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23rd May, 1901.


WE have the honour to present our Preliminary Report on the Census of 1901, together with the Preliminary Abstract which, under the Census (Great Britain) Act, 1900. is "required to be laid before both Houses of Parliament within five months next after Census day.

This Preliminary Report is based—as the name implies—not on a detailed and final examination of the Census Returns as tabulated under our own control, but on the summaries furnished for the purpose by the Superintendent Registrars and Registrars who are severally responsible for the enumeration of the people in their respective areas.

A closer examination of the work of the 38,200 enumerators who have between them collected the particulars required by the Act of Parliament at the residence of every occupier of a separate house or tenement will, no doubt, bring to light occasional inaccuracies. "We have, however, no reason to suppose that these inaccuracies are more numerous than they were in 1891, when the difference in the total population of England and Wales as set forth in the preliminary and final Reports amounted to no more than 1,507 persons out of a total population of 29,002,525, showing so infinitesimal an error as to be of little practical account.

It is perhaps desirable to take this opportunity to point out that, for the first time, the Act governing the Census procedure forbade any person employed in taking the Census to communicate without lawful authority any information acquired in the course of his employment. Emphatic instructions were issued in this sense to local officers, but in many instances they were either misunderstood or disobeyed, and partial and often inaccurate returns were published fragmentarily by the Press in -certain districts. In order to give to the public throughout the whole country the advantage of the earliest information in our power, we issued to the Press a provisional summary of the population of the County of London and the County Boroughs on the 4th inst., and of the Administrative Counties with the total for England and Wales on the l0th inst.

Total population of England and Wales.

The total number of persons returned as living in England and Wales at midnight on Sunday, March 31st, 1901, was 32,526,075. This shows an increase of 3,523,550 upon the number enumerated on April 5th, 1891, and gives a decennial rate of increase of 12.17 per cent., which favourably contrasts with the increase of 3,028,086, or 11.65 per cent, in the previous decennium. The increase now recorded is numerically greater than in any previous decennium, but the progression per cent, is lower than in any other decennium of the last century, except those terminating in 1861 and 1891.

The population at each Census since 1801 is shown in Table I, together with the decennial rate of increase per cent. Had the rate of increase since the last Census remained constant with that shown from 1881 to 1891, viz., 11.65 per cent., the addition to the population would have been 3,381,094, as against a realized addition of 3,523,550. The addition to the population as estimated by the Registrar-General differs slightly from the former figure, being given as 3,354,206. The difference, amounting to 26,888, arises from the fact that this estimate is based, so far as London is concerned, on the returns for the intermediate census taken specially in the Metropolis in 1896. The difference between the population estimated on an assumed constant rate of increase for the whole country, and the enumerated population on this occasion, amounting to 142,456, is unimportant in itself, the error not being sufficient to seriously affect the calculations as to rates of births and deaths so far as the country as a whole is concerned. The Registrar-General, in his Quarterly and Annual Returns, calculates the population on the Supposition that the ascertained rate of progress in the last inter-censal. period has steadily continued. This method showed in 1891 an excess of estimated over actual population of no less than 701,843; and, in 1901, as already shown, an error on the other side of 142,456. These errors arising from the assumption that the rates of increase will continue true from one Census to another may be grave, as was the case in 1891, when the population is considered in the aggregate, but they certainly assume a much more serious aspect when individual towns are under consideration. The following instances will illustrate our meaning:—

Name of Town. Popula-
tion, 1891.
Rate of
per cent., 1881-91.
end of
March, 1901.
Excess of
Death Rate per 1,000 in 1900.
On Popu-
lation est-
mated on
On Popu-
lation est-
mated on
West Ham 204,903 58.9 325,586 267,308 58,278 15.9 19.4 3.5
Cardiff 128,915 55.8 200,808 164,420 36,388 13.8 16.9 3.1
Swansea 90,349 18.2 106,803 94,514 12,289 17.1 19.3 2.2
Burnley 87,016 37.4 119,544 97,044 22,500 16.3 20.1 3.8
Hastings 63,072 27.5 80,420 65,528 14,892 12.5 15.3 2.8

Name of Town. Popula-
tion, 1891.
Rate of
per cent., 1881-91.
end of
March, 1901.
Excess of
Death Rate per 1,000 in 1900.
On Popu-
lation est-
mated on
On Popu-
lation est-
mated on
Liverpool 629,548 0.9 635,206 648,947 49,741 25.7 23.8 1.9
Devonport 55,981 14.4 64,036 69,674 5,638 20.4 18.7 1.7
Southampton 82,126 12.5 92,403 104,911 12,508 19.8 17.4 2.4
Dudley 45,724 -1.1 45,202 48,809 3,607 24.3 22.5 1.8

It will thus be seen that the death-rate, based upon estimated figures at the close of so long a period as ten years, may become extremely misleading. In the case of Burnley the real death-rate in 1900 was 3.8 per 1,000 higher than that based on the unrevised estimate, and in Southampton it was 2.4 per 1,000 lower.

The arithmetical mean of the decennial rates of increase per cent, in the 10 decennial periods 1801 to 1901 has "been 13.85 per cent. The highest rate was in 1811-21, when the percentage rose to 18.06, and the lowest in 1881-91, when it fell to 11.65. An upward turn has now been taken and the rate has risen to 12.17.

The factors that determine the growth of the population.

The growth of a population depends on two causes; firstly, the excess of births over deaths, and secondly, the balance of emigration1 over immigration.

In this country the former has always been a cause of increase, for the births invariably out-number the deaths, while the latter has with equal regularity—at least since 1851—been a cause of decrease, for emigrants have always been more numerous than immigrants.

