1902 Encyclopedia > Germany > Germany - Population

Germany
(Part 5)




GERMANY - GEOGRAPHY AND STATISTICS (cont.)

Population


Till very recent times no estimate of the population of Germany was precise enough to be of any value. At the beginning of the present century the country was divided into some hundred states, but there was no central agency for instituting an exact census on a uniform plan. Even the formation of the German Confederation in 1815 effected but little change in this respect, and it was left to the different states to arrange in what manner the census should be taken. On the formation, however, of the German Customs Union or Zollverein between certain German states, the necessity for accurate statistics became apparent, since the amounts accruing from the common import duties were to be distributed according to the number of inhabitants in the several states. The Zollverein had its origin in a customs convention between Prussia and the grand-duchy of Hesse in 1818; and other states, as they gradually became convinced of the advantages afforded by a general customs frontier, joined it from time to time during the succeeding forty years. The following table shows the progressive territorial limits of the Zollverein—which may be regarded as the precursor of the present German empire:—

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The returns made at different times by the separate states cannot be combined into an aggregate, showing precisely the former population of Germany. An enumeration was made every third year of the number of people that could be held as belonging to the different states comprised in the Zollverein; and it was only fro, 1867 that the returns gave the actual resident population. The following table gives the area and population of the twenty-six states of Germanry as returned at the two last censuses (1871 and 1875):—

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The following table shows the rate of recent increase, the population of Alsace-Lorraine returned at the French census of 1866 being included in the statement for 1867:—

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Comprising the census returns of 1871 and 1875, it is found that only Alsace-Lorraine (17,934), the two Mecklenburgs (together 5231), and Waldeck (1481) are decreasing; all other states are increasing, though at very different rates. A comparison cannot here be made, however, between the smaller and the larger states. Hamburg and Bremen, for example, have considerably increased, but these must be regarded as consisting of single large towns, and a similar increase is found in all the great cities of Germany. In southern Germany (Alsace-Lorraine not included), and also in Hanover, the growth of population has been insignificant, whereas the population in the eight old provinces of Prussia and in Saxony shows a marked increase.

It appears from the following table that the inhabitants of Prussia and Saxony have increased 60 to 70 per cent. in 40 to 44 years, and those of the other states only 18 to 23 per cent. And it is to be observed that this increase is not confined to the industrial districts, but that those provinces also which have few large cities and the population of which live for the most part by agriculture, such as Pomerania, Prussia, Posen, have increased by 50 to 60 per cent. This is to be explained by the fact that there has been a very extensive immigration into Prussia since 1815, whereas emigration has been mostly from south Germany. But the surplus of births over deaths also has at all times been greater in the North.

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Vital Statistics.—It is very recently that general registers of births, deaths, and marriages began to be kept for all the German states, but these prove the increase of the excess of births over deaths in recent years to have been considerable. The following table of returns for the whole Germany during the period 1872-76 brings out a natural addition by births of upwards of half a million yearly:—

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The numbers of births, deaths, and marriages for every 1000 of the population of Germany during the period 1872-5 were as follows:—

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In comparing this with similar tables for England, a great difference is obvious. While the average annual rate of births (41·6) has been much higher than in England (34·0) during recent years, the annual deaths-rate does not compare favourably with that of England (22·3) or of other states. Only Russia, Finland, Austria-Hungary, Italy, and Servia exhibit greater higher rates.

Sexes.—The numbers of the different sexes in 1871 and 1875 were as follows:—

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As in most European states, the surplus of females arises from their lower death rate, for in Germany as elsewhere more boys are born than girls. The following table shows the numbers of births, including still-born:—

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Illegitimacy.—The number of illegitimate births is greater than in any European state, except Sweden, Denmark, Austria, and Portugal. The rate of illegitimacy is about 9 per cent. of the births, the annual average for 1872-75 being 8·86. In Rhineland the proportion was 2·8 per cent., North-Western Germany, Oppeln, and Posen 5 to 6, South-Western Germany 7 to 9, province of Saxony Brandenburg (exclusive of Berlin), Pomerania, Schleswig-Holstein 9 to 10, Saxony, Thuringia, and Lower Silesia 12, Berlin 13·5, and Bavaria 14·6 per cent. On the whole, illegitimacy had decreased of late, particularly in Bavaria.





