Population

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PART II — POPULATION


1. Population of England and Wales.


The total population enumerated in England and Wales on the night of Sunday, April 26th, 1931, amounted to 39,952,377 persons, of which 19,133,010 were males and 20,819,367 were females.

The final persons total is 4,446 in excess of the provisional figure announced in the Preliminary Report published immediately after the Census, subsequent detailed examination of the returns having resulted in a reduction of 5,834 in the male combined with a simultaneous increase of 10,280 in the female aggregate obtained from the unrevised summaries furnished by the enumerators. These imperfections, inevitable in the circumstances under which the preliminary statements are prepared, may be compared with analogous adjustments of -6,981 males and +8,438 females at the preceding enumeration of 1921, and, though not unsubstantial in themselves, may be regarded as of no significance in relation to the total populations from which they arise.

The present total is the largest hitherto recorded in respect of England and Wales. From the following table and the accompanying diagrams in which the figures are presented in continuation of the series of corresponding figures of past Censuses it will be seen that the 1931 figure of approximately 40 millions is rather more than two millions in excess of the preceding 1921 figure and is just about twice that of 1861, which in its turn was twice that of 1811, the national population having thus more than quadrupled itself since the beginning of the nineteenth century.

The actual population increment of the ten years 1921-1931, viz., 2,065,678 persons, is slightly in excess of that of the preceding war decennium (1,816,207—1911.21) but, with the exception of that period, is lower than any similar decennial increase since 1851. Expressed in rate form, the current movement stands in strong contrast with those of earlier periods; the latest increment, representing an intercensal increase of 5.45 per cent, or, after allowance for the fifty-four days by which the intercensal period falls short of the full ten years, a decennial increase of 5.53 per cent., compares with 4.93 per cent, in the preceding decennium but, with the exclusion of that quite exceptional period, it will be seen to be far lower than that of any similar period prior to 1911, varying from about one-half of the rate for the decennium 1901.11, to less than one-third of that for 1811.21.

TABLE I.— POPULATION 1801-1931, ENGLAND AND WALES

In computing the decennial rate of increase the varying lengths of the intercensal periods have beentaken into account, and the rates for the periods 1831-1841 and 1841-1851 have been further corrected by the exclusion of the Army, Navyand Merchant Service from the population for 1841, and of tbe persons on board vessels from the population for 1851.

Analysis of Intercensal Movement. —The principal components of the intercensal increase of 2,065,678, expressed in thousands of population, are approximately as follows:—

  Persons Males Females
Increase:      
  Births registered in England and Wales 6,928 3,541 3,387
Decrease:      
  Births registered in England and Wales -4,692 -2,389 -2,303
Balance of loss by miscellaneous movements including that due to migration -170 -94 -76
       
Net intercensal increase 2,066 1,058 1,008

and in the following table the several movements are shown in comparison with those of immediately preceding intercensal periods.

DIAGRAM A — POPULATION OF ENGLAND AND WALES AT EACH CENSUS SINCE 1801 POPULATION OF ENGLAND AND WALES AT EACH CENSUS SINCE 1801

DIAGRAM B — AMOUNT OF INCREASE OF POPULATION OF ENGLAND AND WALES IN EACH INTERCENSAL PERIOD SINCE 1801

POPULATION OF ENGLAND AND WALES AT EACH CENSUS SINCE 1801

DIAGRAM C — RATE OF INCREASE OF POPULATION OF ENGLAND AND WALES IN EACH INTERCENSAL PERIOD SINCE 1801

POPULATION OF ENGLAND AND WALES AT EACH CENSUS SINCE 1801


TABLE II.— INTERCENSAL MOVEMENTS, 1871-1931 (Numbers in Thousands of Population )

TABLE III.— INTERCENSAL MOVEMENTS, 1871-1931 (Percentages )

From this table it will be observed that the population changes in the decennium under review, like those of the preceding decennia shown in the table, have been determined predominantly by the natural events of birth and death; the natural increase, which is the difference between the numbers registered in respect of these categories, amounting to 2,236 thousands as against the comparatively small loss of 170 thousand arising from the balance of movement attributable' mainly to migration. In each of the three elements of movement, the latest record exhibits a decline but whereas in the case of deaths ajid outward migration the fall is moderate and, by its nature, in favour of an accelerated population growth, the decline in births is of very considerable proportions so that to the latter cause above all others must be ascribed the comparative lowness of the latest population increment and generally the rapid slowing up of a population development which had been maintained more or less uniformly from the time of the earliest Census taken one hundred and thirty years ago.

