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Home > Catalogue > The Demography of Victorian England and Wales
The Demography of Victorian England and Wales
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  • 16 colour illus. 50 tables
  • Page extent: 476 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.935 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 304.6/0942/09034
  • Dewey version: 21
  • LC Classification: HB3585 .W66 2000
  • LC Subject headings:
    • England--Population
    • Wales--Population
    • Great Britain--History--19th century

Library of Congress Record

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 (ISBN-13: 9780521782548 | ISBN-10: 0521782546)

DOI: 10.2277/0521782546

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 (Stock level updated: 17:01 GMT, 25 November 2015)


The Demography of Victorian England and Wales uses the full range of nineteenth-century civil registration material to describe in detail for the first time the changing population history of England and Wales between 1837 and 1914. Its principal focus is the great demographic revolution which occurred during those years, especially the secular decline of fertility and the origins of the modern rise in life expectancy. But Robert Woods also considers the variable quality of the Victorian registration system; the changing role of what Robert Malthus termed the preventive check; variations in occupational mortality and the development of the twentieth-century class mortality gradient; and the effects of urbanisation associated with the significance of distinctive disease environments. The volume also illustrates the fundamental importance of geographical variations between urban and rural areas. This invaluable reference tool is lavishly illustrated with numerous tables, figures and maps, many of which are reproduced in full colour.

• Lavishly illustrated, including full colour maps • Based on a huge dataset developed over twenty years • Extremely broad and interdisciplinary; covers demography, geography, history, epidemiology and public health


1. Bricks without straw; bones without flesh; 2. Vital statistics; 3. Whatever happened to the preventive check?; 4. Family limitation; 5. The laws of vitality; 6. Mortality by occupation and social group; 7. The origins of the secular decline of childhood mortality; 8. Places and causes; 9. The demographic consequences of urbanisation; 10. The transformation of the English and other demographic regimes; 11. Conclusions and unresolved conundrums.


'… by the end of his impressively researched book, confusion is not so much dispelled as replaced by an informed, honest sense of complexity and uncertainty.' The Times Higher Education Supplement

' … an invaluable source for understanding these profound changes in English and Welsh life.' Contemporary Review

'… clearly written, handsomely illustrated and important book … distinctive in the clarity and authority with which Woods sets out the demographer's approach, discusses sources and often highly technical methods … it is a major achievement.' The English Historical Review

'The result will be greatly welcomed by a wide audience both as a source of information and for the balanced but often innovative way in which Woods has tackled the complex questions of causation and interpretation posed by the data … this book will come to be regarded as having established the landscape of Victorian demography with unprecedented authority.' Progress in Human Geography

'Anyone henceforth following the exact path of the Western demographic transition will be indebted to this excellent, almost monumental study.' Population Studies

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