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of the world are principally the towns. Arguing therefore upon them, we may assert, that wherever only half the numbers born live to a marriageable age, and not more than two-thirds of those who live to that age actually marry; then each couple must produce six children, of whom four must be reared to manhood, in order to keep up the population. They must, for example, rear two children to replace themselves; one to replace the individual who died in celibacy at or after the marriageable age; and they must also produce three other children to replace those, who, by the inscrutable ordinations of providence, seem to be doomed to a premature death in all large towns; a proportion which no human exertions can materially alter, so long as the state of society producing such towns shall continue to exist. (The reader is referred to a subsequent chapter for the establishment of this last fact of premature deaths, as well as for the proof that the happiness of the community is not thereby on the whole deteriorated.) In the mean time it may be observed, that this rate of mortality in infancy and celibacy agrees with that which takes place in most of the great towns of Europe. Judging, indeed, from the very extensive operation of the preventive checks detailed by Mr. Malthus, as taking place in England and the middle parts of Europe, where he says that not more than half of the prolific power of nature is called into action;–as well as from the many accurate returns and calculations of the proportion which dies in childhood in the European towns;–it is probable that the result above given falls rather short of the real mortality in celibacy and childhood in those situations: we may therefore assume that, at least, six births to a marriage are necessary to keep up the population of towns. Now Dr. Price states the general average of births to a marriage, in most European states, to be about four in towns, and sir in the country: and although Mr. Malthus gives reasons which prove that Dr. Price, and indeed most other writers on political economy who preceded himself, have relied upon erroneous data in their calculations on this subject, yet his own opinion is not in effect very different; for he has little doubt that, on an average throughout Europe, each marriage, including town and country residents, yields considerably above four births, and he should think more than five. But as it is a fact fully admitted, that the number of births to a marriage in towns is less than in the country, in order to produce this average of more than five (say 54) in a state of society where one-third of the inhabitants reside in towns, these last must produce fewer than five, probably four; and the country residents more than that number, probably six children to a marriage.
We have already found that one third only of the numbers born in towns actually marry; it follows that the annual births are to the annual marriages as six to one, or two persons out of six that are born actually enter into the marriage contract. The proportion of births to a marriage in the course of its duration has also been found to be four in towns; but as half the numbers born die in childhood, two children, or one half of the produce of each marriage, must be taken out of the effective population; so that each married pair will only rear just enough to replace their own numbers: the total deficiency therefore in each generation must be equal to the number of those who live and die unmarried beyond the age of puberty, which we have before seem to be one third of the adults, or a sirth of the whole population born within the limits of the town. Unless, therefore, this number of recruits from the country flows into the town in each generation, the total numbers must decline, and very rapidly; for a deduction being made from each pair replacing its parents, in proportion to those among them wholive and die in a stateofcelibacy, the number of marriages will decrease one third in each succeeding generation. The number of children will of course decrease in the same proportion; so that in eight or nine generations from the first in the series, the people would be absolutely extinct, supposing no supply to come from the country. These calculations do not materially differ from those made by M. Buffon, upon data taken from the town of Paris and its neighbourhood. He indeed, with levity enough, applies the data, taken from this confined view, to the whole human race. Mr. Malthus very properly points out this error, and shows that the argument by no means applies to the country residents. He admits, however, that the decrease, as it was found actually to exist in towns, is such as would very soon unpeople those particular districts, without the accession of recruits reared in the country. It may perhaps be said, that if these recruits do not arrive, the demand for hands would induce a larger portion of the adults to marry. But this very supposition involves much delay and interruption to the public prosperity in so advanced a stage of society, and would carry it in a retrogade direction. Besides, in no town or country can all the adults marry: and we have seen that without this condition, the population of the town must decline, and that with it, it can but just continue stationary. We must now, therefore, proceed to inquire to what extent the country districts, containing two thirds of the whole population, are capable of supplying this deficiency of one sixth in the population of the towns in each generation. We have seen that the average proportion of births to marriages, in these situations, is six, and the proportion of early deaths to the births is much less than in towns. The average may be fairly stated at about one third before puberty; two thirds of the born therefore live to a marriageable age. The proportion of these who actually marry in the country would at first sight appear to be much greater than in towns, and in the natural order of things it certainly would be so. But we find, from the great porportion of births to deaths in country villages, where a comparatively slow increase of population has taken place, that many persons emigrate (usually in the prime of life, and before marriage) to the army, navy, colonies, and towns; and though some of them do afterwards marry somewhere, their offspring is not numerous, and is generally assimilated with the population of the towns. The whole supply therefore which the country residents could afford, in order to make up the deficiency in the towns, which, as we have said, contain one third of the population, may be thus estimated: I have ventured, as in the preceding chapter, to use an hypothetical number with a view to make the statement more clear. - • * Suppose the whole population of a state to be 9,000,000, one third of which, or 3,000,000, reside in towns, suffering a deficiency in each generation of one sixth, or 500,000, which must be supplied from the country. In the country the number existing is 6,000,000, four of whom are always at an adult age, or rising towards it. Of these 4,000,000, 500,000 are required in a generation (or in thirty three years and a half) to supply the deficiencies in the towns; and the same number is required to make up for the deficiencies left in the families belonging to persons in the army, navy, colonies, foreign trade, &c., who do not reproduce their own numbers: 3,000,000 of adults would therefore still remain in the country in a condition to rear families; and from their procreative powers a supply of 6,000,000 is to be raised, and constantly kept up to the ages at which they would respectively die or emigrate: viz. 1,000,000 would be wanted to supply the waste of the towns, army, navy, colonies, foreign trade, &c.; 2,000,000 for early deaths; and 3,000,000 to replace the parents. Now supposing that three fourths of these 3,000,000 of adults in the country, or 2,250,000, should actually marry, which is a high proportion, considering their various conditions in life, their progeny would amount to 6,750,000; and the whole increase of the population, upon this hypothesis, would be 750,000 upon 9,000,000, or a twelfth, in one generation of thirty-three years and a half, a rate of progress which would not double the population in three centuries. Such a rate of increase is surely sufficiently slow to alleviate any alarm concerning the vice and misery incident to a redundant population, and to preclude any necessity for extraordinary abstinence from marriage to keep down the exuberance. I have purposely given these calculations in a Ymanner more favourable to my opponents than the actual averages would warrant, that the subsequent