In spite of the fact that marriage rates have been well maintained, particularly at the younger ages at which the bulk of births occur, and of the further fact that the exceptional post war spurt in the birth rate itself had only just passed its maximum at the beginning of the decennium, the total births registered in the 1921-1931 intercensal period are more than a million and a quarter (16.3 per cent.) fewer than they were in the preceding period—a period which covered the war years when the birth rate sank to levels never before recorded in this country. They are between two and two and a half millions (25.4 per cent.) fewer than those of the last completely normal decennium, 1901-1911.

Though the full effect of the fall in the birth-rate will only be gradually realised as the older generations di'e out and are replaced by the survivors of a later epoch, it is well that the significance and inevitability of the forthcoming changes should be appreciated as far in advance of their actual materialisation as is possible. The births of to-day govern the population of the future; and just as the nations which faced the world war of 1914-1918 and the universal economic depression which has followed in its wake were products of the birth-rates prevailing towards the close of the nineteenth century, so we are now observing the conditions which will shape the generations charged with the national destiny in the latter half of the present century. Whether from the widest considerations of all the issues involved, the continuation or otherwise of present tendencies is to be applauded or deplored, whether they are capable of being influenced, however remotely, by conscious social action, are matters outside this comment; the most that can be done here is to point out that profound changes in the growth and structure of the population are in fact taking place, so that by due anticipation the consequential adjustments in political, social and economic relationships which are bound to follow from them may be accommodated with a minimum of difficulty and disturbance.

The course of the birth- and death-rates of this country is reviewed in detail in the successive annual issues of the Registrar General's Statistical Review, from which the following summary of movements during and subsequent to the past intercensal period have been extracted:—

TABLE IV.— BIRTHS AND DEATHS, 1921-1935

The almost unbroken fall in the birth-rate since 1920, which marked the peak of the increase registered immediately after the war, reduced it to 16.3 per 1,000 at the end of the decennium, and to the still lower level of less than 15 per thousand in the three years 1933 to 1935. These figures may be contrasted with averages of more than 35 per 1,000 experienced over the 20 years 1860-1880 and 26½ per 1,000 in the pre-war years of the present century. It is true that the present declining tendency is not restricted to this country and that many nations, particularly those of Western Europe, have reported reductions in their birth-rates of considerable magnitude; it may be noted nevertheless, that this country now ranks amongst the lowest in the matter of birth-rate levels, Sweden and Austria being the only countries occupying an inferior position at the present time.

As regards deaths it will be observed from Table II that the numbers registered in the intercensal period were more than half a million fewer than those of either of the two preceding decennia. This numerical reduction of more than 10 per cent, which, if allowance be made for the increasing age and numbers of the population exposed to risk, represents a reduction in true mortality of more like 20 per cent, compared with the decennium 1911-1921 (exclusive of deaths on active service) or 30 per cent, compared with the last pre-war decennium 1901-1911, affords nothing but satisfaction, indicating, as it does, a definite advance in the general vitality of the nation as a whole.

Notwithstanding variations from year to year, the standardised death-rate (i.e., the rate in which allowance is made for the age distribution of the population), for every individual year since 1921 has been lower than the similar rate recorded for any year prior to 1921.

Moreover, the records of the years subsequent to 1931 show that the fall is continuing and though from the nature of things, the lower the point to which mortality is reduced the less room there is for further reduction, it seems likely at the present time that an even lower level of mortality will be experienced in the current 1931-1941 decennium than that of 1921-1931. That does not mean, however, that the actual number of deaths will be fewer, for with the slowing down of the birth-rate the age incidence of the population is gradually changing and the increasing weight of population at the higher ages where the risk of death is heaviest is likely to result in an increase rather than a decrease in the numbers of deaths notwithstanding a possible reduction in the mortality force. It is exceedingly probable that the number of deaths recorded in the decennium 1921-1931 which were fewer than those recorded in any similar period since 1860 will prove to be a minimum and that the numbers for 1931-1941 and subsequent decennia will be on a rising scale, moderate at first but with an accelerating tendency.