Emigration.—The increase of population would have been still greater if emigration had not for years drained the country of considerable numbers of its inhabitants. The number of emigrants from Germany since 1820 may be estimated at 3,500,000, but this includes many Austrians,····and it cannot be stated how many of the emigrants were natives of the German empire, as no authentic statistics of emigration were issued before 1873. The greater part of the emigrants take their passage via Bremen and Hamburg. The following statement, therefore, of the numbers of emigrants from these ports may afford a sufficient indication of the total emigration:—

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The following table, on the other hand, gives the number of emigrants from the German empire, according to the official returns. The numbers are considerably lower than those of the last table. It will be seen that emigration has decreased greatly during recent years.

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The greater part of the recent emigration has been from the maritime provinces. Out of 230,000 emigrants in the years 1873-77, 132,350 were from Prussia, Pomerania, Mecklenburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Hanover, Oldenburg, Bremen, and Hamburg. These states, with a total population (1875) or 9,245,000, accordingly lost 1 1/3 per cent., the rest of the country (33,482,000 inhabitants) only 97,500, or 0·3 per cent. It must be added, however, that the emigration form South Germany was formerly much more considerable. Alsace-Lorraine lost only 1193 inhabitants in 1873-77 by emigration to America. The great mass of German emigrants go to the United States,—90·5 per cent. of the whole (207,974) having embarked for that country in 1873-76. According to the official returns of the board of statistics at Washington, more than 2,900,000 immigrants arrived from Germany at American ports during 1820-1877. The rest of the emigrants find their way to Australasia, Brazil, the Cape, &c.

Immigrants and Foreigners.—In comparison with the emigrants, the number of immigrants is considerable. The bulk come for Belgium, Holland, and Russia. The following table shows the number of natives of the empire who after being abroad have re-established themselves at home, and also the number of naturalized foreigners:—

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The number of foreign residents has considerably increased during 1871-75. In 1871 there were in the empire 40,852,037 natives and 206,755 foreigners; in 1875, 42,436,561 natives and 290,799 foreigners. The following table gives the native countries of the foreigners for 1871,—the latest date for which these statistics have been published:—

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Density of Population.—The population is very unequally distributed, and the differences are far greater now than they were formerly. The mean density of the population had increased form about 120 inhabitants per square mile in 1820 to 150 in 1840, and to 205 in 1875. We have already pointed out the great increase of population during the present century in many agricultural provinces of Prussia. In South Germany, however, the density of population was considerable even at the beginning of the century. But Germany during this period has become an important industrial state, and, as in England, distinct industrial districts have been formed, where the inhabitants cluster in populous centres. Besides, the population oft eh cities has gone on increasing at the expense of the agricultural districts, so that the natural increase of the inhabitants

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in these districts by the surplus of births is neutralized by the steady migration of the people into the cities. In the accompanying official statistics all the inhabitants of communes with more than 2000 souls are designated "town population," and the term "rural population" is ap0lied to those of the smaller places. But it must be remarked in several provinces, such as Westphalia, Rhineland, and Oldenburg, there re many communes consisting of numerous small villages and hamlets which have not character of a town, and the inhabitants of which are almost exclusively agriculturists. There rank as town population, which accordingly appears in the returns to be a little larger than it really is. The figures exhibit the extremely unequal increase of the different groups from 1871 to 1875.

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The following is a list of the 35 towns which had upwards of 50,000 inhabitants at the census of 1975. The first column exhibits the population within the boundaries of the municipal boroughs (Stadtgemeinde). The numbers in the second are not official, but include all suburbs of a reallu urban character. The latter therefore afford a better indication of the actual size of the several towns.

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The inhabitants of these 35 towns amount to 10·1 or 11 per cent. of the empire population of the empire, according as we reckon by the municipal or the topographical boundaries. A similar proportion appears in France and Belgium; but the towns of England and Wales of 50,000 inhabitants and upwards have nearly 9 1/3 million inhabitants, or 44 per cent. of the whole population.





