1902 Encyclopedia > Paris > Arrondissements. Population and Vital Statistics. Municipal Administration.

(Part 8)

Arrondissements. Population and Vital Statistics.

Arrondissements. – The city is divided into twenty arrondssements. Only the first twelve belonged to Paris previous to 1860; the other scorrespond to the old suburdan communes then annexed. The first four arrondissements occupy the space on the right of the river, extending from the Place de la Concorder to the Bastille, and from the Seine to the line of the Grands Boulevards; the 5th, 6th, and 7th arrondissements lie opposite them o the left side; the 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th surround the first four arrondissements on the north; ther 13th, 14th, and 15th are formed out of the old suburban communes of the left side; and the 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th out of the old surbudan communes of the right side.

Population and Vital Statistics. – The growth of the population during the last six hundred years is shown in the following table (I):-

The figures for December 1881, like the rest of those in the table, represent the number of people legally domiciled at Paris at the date given, but the number actually present in the city at last census was only 2,239,928 (1,113,326 males and 1,126,602 females).

The following table (II) shows the distribution of the population in the several arrondissements: -


The number of births and of deaths in Paris during the five years 1876-80- 278,785 births and 252,500 deaths – apparently shows nothing exceptional as compared with the rest of France. It is to be observed, however, that the population is composed to a larger extent than usual of adults, young children being sent to the country, and old men withdrawing. The number of marriages, 20,993 for 1881, with an average of 18,427 for the five previous years, is rather small for the proportion of marriageable persons. Of the 1,113,326 males in 1881, 621,569 were unmarried, 440,022 married, and 51,735 widowers; of the 1,126,602 females, 557,054 were unmarried, 446,297 married, and 123,251 widows. The subjoined table (III) shows the proportion of individuals of the various ages specified, in each 10,000 of the inhabitants, according to the census of 1881. it will be seen that the proportion was greater in Paris from 20 to 55, and smaller below and above those ages.


The following table shows the occupations of the population in 1881:-


Barely a third (322 per 1000) of the population are Parisians by birth,- 38.2 per 1000 having been born in the other communes of the department of Seine, 565 in the other department of France or in French colonies, and 74.8 abroad. The foreign population shows a tendency to increase; in 1876 380 per 1000 were natives of the department, the proportion of foreigners being only 60. In 181 the English numbered 10,789; Germans, 31,190; Belgians, 45,281; Dutch 9250; Italians, 21,577; Swiss 20,810 Americans, 5987; and other nationalities, 19,154.

The following were the principal causesof death in 1882:- phtisis, 10,342 deaths; diarrhoea, 5095; pneumonia, 4127; congetion of the brain, 2668; organic diseases of the heart, 2873; meningitis, 2605; chronic bronchitis, 2630; cancer 2251; typhoid fever, 3352; acute bronchitis, 1730; croup and diphtheria, 1805; small-pox, 661; infatile weakness, 1458; senile debility, 1350.

Municipal Administration. – Each arrondissement is divided into four quarters, each of which nominate a member of the municipal council. The functionaries of the arrondissement are – a mayor (maire) and three deputies (adjoints) nominated by the prefect of Seine, who act as registrars, and preside over the poor-relief (bureau de beinfaisance) of their arrondissement, and a justice of the peace (juge de paix) nominated by the Government. There is no elective mayor of Paris; the president of the municipal council, who is nominated by his colleagues, merely acts as chairman of their meetings. When occasion requires, the function of mayor of Paris is discharged by the prefect of Seine. The municipal council discusses and votes the budget of the city. The importance of the business thus transacted will be seen below. The prefect of Seine and the prefect of police (both magistrates named by the Government, but each with a quite distinct sphere of action) represent the executive authority as opposed to the municipal council, which latter has no power by refusing a vote of credit to stop any public service the maintenance of which legally devolves on the city: in case of such refusal the minister of the interior may officially insert the credit in the budget. And in like manner he may appeal to the head of the state to cancel any decision in which the council has exceeded its legal functions. The prefecture of Seine comprises a departmental service, differing in no essential particular from that of other prefectures, and a municipal service for the city of much more importance. Elections, rates, municipal debt, city schools, public lands, municipal buildings, markets and market-places (in respect to the collection of dues), cemeteries, roads and streets, public edifices, water, works and sewers, promenades and plantations, river navigation and river ports, public pawnbroking establishments, and the relief of the poor are all under control of the prefecture of Seine.

The prefecture of police includes the whole department of Seine and the neighboring communes of the department of Seine-et-Oise- Meudon, St. Cloud, Sevres, and Enghien. It consists of three sections – political police, police of public safety, and administrative police, the two former being rather national than municipal. The state consequently repays two-fifths of the annual budget of about 800,000 pounds which this prefecture receives from the city.

The municipal police deals with public health, civil order, and repression of crimes and misdemeanours, whether against person, property, or morals. It exercise surveillance over lodging houses, the insane, and prostitutes, tests weights and measures, and has charge of the markets, the public vehicles, the fire department, sanitary arrangements, and exhumations and reinterments in the cemeteries.

The prefect of police has a staff of 8500 officials – commissaries de police, offiviers de paix, gardiens de la paix (a kind of police-magistrate), and inspectors. He has also under his orders the sapeurs pompiers or fire-brigade (1742 men), and the republican guard long called the municipal guard, which numbers 3295 men, besides a mounted force of 726. he has full control over the budget of his department, which is voted en bloc by the municipal council.

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