So far as the future population of the country is concerned it is clear that it is no longer possible to count on any saving in the matter of deaths as even a partial compensation for a fall in the number of births. On the contrary, in the absence of any improvement in fertility, and that at no distant date, the successive records of births and deaths will converge and, after approximately coinciding for a few years during which the population will be at its maximum, will thereafter begin to diverge, with the deaths this time in the ascendency and a consequent decline in population. On the basis of population stability1 adopted by the Registrar General in his annual Statistical Review it has been computed that a general level of fertility equivalent to a current crude birth-rate of about 19½ births per 1,000 total population is necessary if an ultimate decline in population is to be avoided. The position of the rate at the end of the 1921-1930 decennium was 16 per cent, below this standard and for the last three years has declined still further to 25 per cent, below. Moreover, the extreme lowness of the present level in relation to all earlier experience cannot under present conditions be regarded as affording any evidence in itself that a minimum has been reached or even that a still further significant fall is less likely than a reaction in the shape of a future increase in fertility. It appears to be acknowledged that the extraordinary decline which has taken place has been largely due to a development of the technique of birth control and its deliberate acceptance and practice by increasing numbers of the community; the statistical birth-rate is becoming more and more an expression of the conscious collective desire of the people to procreate themselves, but until the control is complete or at any rate has reached and has been maintained at a consistent level, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to measure its reactions to changing conditions and to forecast future movements of the birth-rate with any degree of confidence.

By purely mechanical computation it is possible to say that excluding the effect of migration and assuming that mortality continues its steadily declining tendency, the maintenance of fertility at current levels (1933-1935) would result in the attainment of a maximum population in England and Wales of approximately 411 millions which would be experienced over a short period of years centred round 1951 after which a slow but increasing decline would set in. If fertility were to fall below current levels the population maximum would be somewhat lower and its attainment slightly accelerated; if, on the other hand, fertility rose, the maximum would be raised and its attainment delayed; while if it ultimately reached the stability standard already referred to—a rise which is by no means so large as to be beyond the limit of reasonable probability—an actual decline in population might be avoided altogether within any period that need be contemplated here.


2. Migration and Other Miscellaneous Movements.


The miscellaneous movements of population, not accounted for by the natural events of birth and death, were negative on balance between the Census dates in 1921 and 1931 and resulted in a loss of population amounting to 170 thousand persons. It may be seen from Table II that though the net effect of these movements has been consistently outward in character in all the decennia shown in that table, the series is subject to much greater irregularity than that of either births or deaths. That is to be expected if, as may be assumed, the migration component is more readily, responsive to changes in prosperity and economic activity throughout the world, but apart from that a figure in the shape of a net balance either way is merely the difference between two very much larger movements in opposing direction and change in either of the direct movements may; have a quite disproportionate effect on the difference between them. All that may be said from the summarised figures in Table II is that the said miscellaneous movements have been of rather less influence in the total population increase of the past decennium than they were in either of the two preceding decennia and that their incidence is now less preponderatingly male than it was before the war.

Though a precise analysis of the elements jointly comprised in the net loss of 170 thousand is not possible, sufficient information is available to show that it is not exclusively confined to migration of the normal voluntary type. In the first place it may be inferred from the appendices to the General Tables Volumes of the 1921 and 1931 Census that the numbers of officers and other ranks of the naval, military and air forces assignable to the population of England and Wales but outside the country at the dates of the Censuses were some 60 thousand fewer in 1931 than in 1921; the reduction in such case operates as an element of increase and to that extent goes to) reduce the residual outward balance. In a similar way and from the same appendices it may be seen that merchant seamen and fishermen of England and Wales who were absent on voyages, etc., at the respective Census dates were about five thousand greater in 1931 than in 1921, the inconsiderable change in this case operating as a loss. A further element of variation may also have been introduced by an improvement in the quality of the enumeration itself; as described in a later section of this report dealing with the age distribution of the population, it appears likely that at past Censuses a number of children at the youngest ages escaped enumeration altogether and that, in response to a change in the wording of the Census schedule expressly introduced to remedy this defect, the number of omissions in 1931 was greatly reduced; the increase in the enumerated population from this cause may have been as much as 30 thousand and like the immediately preceding items must be brought into reckoning in arriving at the figure representing voluntary migration. Summarising the several items as follows:—

  Thousands
Increase due to reduction in non-civilians outside England and Wales + 60
Decrease due to increase in merchant seamen, etc., outside England and Wales - 5
Increase due to completer enumeration + 30
Loss due to balance of voluntary migration -255
 
Net loss of population other than that accountable to births and deaths -170

it would appear that ordinary voluntary migration, which was outward on balance occasioned a loss of probably more than a quarter of a million individuals from the population of England and Wales during the intercensal period 1921-1931.

