Increase of the Population of England and Wales since 1651

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V.—INCREASE OF THE POPULATION OF ENGLAND AND WALES SINCE 1651.


This and the following chapter are, with slight alterations, reprinted, after revision, from our previous Reports, which are out of print.

As the first Census was taken in 1801, no exact account of the population in the earlier periods can be obtained; but various estimates of the population were framed in those times by contemporary writers; and series of returns of baptisms and burials have been preserved in many parishes since 1571. After collating the various sources of information, the following estimates have been framed, which are founded on data that justify us in considering that they represent approximately the population of England and Wales in the middle of each of three centuries.

Population in 1651, 1751, 1851, 1861


Middle of the
Years
  Estimated Population of
England and Wales
  Increase of Population
1651   5,466,572  
1751   6,335,840   869,268
1851   18,109,410   11,773,570
1861   20,281,587   2,172,177

Increase of population

Thus, according to the estimates, the people of England and Wales amounted to more than six millions in 1751, and to more than eighteen millions in 1851; they having increased nearly twelve millions in the hundred years; while the increase of the numbers in the preceding century (1651-1751) was less than one million: and the numbers can scarcely be wrong either way more than half a million.1

1857-61. 1651-1751

The increase of population in the last four years 1857-61 was as great as the increase from the year 1651 to the year 1751; from the year of the battle of Worcester to the year Arcot was taken by Clive.

A comparison of the excess of Baptisms over Burials in 1801-1810 shows that the excess of Baptisms over Burials must be raised nearly one third part for the births of children who are not baptized to make it equal to the increase of population. Proceeding backwards in this manner from 1791 to 1741, the probable increase of population is obtained for every 10 years; and by referring to the probably deficient registration of baptisms in the earlier period the series is carried back to 1701.

TABLE IV—BAPTISMS and BURIALS in ENGLAND and WALES, 1700-1840.

Years. Baptisms. Burials. Estimated annual numbers of Years.
Baptisms. Burials. Excess of Baptisms.
According to the rites of the Church of England in each of the Ten years beginning with the years in the last coloumn
A.D.            
1700 157,307 187,305 150,521 141,226 9,295 1700
1710 143,735 145,146 151,820 155,551 (deficit-) 3,731 1710
1720 159,906 165,956 163,210 174,268 (deficit-) 11,058 1720
1730 166,514 182,579 170,421 177,655 (deficit-) 7,234 1730
1740 174,327 172,731 180,072 166,376 13,696 1740
1750 185,186 160,020 189,365 160,512 28,853 1750
1760 192,914 161,004 203,171 170,700 32,471 1760
1770 213,427 180,396 220,894 189,372 31,522 1770
1781-1790 ? 2,397,139 ? 1,885,760 239,714 188,576 51,138 1781
1791-1800 2,617,760 1,954,695 261,776 195,470 66,306 1791
1801-1810 2,878,906 1,950,189 287,891 195,019 92,872 1801
1811-1820 3,255,067 2,009,998 325,507 201,000 124,507 1811
1821-1830 3,753,493 2,462,907 1821
1831-1840 3,965,725 2,934,521 1831
? The number of Baptisms and Burials in the parishes that made Returns in England and Wales are given in the prefaces to the Population Returns for 1811 and other years; for every tenth year from 1700 to 1780, and for every year from 1781 to 1840.

TABLE IVa .—ESTIMATED POPULATION of ENGLAND and WALES, 1701-1791, and ENUMERATED POPUATION, estimated to the Middle of Census Years 1801-1861.

YEARS (Estimated) Population, including Army, &c. Abroad Increase in the 10 years preceding YEARS (Estimated) Population, including Army, &c. Abroad Increase in the 10 years preceding
1701 6,121,525 The numbers following are deduced directly from enumerations, and estimated to the middle of each of the years.?
1711 6,252,105 (Increase +) 130,580
1721 6,252,750 + 645
1731 6,182,972 (Decrease -) 69,778 1801 9,192,810 937,193
1741 6,153,227 (Decrease -) 29,745 1811 10,467,728 1,274,918
1751 6,335,840 (Increase +) 182,613 1821 12,190,302 1,722,574
1761 6,720,547   384,707 1831 14,070,681 1,880,379
1771 7,153,494   432,947 1841 16,050,542 1,979,861
1781 7,573,787   420,293 1851 18,109,410 2,058,868
1791 8,255,617   681,830 1861 20,281,587 2,172,177
The method which has been been employed of making the estimates appears, upon the whole, to be better than that of assuming any constantrelation to subsist between the population and the marriages, births, and deaths. The estimates that have been made by others differ somewhat from these for the first forty years; but the excess of Burials over the Baptisms in the same parishes during the three years 1710, 1720, 1730, appears to show conclusively that, the population decreased in that period.
? The Population will be found to differ slightly, for the years 1S21 and ISM, from that given in Table I.,p. cliv., Appendix to Report, of Population Tables, 1851, Vol. I., relating to Ages and Occupations, &c.

1 See Davenant's Works, vol. ii. p. 175-185. Ed.1771, and the Tables of Baptisms, Burials, and Marriages in the Census Reports, 1811; 1841. The facts on which the population of 1651 is estimated will be found in the Preface to the Enumeration Abstract, 1841, p. 36. By Mr. Rickman's estimate the population of England and Wales was 5,600,517 in 1630; after various corrections we find the population of that year to be 5,466,572, and the population of 1670 to be 5,090,045; we assume that the population of England and Wales was 5,466,572 in 1651.

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