Page:1899 The Growth of Cities in the Nineteenth Century.djvu/39

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INTRODUCTION

settled countries like Australia, all over 2,000 in countries with a somewhat denser population (United States, Russia, Peru, Greece and the Balkan countries), and in thickly populated countries like most of the older European states only such places as have 5,000 or more inhabitants.[1] These objections to the numerical line between city and country, however, do not outweigh its advantages.[2] For statistical purposes no other distinction is so available; hence this distinction has been sanctioned both in theory and in practice.

But no such agreement has been reached as regards the determination of the numerical boundary. It is not altogether easy to define the distinguishing characteristics of a city, but in a general way the student will observe that, when a community attains a certain size, new needs and purposes manifest themselves. The close association of a large body of people alters even the material conditions of life. The artesian well and cistern must give way to a common water supply brought from distant springs; a sewerage system must be introduced, likewise street lighting, and rapid transit between the home and the workshop. The liberty of the individual to do his own sweet pleasure must be curtailed for the common benefit; the streets may not be used as depositories of materials for new buildings; noises must be abated, such as music practice with open

  1. Petermann's Mitteilungen, Ergänzungsheft, No. 107: Die Bevölkerung der Erde, ix, Wagner und Supan.
  2. Some statisticians still identify rural and agricultural populations. The Statesman's Year Book (1897, p.678), for example, takes such a position in the following: "In Northern Italy the population is scattered over the country, and there are few centres. In Southern Italy, and in the islands, the country people live in the towns, coming and going to cultivate their own plots of land; consequently there are many populous centres where, if numbers alone were considered, the population would be regarded as urban, though it is in truth almost exclusively rural."