From the returns of migrants collected and published quarterly by the Board of Trade, it may be ascertained that, during this period, approximately 968 thousand British subjects were recorded as permanently migrating2 from England and Wales to countries outside Europe and that at the same time a corresponding movement in the reverse direction accounted for 473 thousand yielding a loss on balance of 495 thousand persons. If the net overall loss was only 255 thousand as indicated above the loss to countries outside Europe must have been accompanied at the same time by a net migration gain from the Continent of Europe and from Scotland and Ireland amounting to some 240 thousand persons.

The principal relevant items of the serial record of annual migration movements provided by the Board of Trade returns are shown in the following table:—-

TABLE V.— MIGRATION; EXTRACTED FROM BOARD OF TRADE JOURNAL (Thousands)

Owing to the fact that no information is available in respect of movements within the United Kingdom, that is, between England and Wales on the one hand and Scotland or Northern Ireland on the other, the analysis cannot be precisely related to England and Wales alone, but the table as designed serves to call attention to the significant change in the trend of the movements which has been observed since about the year 1930. Prior to that year, the balance was consistently outwards, but thereafter, while the number of immigrants has been more or less regularly maintained, emigration has contracted to something like a quarter of its earlier level and the balance now appears to be as definitely inward as it was formerly outward. The change over was a comparatively sudden one and it may conceivably be once again reversed in a similarly abrupt fashion, but with the figures so far recorded it seems possible to say that any considerable loss of population on account of migration during the current decennium is unlikely and that on the contrary the movement may be expected to result in a definite addition to the population.

With the narrowing of the difference between births and deaths which is confidently to be expected during immediately forthcoming years, migration will tend to occupy an increasingly prominent place in determining the ultimate growth or decline in population. A significant continuance of the outward tendency so consistently recorded over past decades would aggravate the influence of the declining birth-rate and would advance the attainment of the population peak and the subsequent decline referred to in preceding paragraphs; on the other hand, an inward balance of migration would in a sense offset and to that extent modify some of the population changes which must be anticipated as a result of the fall in the birth-rate.


3. Intercensal estimates of population.


For information in regard to the population of England and Wales in years other than thoso in which a Census is taken, reference will usually be made to the intercensal estimates published year by year in successive issues of the Registrar General's annual Statistical Review. These estimates are successively built up by the addition of births and deduction of deaths modified by such inferences as can be formed regarding migration and it is customary at the end of the decennium to review them and to revise them if necessary in the light of the new Census figures. The figures so published in respect of the 1921-1931 decennium are shown in Table VI, and from their pictorial representation in Diagram D, on page 29, it will be seen that they lie on a practically continuous line between the terminal Census points. By the method employed in constructing the figures, a prediction of the 1931 Census total almost exactly coincided with the enumerated figure and though the closeness of the agreement cannot be regarded as other than an accident since the quality of the migration record is not of an order to justify the expectation of extreme accuracy in this respect, the result in this instance combined with the general impression obtained from the figure representation will probably be sufficient to confirm for all practical purposes the reliability of the published intercensal estimates. In any event, there appears to be no practical method, even with the aid of the new 1931 total, of obtaining a series of interpolations of demonstrably greater validity and there is accordingly no occasion to attempt a post-censual revision.

TABLE VI.— INTERCENSAL ESTIMATES OF POPULATION, ENGLAND AND WALES, 1921-1931 (Thousands)


DIAGRAM D

DIAGRAM D


TABLE VII.— CENSUS POPULATIONS AND APPROXIMATE DECENNIAL INCREASES PER CENT IN ENGLAND AND WALES AND IN CERTAIN OTHER COUNTRIES


4. International Changes in Population.


Table VII shows for countries for which figures are available, the populations enumerated at Censuses corresponding as nearly as possible to those taken in England and Wales in 1901, 1911, 1921 and 1931; the actual years of such Censuses being shown in a footnote. The table also shows decennial rates of increase and density of population at the last Census. In the decennium 1911-1921, rates of growth throughout the world were very materially affected by the war of 1914-1918, and the influenza pandemics of 1918-1920; particularly so, of course, among the belligerent countries. The decennium 1921-1931, was one of slow recovery, hindered by periods of acute and world-wide economic depression, accompanied by general decline in birth-rates. This is reflected in the rates of growth, for whereas during 1911-1921 there was, with few exceptions, a notable slowing down in the rate of increase which, in some of the countries most affected by the war, i.e., France, Austria and Belgium, changed into an actual decrease, the rates for 1921-1931 show a general tendency to move towards those for 1901-1911. The movement was, however, very irregular. The United Kingdom, 4.6 per cent., showed no change from 1911-1921, indeed, within the United Kingdom, Scotland and Northern Ireland showed decreases, while France showed a relatively much larger increase, 6.3 per cent, than in decennia prior to 1911, when its increase was about 1½—2 per cent.


