Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 60.djvu/126

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

Thus, while the excess rate was as high as 21 to 28 per 1,000 before 1860, it has since fallen to one of 13 only, or about one-half. Whatever validity may attach to the method of calculation, the real facts would no doubt show a change in the direction of the table—a decline in the rate of the excess of births over deaths from period to period. The decline in the growth of population is thus not merely the direct effect of a change in immigration, but is connected with the birth-and death rates themselves, although these rates are of course indirectly affected by the amount and proportion of immigration. It would be most important to know what the decline in the birth-rate is by itself, and how far its effects on the growth of population have been mitigated or intensified by changes in the death-rate; but United States records generally give no help on this head.

Dealing with Australasia in the same way, we have the advantage of a direct comparison of both birth-and death-rates and the rate of the excess of births over deaths. This is done in the following table:

Birth-rate and Death-rate and Rate of Excess of Births over Deaths in Australasia for undermentioned Years.

[From Mr. Coghlan's Statistics]
Birth-rate. Death-rate. Excess of Births
Over Deaths.
1861-65 41.92 16.75 25.17
1866-70 39.84 15.62 24.22
1871-75 37.34 15.26 22.08
1876-80 36.38 15.04 21.34
1881-85 35.21 14.79 20.42
1886-90 34.43 13.95 20.48
1891-95 31.52 12.74 18.78
1896-99 27.35 12.39 14.96

Thus from a high birth-rate forty years ago Australasia has certainly gone down to very ordinary birth-rates, lower than in the United Kingdom and in Continental countries, and Australasia certainly has had heavy declines in the rate of excess of births over deaths, viz., from 25.17 in 1861-65 to 15 in 1896-99, which is to be compared with the decline in the United States, as above stated approximately, from 28 in 1820-30, and 21 as late as 1860, to 13 in the last twenty years.

A similar table for England only gives the following results:

Birth-rate and Death-rate and Rate of Excess of Births over Deaths in England for undermentioned Years.

Birth-rate per
Death-rate per
Excess of Birth-rate
Over Death-rate.
1851. 34.2 22.0 12.2
1861. 34.6 21.6 13.0
1871. 35.0 22.6 12.4
1881. 33.9 18.9 15.0
1891. 31.4 20.2 11.2
1899. 29.3 18.3 11.0
Note.—Highest birth-rate in 1876, 36.3.