The Reasons for Rapid Population Growth in Nineteenth Century Britain

The Reasons for Rapid Population Growth in Nineteenth Century Britain

Number of people walking the face of Earth has ever been at changeless alteration and the growing in population has ever been a great issue of concern and attending by authoritiess and leaders throughout clip, particularly if occurred in a short period of clip. Reasons for rapid enlargement in population can be accredited to several factors such as birthrate, mortality, migration, and matrimony. This natural cause sometimes good and sometimes black depending on the conditions and locations, could be controlled in really hard ways.

In the nineteenth century Britain, the rapid growing in population was one of great economic, societal, political, and environmental alterations that laid the footing of the society, as we know it today. Of these alterations none has proved to be more important than that of the redistribution and restructuring of Britain ‘s population. Furthermore an reading of the causes of demographic alteration in that critical period following the death of the old pre-industrial population government which led to the modern twentieth-century form in which both birthrate and mortality are peculiarly low.

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After a period of unusual stagnancy from 1700 to 1740, the population resumed its normal upward tendency and afterwards between 1740 and 1780, the growing rate averaged 4 per centum to 7 per centum per decennary, so accelerated to over 10 per cent per decennary until 1911. The old ages between 1811 and 1821 had the most rapid population growing where it reached 17 per cent per decennary. The 2nd greatest growing was the decennary 1871-1881, where it reached 14 per cent.

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However the greatest addition which was over 4 million, did non happen till 1901-1911. Subsequently the rate of addition declined dramatically and the population, holding doubled between 1780 and 1840, and doubled once more at the terminal of century, rose by lone about 50 per cent in the following 60 old ages to come. The distribution and composing of the British population in the 19th century was radically altered due to increased population out-migration, particularly the migration to more urban countries in hunt of a better life. There was besides a major displacement in paradigm in respects to societal attitudes, peculiarly during the latter half of Queen Victoria ‘s regulation over Britain. As a consequence, during this clip a displacement towards little household size or “ household restriction ” occurred because alterations in chances of matrimony were going a noticeable tendency. Besides significant promotion in health care helped to better the quality of a healthier life for the people of Britain, drastically altering the opportunities of one life or deceasing prematurely.

Not merely did the population changed in composing, but besides in distribution. Great Britain ‘s population in 1801 was an estimated eleven million, and in 1901 that figure quickly grew to 37 million, with London ‘s population portion increasing from 9 per cent to 12 per cent. By 1901, London ‘s population was more than twice that of Wales and somewhat more than of Scotland. Among the many names applied to the 19th century, the ‘age of statistics ‘ would look one of the most appropriate. The first British population nose count was conducted in 1801 and was later repeated every ten old ages. While civil enrollment did non replace the recording of ecclesiastical events, peculiarly baptism and entombments, it did intend that parish registries lost their place as the principal beginning for demographic question. At mid century, agribusiness was in steep comparative diminution, stand foring about 20 per cent of those employed. Manufacturing was keeping steady at about 33 per centum, domestic service contributed 14 to 15 per centum and the staying 32 per centum was made up from professions such as: excavation, conveyance, edifice, covering and public service. Furthermore. By the terminal of 19th century, agribusiness ‘s part to employment was no more than 10 per cent.

Unlike the addition in birthrate in the late eighteenth and early 19th century, the experience of the late Victorian period was dominated by the secular diminution of matrimonial birthrate and possibly a motion towards nuptiality was started. ( Woods, 1987 ; Wilson and Woods, 1992 ) . Furthermore, we may now presume in a manner it was non unfastened to coevalss that matrimonial birthrate was reduced as the direct effect of changed behavior instead than some general diminution in fruitfulness. Patterns of idea and action were altering instead than physiology ( Teitelbaum, 1984 ) . Likewise, it is improbable that the phenomenon was simply a consequence of the innovation, selling, acceptance, and effectual usage of new methods of birth control. The gum elastic rubber, Dutch cap, and douche all became available during the last decennaries of the 19th century. They were nevertheless instead excessively expensive for the general usage until the 1920s and 1930s when the consequences of retrospective studies reveal a far more widespread acceptance ( Peel, 1963 ) . Since it was known that matrimonial birthrate was significantly reduced, it must be assumed that some combination of sexual abstention,sexual intercourse interruptus,accurate us of the safe period and induced abortion were the most likely agencies by which household restriction was brought approximately. None of these methods was new to Victorians, nevertheless the desire and assurance to utilize them were innovatory ( shorter, 1973 ; McLaren, 1978 ; Sauer, 1978 ; Soloway, 1982 ) .

