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Page:Economic Development in Denmark Before and During the World War.djvu/36

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THE FREE CONSTITUTION OF 1849

so rapidly that they not only supplied the home market, but also secured a foothold in the world market. The task was further aided by a redistribution of the population, which, as stated above, had rapidly increased throughout the nineteenth century. Agriculture could not employ everybody, and large numbers were consequently thrown into trade and industry.

The importance of these changes may be shown by a few statistics. At the beginning of the nineteenth century 929,000 people were living within the boundaries of Denmark; of these approximately a fifth lived in the towns, being about equally distributed between the capital and the smaller towns. When the Free Constitution was adopted in 1849, the population totalled 1,415,000, of whom the townspeople still represented a fifth. The capital, which at that time had only 133,000 inhabitants, had grown very slowly in comparison with the provincial towns and rural districts, but from then on it grew more rapidly. In 1860 it had 163,000 inhabitants; in 1871, 198,000; in 1901, 477,000; in 1916, 606,000. Thus the time may soon come, if no unforeseen events occur, when Denmark will have a capital with a million inhabitants a big head on a small body. During the same years the provincial towns also increased considerably; in 1870 they had a quarter of a million; in 1901, half a million; in 1916, very nearly as many as the capital. In contrast with this, the rural population remained almost at a standstill. In 1850 it numbered 1,116,000 people; in 1916, 1,711,000; but of these a third of a million lived in the suburbs of the old towns or else in new towns which have grown up around railway stations and in other places a phenomenon which has completely changed the appearance of the country in the last hundred years.

Villages built together have largely disappeared through the exchange of land and the moving of farms; and in addition to the seventy provincial towns coming down from the Middle Ages there are about five hundred new settlements which have grown beyond all expectation. It is necessary for this