In the decennium 1881—91 the excess of births over deaths, or natural increase, was 3,629,474, or 13.97 per cent, while in the period now under review this increase has only been 3,593,553, or 12.39 per cent. Had the excess of births over deaths been at the same rate as in the previous decade the addition to the population from this cause would have amounted to 4,052,596, the diminution in this natural increase thus being 459,043. Notwithstanding this decline in the natural increase, the excess of enumerated over estimated population is, as already shown, 142,456. Had the loss by excess of emigration over immigration borne the same proportion to the population in 1891-1901 as in 1881-91, the decrease under this heading would have been 671,502, whereas the loss actually attributable to that cause stands at 70,003. It follows that there must have been a diminution in the loss of population by excess of emigration over immigration to the extent of 601,499. Had it not been for the unusual drain upon the resident popula- tion as a result of the war in South Africa, the loss would probably have been entirely wiped out, and for the first time a gain would have been established by excess of immi- gration over emigration.

The fluctuations in the rate of natural increase since 1841 are as shown in the following table. From this it will be evident (1) that the mean annual death-rate has been steadily declining since 1861-71; (2) that the birth-rate has declined with still greater rapidity since 1871-1881. [In the last Census Report it was stated to have been unprecedentedly low, the increase for the decennium standing at 34.24 per cent., while now the reduction from that low figure is no less than 2.67]; and (3) that the resulting excess of births over deaths is lower than has been registered since 1841—51, when the higher percentage of births was more than neutralized by the higher percentage of deaths which exceeded that now recorded by 4.55 per cent.

Intercensal periods. Increase per cent.
by Births.
Decrease per cent.
by Deaths.
Gain per cent by excess
of Births over Deaths,
or Natural Increase.
1841-51 34.64 23.73 10.91
1851-61 36.19 23.58 12.61
1861-71 37.56 23.98 13.58
1871-81 37.89 22.8 15.09
1881-91 34.24 20.27 13.97
1891-1901 31.57 19.18 12.39

As regards the decreased loss from excess of emigrants over immigrants, there are no means of ascertaining with accuracy how far this was due to decreased emigration and how far to increased immigration, but the following figures appear to indicate that it was mainly due to the former. In the decennium 1881-1891 the numbers emigrating- rose to an unprecedented figure, the number of persons of English and Welsh origin who left the United Kingdom being stated by the Board of Trade as 1,572,717. Emigration has not proceeded in the last decennium with equal flood, and the Board of Trade returns show a diminution of 462,133, the actual number of emigrants of English and Welsh origin being no more than 1,110,584. The loss of population by excess of emigration over immigration has amounted to the trivial total of 70,003 only as compared with 601,388 in the previous decade. The following table shows for the past half century to what extent the natural increment of population has been counterbalanced by excess of emigration over immigration:—

Census Years. Population. Difference,
being Loss by
Excess of
Emigrants over
Increase per cent. in previous
being Loss by
Excess of
Emigrants over
As determined
by Natural
Increment only.
As actually
As determined
by Natural
Increment only.
as determined
by actual
1861 20,188,335 20,066,224 122,111 12.61 11.90 0.71
1871 22,791,234 22,712,266 78,968 13.58 13.21 0.37
1881 26,138,746 25,974,439 164,307 15.09 14.36 0.73
1891 29,603,913 29,002,525 601,388 13.97 11.65 2.32
1901 32,596,078 32,526,075 70,003 12.39 12.17 0.22

The loss by excess of emigration has therefore been at a lower rate than at any period shown in the table, and barely amounts to one-tenth of that sustained in the previous decade.

Growth of population within various periods.

It may here be interesting to note that the population has somewhat more than doubled since the accession of Her late Majesty. The estimated population in the middle of the year 1837 was 15,103,778, as compared with the existing population of 32,526,075, an increase of 17,422,297. The population was about one half the present number in 1843; consequently it has taken 58 years to double. At the rate of increase now current the population would be again doubled in 60 years.

If a comparison be instituted between the population exactly 100 years ago and that which exists at present it will be found the growth has been from 8,892,536 to 32,526,075, an increase of 23,633,539—266 per cent.—or at the rate of 1.31 per cent, per annum.

Population in each intercensal year.

It is desirable for many purposes to know what was the probable population of the country in each of the intercensal years as well as in the Census years themselves.

If it he assumed that the rate of growth was uniform throughout the whole of the last decennium, and that this growth continued to the middle of 19U1, the population in the middle of each of the years 1891-1901 would stand as follows:—

1891 29,081,053
1892 29,416,890
1893 29,756,600
1894 30,100,235
1895 30,447,839
1896 30,799,461
1897 31,155,137
1898 31,514,927
1899 31,878,868
1900 32,247,015
1901 32,619,410

Turning now to the future and assuming that the annual rate of growth realized in the past intercensal period will he maintained without change to the year 1911, the population of England and Wales will stand as follows in the middle of each successive year.

1902 32,996,106
1903 33,377,154
1904 33,762,602
1905 34,152,500
1906 34,546,904
1907 34,945,856
1908 35,349,423
1909 35,757,645
1910 36,170,583
1911 36,588,288

Proportion of males and females.

Of the 32,526,075 persons enumerated 15,721,728 were males and 16,804,347 females. This gives an excess of 1,082,619 females, an excess which is partially attributable to the fact that men serving in the Army, Navy, and the Merchant Service abroad are excluded from the reckoning. In 1891 the excess was 896,723. To each 100 males enumerated there were 106.9 females. The proportion of females has been steadily increasing at each Census since 1851, having been successively 104.2, 105.3, 105.4, 105.5, 106.4, and 106.9 to 100 males.

The rate of increase in the last decennium was 11.9 per cent, for males and 12.4 per cent, for females. But the natural increment of the males, that is, the number of male births minus the number of male deaths, was 1,799,576, or 12.8 per cent, of the male population in 1891, while the natural increment of the females was 1,793,977, or 12.0 per cent, of the female population. From this we are able to compile the following table:—

Males. Females.
Persons enumerated in 1891 14,052,901 14,949,624
Add Intercensal Births 4,659,173 4,498,003
  18,712,074 19,447,627
Deduct Intercensal Deaths 2,859,597 2,704,026
Population in 1901 by natural increment 2,859,597 2,704,026
Actual population enumerated in 1901 15,721,728 16,804,347
Difference, being loss by excess of departures over
  arrivals in the intercensal period
130,749 -
Difference, being gain by excess of arrivals over
- 60,746

Number of families.