Economists have provided one of the most of import theoretical parts to the survey of birthrate, their focal point has tended towards the costs and returns of holding kids, the costs and handiness of prophylactic methods, inter-generational wealth flow, and the struggle between puting in kids or consumer durable goodss. Children, particularly in traditional provincial societies, represent a beginning of labor, income and security for their parents. But in the 19th century Britain, the economic value of kids to their parents was far less obvious and presumptively far less likely to come in any accounting model for generative planning. In general if parents were non trying to maximise their birthrate in order to harvest fiscal additions for the household pay economic system, they were besides non trying, until after the 1870s, to curtail their birthrate in order to avoid the liability of childrearing ( Haines, 1979 ; Crafts, 1984a, 1984b ) . In add-on, it was besides unusual at this clip for married adult females to be employed outside of the place, for grounds of tradition and deficiency of chance therefore childbearing and rise uping did non stand for an option to pay gaining as they do today. There is a relentless line of statement in demographic theory which holds that high degrees of birthrate are necessary to fit high degrees of mortality, and hence that when baby or childhood mortality begin to worsen, matrimonial birthrate will besides be reduced without adversely impacting the effectual degree of birthrate. That is, the supply of new grownups capable of reproducing ( Brass and Kabir, 1980 ; Teitelbaum, 1984 ; Woods, 1987 ) . Therefore, mortality diminution non merely facilitates the decrease of birthrate, it besides acts as a strong incentive. Puting aside for the clip being any consideration of what causes mortality forms to change, it is still obvious that for this peculiar demographic mechanism to work at that place must be a distinguishable clip slowdown between the diminution of mortality and birthrate during which mean household size will increase. Married twosomes would be impelled to restrict their birthrate thereby avoiding attach toing fiscal loads which the endurance of larger Numberss of kids would convey. This reading assumes that there is a distinguishable chronology to demographic alteration that a sophisticated accommodation mechanism is created necessitating considerable foresight on the portion of married twosome and a grade of generative planning. In Britain, childhood mortality surely did non worsen at the same clip as matrimonial birthrate, but infant mortality did non get down its secular diminution until 1899-1900 ( Woods, Watterson and Woodward, 1988 ) . It seems likely that the decrease of baby and childhood mortality did finally assist to prolong matrimonial birthrate diminution, but that mortality diminution was non an initiating factor ( Reves, 1985 ; Coale and Watkins, 1986, 201-33 ) . The beginnings of the diminution of matrimonial birthrate in Britain, as in much of Western Europe with the exclusion of France, are to be found peculiarly in last one-fourth of the 19th century. This much at least is clear from available statistics, but there are many facets of this cardinal alteration in demographic construction that remains vague. We know that until the 1870s British matrimonial birthrate was consistent with ‘natural birthrate ‘ , that was mostly biologically determined with small mark of parity-specific control. Generally speech production, the births were neither intentionally spaced nor were at that place attempts to forestall construct or unrecorded birth one time a peculiar figure of kids had already been born. A adult females ‘s birthrate was influenced by her physiological ability to gestate, her proneness to self-generated abortion, and the frequence of sexual intercourse. The first mentioned declined with age, the 2nd addition, while the last mentioned declined with the continuance of matrimony ( Bongaarts and Potter, 1983 ; Wilson, 1984, 1986 ) . During the 19th century, life outlook at birth in Britain improved from the thirtiess to the upper mid-fortiess and the low 1950ss by 1911. Of the alteration, most occurred in the latter portion of the 19th century and was peculiarly obvious among those aged from 5 to 25. There was small or no diminution either in national baby mortality degrees or in mortality rates for those aged 35 plus before 1900 ( Woods and Woodward, 1984, 39 ) . However, there were of import local and societal fluctuations in mortality.

