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The Population History of England 1541–1871
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  • Page extent: 820 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 1.08 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 304.6/0942
  • Dewey version: 19
  • LC Classification: HB3585 .W74 1989
  • LC Subject headings:
    • England--Population--History

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521356886 | ISBN-10: 0521356881)

This was the first paperback edition of a classic work of recent English historiography, first published in 1981. In analysing the population of a country over several centuries, the authors qualify, confirm or overturn traditional assumptions and marshal a mass of statistical material into a series of clear, lucid arguments about past patterns of demographic behaviour and their relationship to economic trends. The Population History of England presents basic demographic statistics - monthly totals of births, deaths and marriages - and uses them in conjunction with new methods of analysis to determine population size, gross production rates, expectation of life at birth, age structure and net migration totals. The results make it possible to construct a new model of the interplay of economic and demographic variables in England before and during the industrial picture of English population trends between 1541 and 1871 is a remarkable achievement and in a short preface, the authors consider the debate engendered by the book, the impact of which has been felt far beyond the traditional disciplinary confines of historical demography.


Introductory note; Related publications; Preface to the first edition; Introduction; Part I. From Parish Register Data to National Vital Series: 1. The basic data; 2. The representativeness of the date; 3. Inflation to national frequencies; 4. From baptisms and burials to births and deaths: corrections for nonconformity and late baptism; 5. From baptisms and burials to births and deaths: final inflation ratios: offsetting other causes of non-registration; Part II. English Population History: 6. Secular trends: some basic patterns; 7. Secular trends: back-projection estimates of population characteristics and vital rates; 8. Short-term variations: some basic patterns; 9. Short-term variation: vital rates, prices, and weather; 10. The economic setting of long-term trends in English fertility and mortality; 11. Conclusion; Appendices; Bibliography; Index.


'The Population History of England is important, not only to English historians, but to students of population in other countries as well. As a result, the study of the economic history of all European countries before the late nineteenth century will never be quite the same again.' The Times Higher Education Supplement

'The book is a great achievement, which will stimulate controversy, research, and the teaching of demographic and economic history everywhere for years to come.' Journal of Economic History

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