The number of schedules, representing the number of families, collected in 1901 was 7,048,303, as compared with 6,131,001 collected in 1891, an increase of 917,302, or 14'96 per cent.

In 1891 the increase from the previous Census was no more than 8.8 per cent,, considerably less than the increase of population, while on this occasion the increase is considerably greater than that of the population. Consequently while the average number of persons to a family rose from 4.61 in 1881 to 4.73 in 1891, it has now fallen again to 4.61.

The proportionate increase in the number of schedules may be due to a more accurate obedience to the instruction issued to enumerators to leave a separate schedule for every occupier of a house or part of a house or tenement, whether as lodger or otherwise, and the decrease in the number of persons to a family may be accounted for partly by this reason and partly by the diminished rate of excess of births over deaths.

Number of houses.

Inhabited houses number 6,266,496, as contrasted with 5,451,497 in 1891, an increase of 814,999, or 15.0 per cent. For the period ending 1891 the increase had been at the rate of no more than 12.8 per cent.

Uninhabited houses and houses in process of construction likewise show a large advance, the former from 372,184 to 449,396, an increase of 77,212, or 20.75 per cent., and the latter from 38,387 to 62,296, an increase of 23,909, or 62.28 per cent. These large increases contrast with an absolute decline recorded from 1881 to 1891.

The average number of occupants to each inhabited house was 5'19, as compared with 5-32 in 1891, 5'38 in 1881, and 5'33 in 1871. This decline is probably in part the natural result of the decrease in the mean proportion of persons to a family, but may also indicate some tendency to diminution in overcrowding.

Rate of increase or decrease of population, in different areas.

The increase of population is distributed over the country very unequally. In 250 of the 635 registration districts into which England and Wales are divided for registration purposes, the returns (Table XV.) show a falling off in the number of inhabitants. In 199 out of these 250 districts there had also been a falling off of population between 1881 and 1891. Even where larger areas, such as counties, are in question, there are several in which the population has declined, whilst in the remainder the rates of increase were very unequal.

In the following: table the counties are arranged in order of increase or of decrease during the last decennium:—


Counties showing
Counties showing
Counties showing
Counties showing
Essex 38.2 Northampton-
11.9 Lincolnshire 5.5 Montgomery-
Glamorganshire 25.1 Cheshire 11.6 Brecknockshire 5.0 Rutlandshire 4.6
Northumberland 19.1 Warwickshire 11.5 Somersetshire 4.9 Cardiganshire 3.8
Kent 18.3 Middlesex 10.3 Devonshire 4.5 Westmorland 2.7
Worcestershire 18.0 Denbighshire 10.2 Dorsetshire 4.3 Oxfordshire 1.6
Derbyshire 17.5 Sussex 9.9 Carmarthen-
3.6 Herefordshire 1.3
Durham 16.8 Yorkshire, North Riding 9.1 Suffolk 3.5 Pembrokeshire 0.4
Leicestershire 16.2 Yorkshire, East Riding 8.9 Wiltshire 3.3 Merionethshire 0.2
Surrey 16.0 Carnarvonshire 7.3 Shropshire 1.3    
Monmouthshire 15.8 Berkshire 6.8 Norfolk 1.2    
Hampshire 15.7 Radnorshire 6.8 Anglesey 1.0    
Nottinghamshire 15.4 Bedfordshire 6.6 Cambridgeshire 0.9    
Staffordshire 13.9 Gloucestershire 5.8 Cumberland 0.1    
Hertfordshire 13.7 Flintshire 5.8 Cornwall 0.1    
Yorkshire, West Riding 12.6 Buckingham-
5.5 Huntingdonshire 0.02    
Lancashire 12.2            

As had been the case in the previous intercensal period, so it was found to be in 1891-1901 also; the counties with the highest rates of increase were generally those the populations of which are most affected by the proximity of London—namely, the counties of Essex, Kent, and Surrey—or the counties in which mining is the principal industry, such as Glamorganshire, Northumberland, Derbyshire, Durham and Monmouthshire; or manufacturing counties, such, as Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire; whilst the rural counties come last, with rates of increase far below the general average, or even with actual decrease of population. Of the eight counties that show a decrease, there are six—namely, Merionethshire, Pembrokeshire, Herefordshire, Cardiganshire. Rutlandshire, and Montgomeryshire—which had also shown a decrease in 1881-1891.

The counties referred to in the last table and in the foregoing remarks are the old historical areas, i.e., the ancient or geographical areas which are ordinarily understood by the term county. But in addition to these there are other areas which are also designated by the title of county, namely, first the registration or union counties, which are aggregates of registration districts or Poor-law unions; and, secondly, the administrative counties, which have been formed since the passing of the Local Government Act of 1888. Administrative counties differ from ancient or geographical counties, firstly, on this account, that certain urban districts which lie partly in one ancient county and partly in another, are, for administrative purposes, included in that county which contains the larger portion of the population; and secondly, because many of the larger towns have been created county boroughs with independent administrative powers, and these towns are not included in the county totals.

The differences in population between these three kinds of county are frequently considerable, and this must be taken into account by those who wish to avoid confusion in the use of Census figures. For example, the population of the Ancient County of Derby is 620,196, and that of the Administrative County 504,577, whilst that of the Registration County is only 490,886. The figures for the Ancient Counties are given in Table III., page 3, those for the Administrative Counties and the County Boroughs in Table V., pages 16 and 17, and those for the Registration Counties in Table XIII., page 55.

