- Book I.: Of the Population of Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America, In Ancient and Modern Times.
- Chapter I.: Introduction.
- Chapter II.: Survey of the Creation From Natural History.
- Chapter III.: General Views As to the Alleged Increase of Mankind.
- Chapter IV.: General View of the Arguments Against the Increase of Mankind.
- Chapter V.: Numbers of Mankind In Ancient and Modern Times.
- Chapter VI.: Illustrations From the History of China
- Chapter VII.: India.
- Chapter VIII.: South America.
- Chapter IX.: Paraguay.
- Chapter X.: Sparta.
- Chapter XI.: Rome.
- Chapter XII: Miscellaneous Observations.
- Chapter XIII.: Views of Man and Society Which Result From the Preceding Facts.
- Book II.: Of the Power of Increase In the Numbers of the Human Species, and the Limitations of That Power.
- Chapter I.: Proofs and Authorities For the Doctrine of the Essay of Population.
- Chapter II.: Animadversions On Mr. Malthus'ss, Authorities.
- Chapter III.: Principles Respecting the Increase Or Decrease of the Numbers of Mankind.
- Chapter IV.: Accounts Which Are Given of the Population of Sweden.
- Chapter V.: Inferences Suggestd By the Accounts of Sweden.
- Chapter VI.: Observations On the Swedish Tables Continued.
- Chapter VII.: Recapitulation of the Evidence of the Swedish Tables.
- Appendix to Chapters Iv, V, & VI.
- Chapter VIII.: Population of Other, Countries In Europe Considered
- Chapter IX.: Principles Respecting the Increase Or Decrease of the Numbers of Mankind Resumed.
- Chapter X.: Of the Population of England and Wales.
- Chapter XI.: Proofs of the Geometrical Ratio From the Phenomenon of a Pestilence.
- Dissertation On the Ratios of Increase In Population , and In the Means of Subsistence. By Mr. David Booth.
- Book III.: Of the Causes By Which the Amount of the Numbers of Mankind Is Reduced Or Restrained.
- Chapter I.: Futility of Mr. Malthus's Doctrine Respecting the Checks On Population.
- Chapter II.: Of Deaths and the Rate of Human Mortality.
- Chapter III.: Attempt Towards a Rational Theory of the Checks On Population.
- Chapter IV.: Attempt Towards a Rational Theory of the Checks On Population Continued.
- Chapter V.: Mr. Malthus's Eleven Heads of the Causes Which Keep Down Population Considered.
- Chapter VI.: Observations On the Countries In the Neighbourhood of the River Missouri.
- Book IV.: Of the Population of the United States of North America.
- Chapter I.: Introduction.
- Chapter II.: Of the Topography and Political Condition of the United States.
- Chapter III.: History of Emigration From Europe to North America In the Seventeenth Century.
- Chapter IV.: History of Emigration to North America From the Year 1700 to the Present Time .
- Chapter V.: Retrospect of the History of Population In the United States.
- Chapter VI.: Of the Amount of Births In the United States.
- Chapter VII.: Of the Period At Which Marriages Are Formed..
- Chapter VIII.: Diseases In the Territory of the United States.
- Chapter IX.: Reports of the Population of the United States Analysed and Examined.
- Book V.: Of the Means Which the Earth Affords For the Subsistence of Man.
- Chapter I.: Of the Present State of the Globe As It Relates to Human Subsistence.
- Chapter II.: Of the Number of Human Beings Which the Globe Is Capable of Maintaining On Our Present Systems of Husbandry and Cultivation.
- Chapter III.: Calculation of the Productive Powers of the Soil of England and Wales.
- Chapter IV.: Causes of the Scarcity of the Means of Human Subsistence.
- Chapter V.: Causes of the Scarcity of the Means of Human Subsistence Continued.
- Chapter VI.: Of the Improvements of Which the Productiveness of the Globe For the Purposes of Human Subsistence Is Capable
- Chapter VII.: Of the Principles of a Sound Policy On the Subject of Population.
- Book VI.: Of the Moral and Political Maxims Inculcated In the Essay On Population.
- Chapter I.: Character and Spirit of the Essay On Population Delineated.
- Chapter II.: Of the Positions Respecting the Nature of Man Upon Which the Essay On Population Is Constructed.
- Chapter III.: Of the Doctrines of the Essay On Population As They Affect the Principles of Morality.
- Chapter IV.: Of the Doctrines of the Essay On Population As They Affect the Condition of the Poor.
- Chapter V.: Of the Doctrines of the Essay On Population As They Affect the Condition of the Rich.
- Chapter VI.: Of Marriage, and the Persons Who May Justifiably Enter Into That State.
- Chapter VII.: A Few Contradictions In the Essay On Population Stated.
- Chapter VIII.: Of Wages.
- Chapter IX.: Conclusion.
OF THE AMOUNT OF BIRTHS IN THE UNITED
It has already appeared, I trust, to the satisfaction of every reader, that the only increase of the number of human beings in any community by procreation, must be by increasing the proportion of births to a marriage, or, more strictly speaking, to the amount of women capable of child-bearing in that community.
