears that the average proportion of births to marriages in England and Wales during this period has been about 35 to 10.
It is a matter of some surprise, that, in all the accounts I have seen, the human species is more prolific in France than in almost any other country. Buffon says, that in Paris each marriage produced in his time four children upon an average, but that in the rural parts five at least, and often six, was a very common proportionk . The Statistique Générale et Particuliere de la France, published in six volumes, in the year 1803, gives the marriages for the year 1800 at 202,177, and the births at 955,430, affording a quotient of 4 7/10 births to a marriage. The compiler however recommends, that we should make a deduction of the eleventh part of the number of births for illegitimate childrenl , which if we do, we shall reduce the proportion to 43/10 to one nearly. Now I should lay it down as a general maxim, that where chastity and an habitual practice of the domestic duties most prevail, there we should expect to see the most numerous families and the largest crop of children in general: and I am yet to learn that France possesses the superiority in this respect over Russia, Denmark, Germany, and Great Britain. I therefore look with a particular degree of distrust upon the French registers.
Meanwhile, be this as it will, the result of all these statements appears clearly to be, that throughout Europe, taking one country with another, the average falls short of four children to a marriage.
From the particulars stated in this chapter I am entitled to conclude, that the accounts collected in all other European countries do not contradict, but on the contrary strongly tend to confirm, the conclusions suggested by the Swedish Tables. On them therefore we have every reason, which the nature of the case admits, to rely.
[a]Observations on Reversionary Payments, vol. II. p. 296
[c]Essay on Population, vol. II. p. 180.
[h]Malthus, vol. I. p. 385.
[k]Histoire Naturelle, Tome XL. p. 47.
[l]Tome I. p. 130