For the purposes of local government, England and Wales are divided into "County Boroughs," "Municipal Boroughs," "Urban Districts" and "Rural Districts," and this division has been adopted for the present report; the "urban population" consists of the inhabitants of London, of the County Boroughs, of the Municipal Boroughs, and of the urban districts, and the "rural population" of the remaining inhabitants of England and Wales except a small population living in areas which are neither urban nor rural.

At the time of the Census of 1881 there were in England and Wales 967 Urban Districts, London being reckoned as one for convenience. In 1891 the number had increased to 1,011, and at the recent Census it had further increased to 1,122 (still reckoning London as one, although it includes within itself 29 Metropolitan Boroughs) Of this total there were nine districts, each of which contained a population exceeding 250,000. In 24 districts the population was between 100,000 and 250,000; in 42 districts it was between 50,000 and 100,000; in 141 districts, between 20,000 and 50,000; in 219 districts, between 10,000 and 20,000; and in 472 districts, between 3,000 and 10,000; whilst in the remaining 215 districts it was under 3,000.

Urban Districts, with
Population of—
Aggregate Population. Mean Percentage
of Increase
or Decrease of
1891. 1901.
250,000 and upwards 9* 7,088,102 7,972,790 12.48
100,000 to 250,000 24 2,294,404 3,317,917 44.61
50,000 to 100,000 42 2,819,141 3,215,571 14.06
20,000 to 50,000 141 3,709,554 4,433,793 19.52
10,000 to 20,000 219 2,565,165 3,006,280 17.20
3,000 to 10,000 472 2,791,289 2,693,210 -3.51
Under 3,000 215 476,322 414,712 -12.93
Total 1,122 21,743,977 25,054,268 15.22

* Including the Administrative County of London, which is here reckoned as one district.

The 1,122 Urban Districts of England and Wales, (including the Administrative County of London,) contained an aggregate population of 25,054,268. So that 77 per cent. of the population of England and Wales were living under the jurisdiction of urban authorities, as compared with a percentage of 75 in the year 1891.

The division of the population in 1891 and in 1901 was as follows:—

Areas. Population. Per cent.
1891. 1901. 1891. 1901.
Urban 21,743,977 25,054,268 75 77
Rural 7,258,145 7,471,242 25 23
Neither Urban nor Rural* 403 565 0 0
Total 29,002,525 32,526,075 100 100

* For list of areas which are included neither in Urban nor in Rural Districts, see Table X, page 20.

In 1891 the population of the 1,122 districts (including London), which are now designated urban was 21,743,977, so that the increase in these urban districts in the course of the decennium just ended was 15.2 per cent; the increase, however, in the 666 rural districts did not exceed 2.9 per cent. These figures may be taken as repre- senting approximately the proportional increases in the urban and rural populations generally.

The urban population still continues to increase more rapidly than the rural, and the rate of increase conforms roughly to the law that, speaking generally,—and with im- portant exceptions,—the more populous the urban district, the higher is the rate of growth. In the decennium ended in 1901 the rate of increase was highest, not among towns of from 20,000 to 100,000 inhabitants', as had been the case in 1881-91, but among towns of from 100,000 to 250,000 inhabitants.

The towns of more than 250,000 inhabitants had shown in the earlier period an. increase of only 9.28 per cent., but in the more recent period the percentage has increased to 12.48. The rate of increase in the towns of from 20,000 to 50,000 has been smaller in the recent than in the earlier decennium, whilst amongst the towns of less than 10,000 there has been on the average a somewhat serious decrease. (See table on page xi.)

Towns with more than 50,000 inhabitants.

Among the Urban Districts there are 75 towns (including London), each containing more than 50,000 inhabitants. The following is a list of these, arranged in decreasing order of population. In some cases the boundaries of these towns have been extended since 1891, and in these cases the populations given for 1891 are those of the extended areas.

URBAN DISTRICTS or TOWNS. Enumerated Population. Increase or
per Cent.
1891. 1901. 1891-1901.
75 Towns 12,729,545 14,506,273 13.96
London 4,228,317 4,536,063 7.28
Liverpoool* 629,548 684,947 8.8
Manchester 505,368 543,969 7.64
Birmingham 478,113 522,182 9.22
Leeds 367,505 428,953 16.72
Sheffield 324,243 380,717 17.42
Bristol* 289,280 328,842 13.68
Bradford 265,728 279,809 5.3
West Ham 204,903 267,308 30.46
Kingston-upon-Hull* 200,472 240,618 20.03
Nottingham 213,877 239,753 12.10
Salford 198,139 220,956 11.52
Newcastle upon Tyne 186,300 214,803 15.30
Leicester 174,624 211,574 21.16
Portsmouth* 159,278 189,160 18.76
Bolton 146,487 168,205 14.83
Cardiff* 128,915 164,420 27.54
Sunderland* 131,686 146,565 11.30
Oldham 131,463 137,238 4.39
Croydon 102,695 133,885 30.37
Blackburn 120,064 127,527 6.22
Brighton 115,873 123,478 6.56
Willesden 61,265 114,815 87.41
Rhondda 88.531 113,735 28.73
Preston 107,573 112,982 5.03
Norwich 100,970 111,728 10.65
Birkenhead 99,857 110,926 11.08
Gateshead 85,692 109,887 28.23
Plymouth* 88,926 107,509 20.90
Derby 94,146 105,785 12.36
Halifax* 97,714 104,933 7.39
Southampton 82,126 104,911 27.74
Tottenham 71,343 102,519 43.70
Leyton* 63,106 98,899 56.72
South Shields 78,391 97,267 24.08
Burnley 87,016 97,044 11.52
East Ham 32,712 95,989 193.44
Walthamstow 46,346 95,125 105.25
Huddersfield 95,420 95,008 -0.43
Swansea 90,349 94,514 4.61
Wolverhampton 82,662 94,179 13.93
Middlesbrough 75,532 91,317 20.90
Northampton 75,075 87,021 15.91
Walsall 71,789 86,440 20.41
St Helens* 72,413 84,410 16.57
Rochdale* 76,161 83,112 9.13
Stockport 70,263 78,871 12.25
York* 67,749 77,793 14.83
Aston Manor 68,639 77,310 12.63
Reading 60,054 72,214 20.25
Hornsey* 44,523 72,056 61.84
Coventry 58,503 69,877 19.44
Devonport* 55,981 69,674 24.46
Merthyr Tydfil* 59,004 69,227 17.33
Newport (Mon.) 54,707 67,290 23.00
Ipswich 57,433 66,622 16.00
Hastings* 63,072 65,528 3.89
West Bromwich* 59,538 65,172 9.46
Warrington 55,288 64,241 16.19
Grimsby 51,934 63,138 21.57
West Hartlepool* 42,815 62,614 46.24
Hanley 54,946 61,524 11.97
Wigan 55,013 60,770 10.46
Bootle 49,217 58,558 18.98
Bury 57,212 58,028 1.43
Barrow in Furness 51,712 57,584 11.36
Kings Norton and Northfield 28,300 57,120 101.84
Smethwick 36,106 54,560 51.11
Rotherham 42,061 54,348 29.21
Wallasey 33,229 53,580 61.24
Handsworth (Staffs.) 32,756 52,921 61.56
Tynemouth 46,588 51,514 10.57
Stockton on Tees* 49,708 51,476 3.56
Great Yarmouth 49,334 51,250 3.88
Burton on Trent 46,047 50,386 9.42