The local differences were closely tied to environmental conditions, but particularly urban/rural differences. The lowest degrees of life outlook were constantly in urban topographic points, and particularly in what would now be called the inner metropoliss inhabited by the poorest households in the worst lodging with the most unequal sanitation. Even in 1841 when life outlook at birth was 26 in Liverpool and 37 in London, it was 45 in Surrey and likely 50 old ages in the most healthy rural countries ( Woods and Hinde, 1987 ) . By 1911 the national norm had increased and the urban-rural derived function had narrowed well. Furthermore, it remains a affair of guess whether the affluent urban in-between categories or the hapless agricultural laborers experienced the lower degree of mortality. Mortality rate began its secular diminution, every bit good as a rapid diminution of infant mortality towards the bend of the century. General birthrate rates were in diminution throughout the century, but from the 1870s matrimonial birthrate besides began its secular diminution. Fertility and mortality rate have declined since the late 18th century but the clip waies for the three states hints vary, rather markedly. In France, birthrate and mortality declined together from an early day of the month and natural growing remained at a low degree throughout the 19th century. In Sweden, Mortality declined before birthrate in a manner that has come to be regarded as normal and coinciding with the anticipations of the authoritative demographic passage theoretical account. On the other manus, in England, the modern rise of population was initiated by the addition of birthrate in the late 18th century and was merely supported by the secular diminution of mortality. These differences of signifier, form and the timing of alteration suggest the diverseness of demographic constructions in Europe in the 19th century, but they besides illustrate facets of a broader image of conformance. In any consideration of the 19th century population history pride of topographic point should travel to mobility and migration, both internal and international. Not merely did Britain ‘s population experience extremist redistribution, but the age, sex, and skill selective nature of migration besides changed society, economic system, and environment in several really of import respects.

Over 90 per cent of the late 19th century mortality diminution in England and Wales was due to conditions attributable to micro beings, with 33 per centum associated with inhalator TB ; 17 per cent with enteric fever and typhus ; 12 per cent from cholera, diarrhea, and dysentery ; 5 per cent from variola and 4 per cent from non-respiratory TB. It is believed, and as McKeown argued ‘that the particular alterations introduced by the healthful reformists were responsible for about a one-fourth of the entire diminution of mortality in the 2nd half of the 19th century ‘ . The balance of the betterment, chiefly associated with TB, must be attributed to the rise of life criterions brought approximately by the industrial revolution, that is, ‘ possibly half of the entire decrease of mortality ‘ ( McKeown and Record, 1962, 129 ) . This last one-fourth could be attributed to alterations in the character of diseases particularly scarlet febrility ( Eyler, 1987 ) . The statement for the ascription of the first one-fourth is comparatively easy to follow, how else could the H2O borne diseases have declined but what of TB? The direct effects of specific curative step can be ruled out conditions of exposure to the diseases, diet, physical, and mental emphasiss remain. McKeown excluded the last mentioned and claimed that exposure via herding at place and at work were non reduced before 1900. Therefore, diet remained the most likely influenced on the downward tendency of TB mortality.

There are four major facets of migration and out-migration that are of peculiar significance. First, the outer rural periphery- particularly the West of Ireland and the Scots Highlands- experienced monolithic out-migration which caused general depopulation ( Flinn, 1977 ; Anderson and Morse, 1990 ; Witherss and Watson 1991 ) . Although the Irish instance is frequently linked to famine migration in the 1840s, the history of Irish out-migration to North American and Great Britain is really complex which dearth likely merely exacerbated. Second, the countryside in general suffered net loss to the towns ( Saville, 1957 ; Lawton, 1967 ) . From Cornwall to Norfolk, Dorset to Anglesey and Aberdeen agricultural laborers, retainers, and little renters left and were non replaced, except by machines. In a few rural counties, such as Kent, this did non take to absolute population diminution because natural growing exceeded cyberspace out migration. Third, the great industrial and commercial Centres of cardinal Scotland, the English North and Midlands, and South Wales, non merely increased their people but besides expanded physically until they coalesced into the formless urban sprawls so good known in the 20th century. These Victorian metropoliss grew peculiarly quickly both by net migration and natural growing, despite high mortality. Intra-urban migration besides fuelled suburban enlargement which finally affected whole metropoliss, chiefly through the depopulation of their interior countries. In the instances of certain Scottish and Northern industrial towns this procedure was obvious even in the late 19th century ( Lawton, 1983 ; Morris, 1990 ) . Last, London should likely be treated as a particular instance since it non merely maintained its British primacy but besides its portion of the entire population. The new jobs associated with managing and service such a monolithic concentration of people ( about five million by 1901 ) imposed many strains, non least in footings of conveyance, societal inequalities, which were made more obvious by their apposition, and sanitation. The wide image of European migration shows that from 1821 to 1915, 44 million people left, of which Great Britain accounted for 10 million and Ireland for 6 million. More elaborate estimations suggest that between 1853 and 1900, 4,675,100 people left England and Wales for a non- European finish and 896,000 left Scotland. In both instances more than half went to the United States with a farther Firth to Australia ( Carrier and Jeffrey, 1953 ; Easterlin, 1961 ; Baines, 1985 ) .