This is the essence of the question which the Essay on Population professes to treat. If Mr. Malthus, or any writer less presumptuous than Mr. Malthus, should hereafter undertake to deliver any thing sound and substantial on the subject, to this point it is necessary he should direct his investigation.
It should seem therefore as if the United States afforded us no ground to stand on: I have taken considerable pains to obtain information in this point, but have been unable to procure any thing satisfactory.
The only thing I have seen, that comes to the point in this essential question, is a paper in the third volume of the Transactions of the American Philosophical Society held at Philadelphia, entitled, Observations on the Probabilities of the Duration of Human Life, and the Progress of Population, in the United States of America, by William Barton, Esq, which paper was read in a meeting of the society, on the eighteenth of March, 1791.
These Observations are expressly written to support the principle first started by Dr. Franklin, Dr. Ezra Styles, and others, in laud and glory of the land of America.
The testimony of an adversary, if it should turn out to be in favour of the opinion I have delivered, is of double force; and on that account I value the testimony of Mr. Barton. In his paper he has the following remarkable passage.
Having asserted, that “the United States of America possess in a superior degree an inherent, radical and lasting source of national vigour and greatness; since it will be found that in no other part of the world (at least in none of those parts with which we are best acquainted) is the progress of population so rapid as in these States:” he enters into certain calculations; and then proceeds thus:
“From the foregoing statements it may be presumed, that four and a half persons to a house, and the same proportion of births to a marriage, are an allowance quite high enough for some of the healthiest parts of Europe. There is but one instance, in which I have been enabled to obtain the actual proportion of births to marriages in this country. At the first parish in Hingham, in the State of Massachuset, during the course of fifty-four years, there were two thousand two hundred and forty-seven. births, one thousand one hundred and thirteen deaths, and five hundred and twenty-one marriages; which gives the proportion of six and a quarter births to a marriage. Therefore, the proportion of births to marriages in that parish having been taken out of so considerable a number of persons, and for so long a time, inclines me to think it may serve as a pretty just standard for the country-parts of the northern, and perhaps of the middle states.”— It is to be observed that Mr. Barton comes down here from Dr. Franklin's vantage-ground of “eight being the average number of births to an American marriage.”
Having Mr. Barton's numbers however before me, I thought it proper to try the justness of his conclusion by the Rule of Three. And, this being the very essence of the question, I shall here set down the steps of the process entire. Thus
Divide 2247 births, by 521 marriages:
And the result will be 4.312 births to a marriage.—How Mr. Barton came to imagine that six and a quarter was the quotient, instead of four and a fraction somewhat above a quarter, it is impossible for me to divine.
It is particularly to be observed that Mr. Barton's numbers for births, marriages, and deaths, are printed in words at length; so that we may be tolerably certain that no error of the press lurks in the statement.
Now this brings us down at once to something like the European standard. And it is sufficiently remarkable that four and a half births to a marriage, a proportion somewhat greater than what is here brought out for “the first parish in Hingham in the State of Massachusets,” is Mr. Barton's allowance for “the healthiest parts of Europe.”
Mr. Malthus was the first to detect the error in Mr. Barton's statement, though he lets himself down as softly as he can, by calling the true quotient 4½
Since writing the above, I have had transmitted to me by my valued friend, Mr. Joseph Valence Bevan of Georgia, reports of the marriages and births in Portsmouth, the capital of New Hampshire, for six years, from 1804 to 1809, drawn up and published on the spot by Dr. Lyman Spalding. These are the more important, as they relate to those Northern States of America, upon the increase of population in which by procreation only, Mr. Malthus has thought proper to lay his principal stress. They are as follow.
Now in these reports, if I take the latest year, it will give me something less than 4 1/5 births to a marriage: and, if I add the whole six years together, the proportion will be found to be 441/100 to one.
My friend at the same time transmitted to me a paper of the Return under these heads for the city and suburbs of Philadelphia: but this is only for the one year 1818, and does not distinguish the sexes of the born: the result is, “Marriages (as far as obtained) 792; Baptisms 2221:” yielding a quotient of fewer than three births to a marriage. It is somewhat remarkable that this Return concludes with a memorandum, that “the baptisms of this year were decreased by 282, and the burials increased by 64.”
Thus, the further we enquire into the subject, the more we find the progress of the numbers of mankind by procreation in the United States, conforming itself to the model of Europe. In rural situations, such as Mr. Barton's parish in Hingham, and Dr. Spalding's Portsmouth in New Hampshire, the fruitfulness of marriages appears to be such as we might expect in rural and healthful situations in the Old World. But, when we come to large capitals, such as Philadelphia, the progress of population is reduced; and we are led to conclude of North America, as of Europe, that the number of inhabitants in great towns would not be kept up, without a perpetual influx of new citizens from distant quarters.
If therefore it is true, that the increase of population “by procreation only,” can arise in no other way than that of an increased number of births,, then it is as plain as the operations of arithmetic can make it, that in every instance where the evidence has come to our hands, the fruitfulness of the human species in the United States does in no way materially differ, from what occurs on the subject in many countries of Europe.