* The areas of these towns were extended in the decennium of 1891-1901, but in every case the population in 1891 relates to the town as constituted in 1901.

The rate of increase in the recent intercensal period has differed very widely in the several towns. For whilst, on the one hand the population of King.s Norton and that of Walthamstow have more than doubled, and that of East Ham has almost trebled since 1891, on the other hand there are several towns in which the rate of increase has been considerably less than that of England and Wales generally. In their report on the Census of 1891, our predecessors indicated Tottenham, Leyton and Willesden, as the towns in which the increase of population had been greatest (viz., from 95 to 133 per cent.) At the recent Census these towns were found to have shown, in each case, a considerable increase, but not to the same amount as in the previous intercensal period.

As has been previously intimated in the Census reports, it is a mistake to assume that the rate of increase of population is in all cases a trustworthy criterion of the prosperity of a town. In many of our large manufacturing towns, such, for example, as Liverpool and Manchester before their recent extensions, as well as in the central districts of the metropolis, the resident population has either increased very slowly, or it has actually decreased in recent years, because the area within the municipal boundary has become too valuable for ordinary residences, and, consequently, warehouses and other business premises have replaced the dwelling-houses. In such cases the growth of population has taken place in a zone outside the municipal boundaries; so that in order to ascertain the real increase of the population of most of our great towns, it would be necessary to include the suburbs in the calculation, and this, for obvious reasons, is very difficult of accomplishment.

The City of Liverpool is a case in point. At the Census of 1891, the population within the municipal boundaries of that day was found to have decreased since the previous Census by 6.2 per cent. In the year 1895, however, a very large suburban area consisting of the whole of the Urban Districts of Toxteth Park, Walton-on-the-Hill, and Wavertree, and part of the Urban District of West Derby, was added to the municipality, and the result is that instead of a decrease, an increase of 8.8 per cent, in the population of Liverpool is shown to have taken place since 1891, within the extended area of the present city. If the municipal boundaries of many more of our large centres of industry were similarly extended so as to include the suburban areas, which are virtually, though not actually, parts of those communities, there is no doubt that their rates of increase would, generally, appear far greater than those indicated in the table.

County Boroughs.

In a schedule to the Local Government Act of 1888 a list of 61 large Boroughs is given, to which were granted by that Act the powers of Administrative Counties and the title of County Boroughs, these boroughs being stated to be either counties of themselves or to have contained on June 1st, 1888, populations of not less than 50,000. To the boroughs thus scheduled there have since been added, by order, six others, namely, Oxford, Grimsby, Bournemouth, Burton-on-Trent, Warrington, and Newport (Mon.), raising the total of County Boroughs to 67. Among them are ten in which the population enumerated in March last did not reach 50,000, namely, Bath, Bournemouth, Canterbury, Chester, Dudley, Exeter, Gloucester, Lincoln, Oxford, and Worcester; whilst, on the other hand, there are in the list of urban districts four boroughs, namely, Rotherham, Smethwick, Stockton-on-Tees, and Tynemouth, and 13 non-municipal urban districts, namely, Aston Manor, East Ham, Handsworth, Hornsey, King's Norton, Leyton, Merthyr- Tydfil. Rhondda. Tottenham, Wallasey, Walthamstow, West Hartlepool, and Willesden, in each of which the population now exceeds 50,000.


At the recent Census the population of the Administrative County of London, which now for the first time corresponds, as to area, with Registration London, was 4,536,063, showing an increase of 307,746, or 7.28 per cent, on the number enumerated in 1891. In the previous intercensal period the rate of increase had been 10.39 per cent.

In the decennium 1881-91 the population of London increased for the first time in a some what lower ratio than the population of England and Wales in the aggregate; for, while the rate of increase for London was 10.39 per cent., it was 11.65 per cent. for England and Wales. In the last intercensal period the difference is more marked, the rate of increase for London not exceeding 7.28 per cent., whereas the rate for England and Wales is 12.17 per cent. Dividing the last decennium into two quinquennia, as we are able to do by means of the intermediate Census of 1896, the increase in London in the two periods is very different, being 201,212 in the first, and 106,534 in the second quinquennium. The relative populations of the entire country and of its metropolis are shown in the following table (p. xv).