There is small ground to doubt that economic force per unit areas, whether comparative or absolute, played an of import portion in act uponing the determination of many twosomes to restrict their birthrate in the late 19th century, but what still remains in uncertainty is why that force per unit area merely took touchable consequence in the last one-fourth of the century and why the secular diminution of matrimonial birthrate occurred so quickly that different businesss, position groups and societal categories all appeared to be cut downing their household sizes. All of about the same rate and clip, but from instead different degrees ( Stevenson, 1920l Innes, 1938 ; Woods, 1987 ; Haines, 1989 ) .

Of those occupational groups that are comparatively easy to place, coalminers provide interesting illustrations of the troubles encountered in developing strictly economic accounts of birthrate diminution ( Friedlander, 1973 ; Haines, 1979 ) . Coalmining territories and households are known to hold had higher birthrate longer and have been among the last countries and societal groups to try household restriction. A normally held history argues that the income curve for coalminer peaked in the early to twentiess. There were few employment chances for adult females in such countries constrained a excess of work forces and matrimony for adult females was early and general. The demand for male labor was normally abundant, but the work was unsafe, accidents and hurts were common and frequently fatal. Therefore there was small economic inducement, as there was in the lower in-between categories, to curtail birthrate. But it is besides likely that these instead closely knit communities perpetuated an ethos which was strongly oriented towards work forces ‘s values and adult females ‘s duties and hence less compatible with that grade of foresight and co-operation between the sexes. Something that was necessary for successful household restriction before the development of effectual intra-uterine devices and unwritten preventive. It should be stressed that the British experience of the secular diminution of matrimonial birthrate was simply portion of a Europe-wide motion in which Britain was subsequently than most of France, but in measure with much of Germany and Italy ( Coale and Watkins, 1986 ; Watkins, 1991 ) . The most of import structural barriers to alter appear to hold been the major lingual and cultural divisions, every bit good as the strength of pro-natalist spiritual feeling. Just as in Britain, it is non possible to state in item how or why household restriction became a common pattern, but the most plausible readings besides stress the importance of alterations in attitude and the remotion of restraints on behavior emphasised in the sociological attack instead than the after effects of industrialisation and urbanisation or the anterior diminution of baby and child mortality. The electoral swing was Europe broad, comparatively rapid, and has non been reversed.

Farr ‘s work on the demographic statistics of England and Wales have made it possible to depict in some item the form of mortality fluctuation in the 19th century, but we are still far from supplying a full account of the beginnings of the diminution of mortality during the 19th century. We know that medical scientific discipline hold had merely a minor influence on the diminution of mortality before the 1930s and that the cleaning of great metropoliss was a particular job in a state like Great Britain which had a peculiarly high degree of urbanisation, but one time the sanitation and public wellness job had been solved so the positive effects would hold been immediate and permanent. We besides know that poorness brings hapless diet and therefore low nutritionary position, and unequal lodging persisted and were so, as now, closely related to fluctuations in mortality rates. The significance of and grounds for the diminution of mortality from TB continues to be an country for question, but few now follow McKeown ‘s lead and argue from mortality via TB to improved life criterions, particularly diet. Many would now see the 19th century as a period on which the foundations of modern medical scientific discipline were laid ( Pickstone, 1985 ) .

