Front Page Titles (by Subject) Thirty Millions of People in France. (PAGE 49.) - A Discourse on the Love of Our Country
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Thirty Millions of People in France. (PAGE 49.) - Richard Price, A Discourse on the Love of Our Country 
A Discourse on the Love of Our Country, delivered on Nov. 4, 1789, at the Meeting-House in the Old Jewry, to the Society for Commemorating the Revolution in Britain. With an Appendix. Second edition (London: T. Cadell, 1789).
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Thirty Millions of People in France.
MY reasons for stating the People of France at this number, will appear from the following facts and observations.
From accurate enumerations made at the end of every three years in Sweden, during 21 years, from 1755 to 1775, it appeared that the average number of inhabitants of all ages, was in that period 2,310,160.
The average of annual births, was 90,245.
The average of annual deaths, including three years of extraordinary mortality, was 66,759. A 34th part and three-fifths, therefore, of the inhabitants died annually. See my Treatise on Annuities, Vol. I. p. 274, and Vol. II. p. 123, &c. and the first additional Essay at the end of the second Vol. p. 16, &c.
In the kingdom of Naples, consisting in 1777 of 4,311,503 inhabitants, the average of annual deaths for five years was 115,412. A 37th ⅓ part, therefore, of the inhabitants died annually. Ib. Vol. I. p. 274.
In the province of Vaud,Switzerland, containing 112,951 inhabitants, a 45th part dies annually. Ib.
In the kingdom of France, the medium of annual deaths, births, and marriages, was
I see no reason for suspecting, that the proportion of inhabitants dying annually to the whole number of inhabitants, is greater in France than in Sweden, or even in the kingdom of Naples. Let it, however, be reckoned the same with that in Sweden; that is, as 1 to 34⅗, and the number of inhabitants in France, in 1780, must have been 34⅗ multiplied by 834,865, or nearly twenty-nine millions.
It should be observed, that in the ten years from 1771 to 1780, there was in France such an increase of the annual births, deaths, and marriages (produced by the excess of the births above the deaths), as evidently proved that the number of inhabitants had increased in those ten years near a million and a half.
It should be farther considered, that the returns of births, deaths, and marriages in France, being returns of numbers actually counted and registered, they must be (as such accounts always are) in some degree deficient. Mr. Neckar, in his Treatise on the Administration of the Finances of France (Vol. I. p. 251) has mentioned other deficiencies in these returns; and, particularly, that (except the Jews of Lorrain, Alsace, and the county of Metz) the registers of population do not contain the names of any non-catholicks (in number near two millions), except they have been baptized in the established church.
It seems, therefore, that my statement of the present inhabitants of France at thirty millions, is very moderate: an addition of two millions on account of an increase since 1780, and the deficiencies just mentioned, would make them 31 millions. Mr. Neckar (ibid. p. 219), without making any allowance for this increase, and for deficiencies, states them in 1784 at only 24,802,580, in consequence of multiplying the births by 25¾. But I reckon that in whole kingdoms the proportion of births to the number of inhabitants much more variable than the proportion of deaths; possibly, he was not acquainted with the facts here stated, and many others of the same kind which may be found in the Treatise on Annuities to which I have referred, and which prove that the lowest multiplier of the annual medium of deaths which should be used to find the number of inhabitants in a whole kingdom, is 32 or 33. In Sweden and the kingdom of Naples it appears to be greater; but, if we suppose 33 the right multiplier, the inhabitants of France must have been in 1780, 27½ millions; and the increase since, with the deficiencies in the returns, will make it highly probable that, even on this supposition, they must be now near 30 millions.
If the births in Sweden are taken for guides in this case, it will be reasonable, in order to find the right multiplier, to increase it for France in the same proportion that the ratio of the excess of the births above the deaths there is less than the same ratio in Sweden. And this will make the proper multiplier of the births in France 30 nearly, and will give the number of inhabitants in 1780 near 29 millions, as before. I wish there were equal data for determining the number of people in Britain.