Year of
Population in England and Wales in London at the Eleven
and Wales.
London. Persons in London
to 100 in
England and Wales.
1801 8,892,536 959,310 10.79
1811 10,164,256 1,139,355 11.21
1821 12,000,236 1,379,543 11.50
1831 13,896,797 1,655,582 11.91
1841 15,914,148 1,949,277 12.25
1851 17,927,609 2,363,341 13.18
1861 20,066,224 2,808,494 14.00
1871 22,712,266 3,261,396 14.36
1881 25,974,439 3,830,297 14.75
1891 29,002,525 4,228,317 14.58
1901 32,526,075 4,536,063 13.95

In each of the last two Census Reports it was pointed out that in the centre of London there was a group of districts in which the population had long been undergoing decrease, owing to the substitution of business premises for dwelling-houses; and that round this central area, and constituting the rest of Registration or Inner London,2 there was a circle or ring of districts, all of which had undergone, more or less, rapid increase, the growth, speaking generally, being greater the farther the district was from the centre, and the rate of growth, it may be added, showing in most cases a tendency to become smaller and smaller; and lastly, that outside this Registration London there was a wide belt of suburban districts, conveniently designated the Outer Ring, in which the population was increasing with extraordinary rapidity.

For the most part these phenomena are repeated in the present enumeration. With one exception, all the central districts that had shown decreases in the three previous intercensal periods also showed a decrease in 1891-1901. The exception was St. George in the East, which, after declining 1.7 per cent. in 1861-71, 1.9 per cent, in 1871-81, and 2.9 per cent, in 1881-91, showed an increase of 7.2 per cent, in the recent intercensal period. On the other hand St. Olave, Southwark, which had hitherto shown an increase, though at a rapidly decreasing rate, now ranks as a decreasing district with a rate of 4.1 per cent.

The districts of Pancras and Stepney, which in 1881-1891 had exceptionally shown a decrease, are now again slightly increasing districts.

The following table shows the changes in these central districts in the last four decennia:—

Registration Districts. Decrease Per Cent.
1861-71. 1871-81. 1881-91. 1891-1901.
St. George, Hanover Square 0 4.2 10.4 5.3
Westminster 3 9.1 19.9 11.3
Marylebone 1.5 2.7 8.1 7.5
St. Giles 1 15.6 12.1 11.5
Strand 14.3 18.8 18.1 26
Holborn 2.5 7.1 6.6 8.4
London City 33 32.3 25.5 28.2
Shoreditch 1.7 0.5 2 4.8
St. Olave, Southwark 20.1 10 1.5 4.1

The total decrease in this central group of districts in. 1891-1901 was 8.3 per cent., having been 3.5, 5.9 and 8.1 per cent, in the three previous decennia.

In the 40 years the total decrease amounted to 23.5 per cent.

In all the remaining districts of Registration London, which are enumerated in the following list, there has been an increase. It will be noticed that in certain districts, especially those which are most remote from the central area, the increase has been very large. Thus, in Hampstead it has amounted to 20 per cent., in Woolwich to 22, in Wandsworth to 31, in Fulham to 32, whilst in Lewisham it has been as great as 42 per cent.

Registration Districts. Increase Per Cent.
1861-71. 1871-81. 1881-91. 1891-1901.
Paddington 27.7 10.6 10.1 5.9
Kensington 71.6 35.6 1.9 3.9
Fulham 64.9 74.0 64.5 32.0
Chelsea 11.5 24.6 9.2 1.2
Hampstead 69.0 40.8 50.5 20.3
Pancras 11.4 6.7 -0.8 0.2
Islington 37.6 32.3 12.9 4.9
Hackney 50.0 49.2 23.1 9.3
Bethnal Green 14.3 5.7 1.7 0.6
Whitechapel -3.0 -6.8 4.3 5.5
St George in the East -1.7 -1.9 -2.9 7.2
Stepney 2.0 1.5 -2.0 1.2
Mile End Old Town 27.5 13.3 1.8 5.0
Poplar 46.9 34.5 6.5 1.2
Southwark 0.7 11.5 3.8 1.8
Lambeth 28.6 21.8 8.5 8.4
Wandsworth 77.6 68.3 46.1 31.2
Camberwell 55.7 67.6 26.1 10.9
Greenwich 17.0 30.4 26.0 11.4
Lewisham 61.2 42.2 30.0 42.3
Woolwich -2.8 10.2 32.8 22.1

NOTE.—Owing to the operation of the London Government Act, 1899, certain changes have taken place in the areas of the London Districts; no corrections on account of such changes have been made in the above figures except for the last decennium.

A small, though important, diminution is observable in the rate of increase of the population of the Outer King, namely, that belt of suburban districts which lies outside the boundary of Registration London, but is included in the Metropolitan Police District. Here the increase in the three previous intercensal periods had fallen steadily from 50.8 to 49.5 per cent. In the last intercensal period, namely, 1891-1901, the rate of increase has been much lower, amounting to only 45.5 per cent.; and it is probable that, as predicted in the last preliminary report, this wide belt of suburbs is now beginning to show signs of repletion, and that consequently the further ring of districts outside the Metropolitan Police Area is experiencing a much more active growth.

Population.* Increase or Decrease per cent.
1861. 1871. 1881. 1891. 1901. 1861-
Central Area 985,014 950,302 894,563 821,257 753,260 -3.5 -5.9 -8.1 -8.3
Rest of Inner London 1,818,833 2,303,483 2,920,981 3,407,060 3,782,803 +26.6 +26.8 +16.0 +11.0
Inner or Registration London 2,803,847 3,253,785 3,815,544 4,228,317 4536,063 +16.0 +17.3 +10.4 +7.3
Outer Ring 418,873 631,856 951,117 1,405,489 2,044,553 +50.8 +50.5 +49.5 +45.5
Greater London 3,222,720 3,885,641 4,766,661 5,633,806 6,580,616 +20.6 +22.7 +18.2 +16.8

* See note to previous table.

Parliamentary Areas.

