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Why The Population Of England Double During The Victorian Era

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The Victorian era witnessed a snowballing rise in population. This unpredictable phenomenon was unique down the corridors of British history. Britain was sailing through a new technological revolution with novel scientific discoveries. They proved a good omen for the society and it became more civic and learned. Disraeli popularized the phrase ‘the workshop of the world’ to denote Great Britain at that juncture of history.

There were myriad reasons that added to Britain’s flourishing population in the 19th century. One amongst them was the in-migration from Britain’s rustic lands and other countries’ people as the Industrial Revolution was ongoing. Better job opportunities and better wages urged people to approach the cities which eventually lent the workforce to the cities and paved the way for the revolution to continue for an extended time. Similarly, industrialization and mainly the cotton industry also played a vital role in this dilemma. The burgeoning population and therefore the progressing industrialization were significantly interlinked. Firstly, workforces flooded to facilitate add factories, intensive agricultural jobs, and coal mining. Secondly, a growing marketplace for the necessities of life was provided, encouraging entrepreneurs to experiment with new techniques to enable them to supply more, rapidly, and cheaply. The expansion in population had its impact because it occurred within the realm of an economy that was already dynamic with ample resources and new development in steam power.

Post-revolution England had big cities producing huge quantities of business commodities which would then be exported off to Europe and other countries. This factor also made Britain make its mark within the world. People found a great opportunity for business there and it enticed the businessman round the globe, like a lighthouse, who began to settle there.

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Furthermore, during the 19th century, Britain introduced a welcome policy towards immigration. The Irish were the greatest in number to settle there. Their immigration into England boomed after 1815 but drastically swelled when they came across the potato famine of 1845-1849. By 1861 the Irish-born population in England had touched 602,000 (3 percent of the population). Another cohort of individuals arrived to settle in Britain who hailed from continental Europe. In 1871, the Germans, after the Irish, were the subsequent biggest group in Britain with a gaggle of 33,000 people. However, after 1880, Jewish immigrants started settling in Britain in an effort to flee economic changes and political despotism in Russia and Eastern Europe and by the 1890s, they had surpassed the German community in size. Around 120,000 and 150,000 Jew immigrants settled in Britain mainly in east London and Manchester at that point. Other immigrant groups of note (albeit of small sizes) that settled and lived in Britain during the nineteenth century included Italians and Lithuanians, Americans, Indians, and Africans.

The population increase could be attributed to internal factors as well such as changes in marriage age, improvements in health, allowing more children to measure to adulthood, and increasing birth rates. Mortality rates began to fall and people lived longer and so did life-expectation at birth improve. Advancement in healthcare facilities, better food production, and livable wages encouraged better health of the people living in Britain and reduced the probabilities of death there. Death rates started stabilizing at around 22 per 1,000 between 1820 and 1870 which only became possible for the higher living conditions within the industrial towns at that point. The general public health campaigns of the 1840s started succeeding in their aim which resulted in a very drastic 40% fall in death rate.

In the half of the 18th century, the wedding age of Britons was relatively high compared to the remainder of Europe, and a large percentage of individuals never married at all. Surprisingly, during this time period, people started marrying at younger ages, and therefore the number of individuals choosing never to marry also fell. This eventually led to more child-births. Urbanization was growing more prominent and traditionalism was declining and this influence is believed to be the sole reason for growing out-of-wedlock births which also successively added up the population. Finding partners became easy as young people started crowding cities and had more meeting opportunities. This was barely possible within the sparsely populated rustic areas. Marriage and child-raising became attractive for the people because of the revolution. Growing economic prosperity allowed people to feel comfortable while starting families.

In a nutshell, the major contributory factors for the skyrocketing population were the state of the art living standards; more food, clean clothes, improved urban environment, high birth rate, low death rate, health service, jobs, and other economic areas.

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Why The Population Of England Double During The Victorian Era. (2022, February 26). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 7, 2022, from
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