Density of Population—The town population amounts in some districts, such as Gumbinnen (East Prussia) and Lower Bavaria, to only 11 to 12 per cent.; in others, as Zwickau Leiptic, Düsseldorf, it reached 50 to 66 per cent. Arranging Germany in 13 large divisions, we get the following table, the divisions being named after their principal provinces:—

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The most thinly peopled territories are found, not as might be expected in the mountain regions, but in some parts of the plains. There are not more than 50 persons to the square mile (about the same proportion as in the Scotch Highlands) on the moors of the Isar north of Munich, on the East-Frisian moors, and on the Lüneburg Heath. There are 50 to 100 inhabitants to the square mile on the Seenplatten of Pomerania and Mecklenburg, on the middle ridges of Schleswig-Holstein, in the northern districts of Hanover, in the Spreewald, &c. Leaving out of account the small centres, Germany may be roughly divided into two thinly and two densely peopled parts. In the former division has to be classed all the North German plain; there it is only in the valleys of the larger navigable rivers, and on the southern border of the plain, that the density reaches 150 to 200 inhabitants per square mile. In some places indeed it is far greater: at the mouths of the Elbe and the Weser, in east Holstein, in the delta of the Memel, 250 to 300, and in the environs of Hamburg even 400, inhabitants are found to the square mile. This region is bordered on the south by a very densely inhabited districts, the northern boundary of which may be defined by a line from Breslau to Hanover, and its southern by a line from Coburg via Cassel to Münster. Here the density rises fro 150 to 570 per square mile, for in this part of Germany there are not only very fertile districts, such as the "Goldene Aue" in Thuringia, but also centres of industry. The population is thickest in Upper Silesia around Beuthen (coal-fields), round Ratibor, Neisse, and Waldenburg (coal-fields), round Zittau (Saxony), in the Elbe valley around Dresden, in the districts of Zwickau and Leipsic as far as the Saale, in the Goldene Aue, on the northern slopes of the Hartz, and around Bielefeld in Westphalia. In all these places the density is greater than 350 inhabitants to the square mile, and in Saxony it exceeds 500. The third division of Germany comprises the basin of the Danube and Franconia (the Upper Main system), and sweeps to the north-west between the valleys of the Werra and the tributaries of the Rhine as far as Sauerland. The population of Franconia rises a little above that of the rest of this region, the density in the valley of Regnitz between Nuremberg and Bamberg, and in the Main valley round Würzburg, reaching about 200 to 240 inhabitants per square mile. The fourth division embraces the valleys of the Rhine and the Neckar. In the latter and in the Upper Rhine plain agriculture has reached a high degree of perfection, and the soil is so fertile as to support a population of 400 per square mile. North of the Niederrheinisches Schiefergebirge, again, are rich coal-fields,—making this the most important industrial districts in Germany. Here indeed, in the governmental district of Düsseldorf, the population amounts to 700 per square mile,—about the same proportion as in the West Riding of Yorkshire; but no such density as exists in Lancashire (1500 to the square mile) is found anywhere in Germany. West of the Rhine a thickly peopled district is grouped round the coal-field of the Saar basin, but there is only a scattered population in the surrounding country. On the Eifel there are scarcely 100 inhabitants to the square mile.

Houses.—The number of houses was estimated in 1871 at 5,330,000, so that the average number of inhabitants per house is from 7 to 8. In England and Wales it is only 5·3 (1871). The greatest proportion of dwelling-houses to the population is in Alsace (5·1 persons to one house) and in Swabia (5·4). All the larger cities of Germany consist largely of houses in which a number of families live together. In Berlin the proportion per house is 57 persons, while in London it is only 8. This marks one important point of difference in the habits of the two countries.

Occupations.—The census of 1871 distinguished 8 principal classes of occupation, but does not subdivide these. The official returns give for each class the number of persons engaged in the several occupations comprises in that class, with the number of attendants and other members of the families of those so occupied. The following table presents an abstract of the returns. In the case of Alsace-Lorraine the attendants are not given in the separate classes, but are all returned under class D.

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This table does not admit of comparison with the census returns of England and Wales, the mode of classification being different. It will be seen that more persons belong to the industrial than to the agricultural class.



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