Excluding the five Members representing the Universities, the various Parliamentary areas in England and Wales return 490 Members to the House of Commons. An equal numerical distribution of the enumerated population of England and Wales would, therefore, give one Member to 66,380 persons.

The figures in Table IV., on pages 4-15, show, however, that the actual distribution differs very widely from equality. Thus the population represented by the two Members for the City of London was but 26,897, and the population of the Boroughs of Durham, Bury St. Edmunds, and Penryn and Falmouth was, in each case, less than 17,000. On the other hand the population of the South Division of West Ham, the Harrow Division of Middlesex, the Cardiff District of Boroughs, Wandsworth, and the Walthamstow Division of Essex, all being single Member constituencies, in each case exceeded 150,000; while the population of the Southern or Romford Division of Essex was no less than 217,030.

In the following table the Constituencies are classified according to the population represented by each Member, based upon the Census Returns in 1891 and 1901.

Population to one Representative in
England and Wales.
Number of Constituencies.*
1891. 1901.
100,000 and upwards 7 41
90,000-100,000 19 34
80,000-90,000 26 47
70,000-80,000 66 69
60,000-70,000 108 82
50,000-60,000 128 102
40,000-50,000 79 56
30,000-40,000 23 28
20,000-30,000 19 19
10,000-20,000 15 12
Total 490* 490*

* Exclusive of the Universities.

A comparison of the figures for 1891 and 1901 shows, in a remarkable manner, the increase of population during the last ten years in the most populous Constituencies. Thus in 1891 there were only 52 Constituencies that had a population exceeding 80,000, whereas the recent Census shows that no fewer than 122 Constituencies now have populations exceeding this number. The 41 Constituencies having at the recent Census a population exceeding 100,000 included 21 which may be described as Metropolitan, being situated in London or in its suburbs.

The number of Members of the House of Commons, representing the United Kingdom at the present time, is 670, or 661 if we exclude the nine representatives of the Universities. The population of the United Kingdom being 41,454,578, an equal numerical division of this population among the 661 Members representing Boroughs and Counties, or Divisions of each, would give an average population of 62,715 persons to each Member.

Population of the United Kingdom.

By the courtesy of our colleagues in Scotland and Ireland, and by that of the respective Governors of the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, we are able to submit in summary, subject to future revision, tables showing the population of the United Kingdom and of the Islands in the British Seas enumerated at the recent Census.

The population of the United Kingdom on the night of the 31st of March last amounted to 41,454,578 persons, showing an increase of 3,721,656 upon the population enumerated at the previous Census in 1891. This increase exceeded by nearly a million (873582) the increase recorded in the preceding decennium 1881-91. The natural increase of population in the United Kingdom during the intercensal period 1891-1901, by excess of Births over Deaths, was 4,311,543: it appears, therefore, that the loss of population in the United Kingdom during this period through excess of emigration over immigration amounted to 589,887.


1821. 1831. 1841. 1851. 1861. 1871. 1881. 1891. 1901.
United Kingdom 20,893,584 24,028,584 26,730,929 27,390,629 28,927,485 31,484,661 34,884,848 37,732,922 41,454,578
England 11,281,883 13,090,523 15,002,443 16,921,888 18,954,444 21,495,131 24,613,926 27,483,490 30,805,466
Wales 718,353 806,274 911,705 1,005,721 1,111,780 1,217,135 1,360,513 1,519,035 1,720,609
Scotland 2,091,521 2,364,386 2,620,184 2,888,742 3,062,294 3,360,018 3,735,573 4,025,647 4,471,957
Ireland 6,801,827 7,767,401 8,196,597 6,574,278 5,798,967 5,412,377 5,174,836 4,704,750 4,456,546

The percentage of increase of population in the United Kingdom, which had been 10.8 and 8.2 respectively in the two preceding decennia, rose again during the recent decennium to 9.9. The rate of increase in England and Wales and in Scotland was higher in 1891-1901 than it had been in the preceding decennium; and the rate of decrease in Ireland was distinctly lower.

The population of Scotland enumerated at the recent Census was 4,471,957, showing an increase of 446,310 in the 10 years, or 11.1 per cent., against 11.2 and 7.8. per cent, in the two preceding decennia. The excess of Births over Deaths in the 10 years was 499,768, showing that the loss of population during that period by excess of emigration over immigration was 53,458.

The recently enumerated population of Ireland was 4,456,546, and less by 248,204 than the number recorded at the previous Census in 1891; the decrease, which had been equal to 4.4 and 9.1 per cent, in the two preceding decennia, fell again to 5.3 per cent, in the last intercensal period. The excess of Births over Deaths in Ireland during the Census period 1891-1901 was equal to 218,222: it follows, therefore, that the loss of population during that period by excess of emigration over immigration must have amounted to 466,426, or nearly half a million. The population of Ireland at the recent Census but slightly exceeded a half of that enumerated at the Census in 1841, and for the first time fell below the population of Scotland, which exceeded that of Ireland by 15,411.


1821-31 1831-41 1841-51 18451-61 1861-71 1871-81 1881-91 1891-1901
United Kingdom 15 11.2 2.5 5.6 8.8 10.8 8.2 9.9
England 16 14.6 12.8 12 13.4 14.5 11.7 12.1
Wales 12.2 13.1 10.3 10.5 9.5 11.8 11.6 13.3
Scotland 13 10.8 10.2 6 9.7 11.2 7.8 11.1
Ireland 14.2 5.5 -19.8 -11.8 -6.7 -4.4 -9.1 -5.3

The population of England and Wales now amounts to 78.4 per cent., or more than three-quarters of the aggregate population of the United Kingdom, showing a further considerable increase upon the constantly increasing proportions at previous Census enumerations. The population of Scotland and that of Ireland were each approximately equal to 10.8 per cent, of the population of the United Kingdom. The proportion of the Scotch population differed but slightly from that at recent Censuses; whereas the population of Ireland, which in 1821 constituted 32.6 per cent, of the population of the United Kingdom, has continuously declined, and did not exceed 10.8 per cent, at the recent Census.