The rapid growing which began around 1740 was sustained in the 19th century. Death rates, which had fallen in the late eighteenth and early 19th centuries, stabilised at around 22 per 1,000 between 1820 and 1870, a development chiefly attributable to the shocking life conditions in industrial towns at the clip. By the 1870s the public wellness run, which had been initiated in the 1840s to supply towns with drainage and pure H2O supplies, began to pay off and the general decease rate fell from 22.3 per 1000 in 1871 to 13.8 per 1000 in 1911, which is a bead of about 40 per cent. Other conducive factors were the lifting life criterions ( more nutrient and clean apparels ) and improved urban environment ( better lodging, public baths, and wash houses ) . On the other manus, the birth rate that had remained reasonably high throughout the century began to worsen during the 1880s. There were several chief causes that lead to this diminution. Children were going an economic load instead than an plus, as the Factory Acts limited employment chances and the Elementary Education Act ( 1870 ) required their attending at school. Real incomes were lifting and, for the first clip, people were faced with the possibility of sustained betterment in their life. Increasingly they saw a clear pick between more kids and a better life, and tended to favor the latter. Besides big Numberss of immature work forces were emigrating and this lowered the matrimony rate in many topographic points. Resulting a lessening in household size, from 5 to 6 kids in the 1860s to 2 to 3 in the 1920s. This inclination started among the in-between categories and permeated easy downwards through the societal pyramid. One of import statistic changed barely at all, the infant mortality rate. Though fluctuating twelvemonth by twelvemonth from 100 to180 per 1000, it averaged approximately 135 per 1000 in the 1890s as it had in the worst decennary, the 1840s. The account lies in the exposure of babies to infective diseases in towns. Between 1901 and 1921 the rate fell dramatically by about 50 per centum. The enlargement of population and the advancement of industrialization were inextricably intertwined:

1. A lifting labor force was provided to ease the debut of intensive agribusiness, every bit good as to mine coal and work in mills. Infant industries were able to pull on immature, nomadic labor with no vested involvement in disused accomplishments and without holding to offer high rewards to lute it from other employments.

2. A turning market for the necessities of life ( nutrient, apparels, shelter, and family goods ) was provided, promoting enterprisers to experiment with new techniques to enable them to bring forth more, faster, and cheaper. This steadily spread outing domestic market exerted a valuable padding consequence whenever volatile export markets underwent a impermanent recession.

It must be emphasised that population growing did non, of itself, take to industrial advancement. It had this consequence because it took topographic point in the context of an economic system that was already dynamic with abundant resources, a new engineering of steam-power and machinery and a vigorous category of business communities to work them. In Ireland this foundation was missing, and hence population growing merely led to mass poorness on an unprecedented graduated table.

In decision, the rapid population growing in Britain in the 19th century was caused by several different grounds such as: birthrate rate, mortality rate, health care, out-migration, migration, business, and other economical facets. Furthermore, a figure of informed perceivers believe that this destiny would overpower England in the 19th century. The most influential of these was the Reverend T.R. Malthus, whose Essay on thePrinciple of Population as it Affects the Future Improvement of Societywas published in1798. He argued that population ever tended to increase in geometrical patterned advance whereas nutrient supply merely increased in an arithmetical patterned advance. The former would, hence, tend ever to outrun the latter, bring forthing wide-spread wretchedness and finally aggregate dearths. Malthus did non anticipate the astonishing rise in the productiveness of British agribusiness during the 19th century, nor the ability of the state to import nutrient from the virgin dirts of the new World, but his glooming anticipations carried great weight with his coevalss, and he must take a great portion of the duty for the abrasiveness of Victorian attitudes towards the hapless. Since any moderation of their status would hold promote them to engender and multiply both the class of their poorness and the Numberss who must digest, it was necessary to command them harshly for their ain, and besides society ‘s benefit.


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The Reasons for Rapid Population Growth in Nineteenth Century Britain. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from

The Reasons for Rapid Population Growth in Nineteenth Century Britain

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