1821. 1831. 1841. 1851. 1861. 1871. 1881. 1891. 1901.
England 54 54.5 56.1 61.8 65.6 68.3 70.6 72.8 74.3
Wales 3.4 3.4 3.4 3.7 3.8 3.8 3.9 4 4.1
Scotland 10 9.8 9.8 10.5 10.6 10.7 10.7 10.7 10.8
Ireland 32.6 32.3 30.7 24 20 17.2 14.8 12.5 10.8

Islands in the British Seas.

The population enumerated in the Isle of Man, which had been 55,608 in 1891, declined to 54,758 at the recent Census, showing a decrease of 850, or 1.5 per cent.; whereas in the preceding decennium there had been an increase of 2,050, or 3.8 per cent.

In Jersey the population also showed a decrease from 54,518 in 1891 to 52,796; the decrease was equal to 3.2 per cent., whereas in the previous Census period the population had shown an increase of 4.0 per cent.

POPULATION of the ISLANDS in the BRITISH SEAS enumerated at each of the CENSUSES, 1821 to 1891.

1821. 1831. 1841. 1851. 1861. 1871. 1881. 1891. 1901.
ISLANDS IN THE BRITISH SEAS 89,508 103,710 124,040 143,126 143,447 144,638 141,260 147,842 150,599
ISLE OF MAN 40,081 41,000 47,975 52,387 52,469 54,042 53,558 55,608 54,758
CHANNEL ISLANDS 28,600 36,582 47,544 57,020 55,613 56,627 52,445 54,518 52,796
JERSEY 20,339 24,540 26,698 29,806 29,850 30,685 32,638 35,289 40,477
GUERNSEY (with HERM and JETHOU) 20,339 24,540 26,698 29,806 29,850 30,685 32,638 35,289 40,477
1,045 1,038 3,333 4,932 2,738 2,048 1,857 2,062
SARK 488 543 785 580 583 546 571 570 506

In Guernsey (including the adjacent islands of Herm and Jethou) the population, on the other hand, which had shown an increase at each successive Census since 1821, further rose from 35,289 in 1891 to 40,477 at the recent enumeration. The rate of increase per cent., which had been 6.4 and 8.1 in the two preceding decennia, reached the higher figure of 14.7 in the last intercensal period. In the island of Alderney the population, which had steadily declined from 4,932 in 1861 to 1,857 in 1891, amounted to 2,062 at the recent Census, showing an increase of ll.0 per cent.; whereas in the three preceding decennia the percentage of decrease had been successively 44.5, 25.2, and 9.3. In the small island of Sark 506 persons were enumerated at the end of March last, a decline of 64, or 11.2 per cent., from the number returned at the Census in 1891. Thus the aggregate population of the Islands in the British Seas at the recent Census amounted to 150,599 persons, exceeding by 2,757 the number enumerated in 1891; this increase in the ten years did not, however, exceed 1.9 per cent., whereas in the preceding decennium the increase had been equal to 4.7 per cent.


1821-31. 1831-41. 1841-51. 1851-61. 1861-71. 1871-81. 1881-91. 1891-1901.
ISLANDS IN THE BRITISH SEAS 15.9 19.6 15.4 0.2 0.8 -2.3 4.7 1.9
ISLE OF MAN 2.3 17.0 9.2 0.2 3.0 -0.9 3.8 -1.5
CHANNEL ISLANDS:                
    JERSEY 27.9 30.0 19.9 -2.5 1.8 -7.4 4.0 -3.2
    HERM and
20.7 8.8 11.6 0.1 2.8 6.4 8.1 14.7
-0.7 321.1 48.0 -44.5 -25.2 -9.3 11.0
    SARK 11.3 44.6 -26.1 0.5 -6.3 4.6 -0.2 -11.2

Order of future publications.

With regard to the work that lies before us, we deem it well to state here that we purpose to make an important change in the system of publication adopted for previous Census Reports. Of the Report on the Census in 1891, Vol. I. was published in 1893, containing area, houses, and population of the whole of England and Wales for Administrative and Ancient Counties. Vol. II. followed, giving information for Registration Areas and Sanitary Districts; Vol. III. succeeded, giving tables dealing with ages, occupations, birthplaces, and other miscellaneous details; and Vol, IV., containing the Report and Summary Tables, completed the Census publications. We have now arranged to issue statistical tables which shall cover the whole ground by counties or groups of counties, each county being complete in itself with map furnished for our use by the Director-General of H.M. Ordnance Survey. By the adoption of this course we shall be in a position to supply detailed and final information for public use at an earlier date—at least for the greater part of the country—than would otherwise be practicable. The first county dealt with will be that of London, and other counties or groups of counties will be taken up in order, having due regard to their relative industrial importance.

The whole strength of our staff will be thrown upon the systematic tabulation of Census details in counties, and it will not be possible for us to divert attention from the business in hand to give information in advance as to any particular area.

We have the honour to be,
Your most obedient Servants,

REGINALD MACLEOD, Registrar General.

ALFRED J. MUNDY, Secretary.
A. BELLINGHAM, Assistant Secretary.

1 "Emigrant" as used in the report includes (1) emigrants proper, that is persons who have left the country to establish themselves elsewhere; (2) persons engaged abroad in the army, navy, and merchant service, or in commerce, or as travellers, &c.; (3) persons who have migrated from England and Wales to other parts of the United Kingdom; (4) any persons who died during the decennium, but whose deaths were not registered at the date of the enumeration. "Immigrant'' is used to include the opposites of these groups. The return of emigrants on page 138 includes most of group 1 and also some of group 2, but of the other groups no numerical account whatsoever can be given.

2 Owing to the operation of the London Government Act, 1899, certain changes have taken place in the areas of the London Districts; no corrections on account of such changes have been made in the above figures except for the last decennium.

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