5. Density of Population.


According to the latest survey returns at the date of the Census, the area of England and Wales, including land and inland water, but excluding tidal water and foreshore, was 37,339,320 statute acres, or 58,342 square miles, which is equivalent to 151,103 square kilometres. The average density of the 1931 population in terms of persons per unit of area is, therefore, 1.07 per acre, 685 per square mile, or 264 per square kilometre. Conversely, in terms of area per person, it is represented by -9346 acres per person.

Table VIII shows the number of persons per square mile and acres per person in England and Wales at each Census, and provides a striking illustration of the extent to which population pressure has grown. In the 130 years which have elapsed since the first Census, an average of more than four acres per person has dwindled to less than one.

TABLE VIII.— DENSITIES AT EACH CENSUS, ENGLAND AND WALES,1801-1931

Comparison between England and Wales, the Dominions and foreign countries, is provided in the last column of Table VII, which indicates the numbers of persons per square kilometre in or about 1931. Density is most marked in Belgium (265), England and Wales (264), and the Netherlands (244). Apart from the Channel Islands and Isle of Man (186), Japan (169), is the only country with a density approaching that of the first three, the next highest, Germany (139), being little more than half as densely populated. Only two other countries, Italy (133) and Czechoslovakia (105), exceed 100. India, with nearly 353 million population, has a density only a fraction more than 75, approximately equal to France, while with the exception of China, for which no reliable figures are available, the only other countries with populations exceeding 100 million, the U.S.A. and U.S.S.R. have the low densities of 16 and 7 respectively. The Dominions of Australia (0.9) and Canada (1.2), have the lowest in the table, three South American States the next lowest, and New Zealand (5.3) and South Africa (assuming the addition of coloured population to the figure in the table) have only slightly higher densities than these.


6. Population in Geographical Regions of England and Wales.


The choice of the regional geographical areas into which the country has been divided for the display and presentation of the principal areal features of the national statistics of 1931 has been described on page 10. The regions now adopted have not been used in precisely the present form at previous Census tabulations, and comparable records will not, therefore, be found in the published tables relating to those Censuses; but, as already stated, they have been designed to follow conventional county boundaries, and little difficulty is experienced in constructing the regional record as and when required. This has been freely done throughout the General Tables Volume of the 1931 Census, the figures having been carried back to the earliest Censuses in the simple population tables.

The acreage, current population and recent rates of population increase are summarised in Tables IX and X below.

TABLE IX.— 1931 POPULATION AND ACREAGE OF REGIONS

Of the divisions thus shown, the South-East region embracing and surrounding the metropolis is the largest in area occupying between one-fifth and one-sixth of the total acreage, and containing about one-third of the total population of the country. The inclusion of a considerable rural belt round the central metropolitan portion results in reducing the average density to two persons per acre, thus entirely masking the congested nature of the centre itself, and for this reason, Greater London, in which the average density is 18.5 persons per acre, is shown as a separate and special feature of the South-East region.

Outside this area the most dense and populous region is that of Lancashire and Cheshire (N.4), containing more than six millions of the population at an average of 3.3 persons to the acre followed by the other predominantly textile area of the West Riding (N.3), at the somewhat lower density of 1.9.

The two Midland regions (M.1 M.2), associated with more miscellaneous manufacture, and the two predominantly mining regions of Northumberland and Durham (N.1) and South Wales (W.I), with populations and acreages varying between nearly two and four and a half millions, are each subject to a common density of about one person to the acre. The remaining areas are rather larger in size, but are largely rural with the characteristically low densities associated with such conditions, the Northern Rural Belt (N.2), the Eastern Counties (E.) and South-Western Counties) (S.W.), each being occupied at a rate of 0.4 persons per acre, which is further reduced to 0.2 per acre in the hilly and less habitable region of North and Central Wales (W.2).

Table X shows approximately how the variations in the population, which for the whole of England and Wales, amounted to an increase of 5(5 per cent, in the intercensal period 1921-1931, or 5.6 per cent, between the mid-year points, were distributed throughout the regions. For this comparative arrangement, it has been deemed desirable to make a slight modification in the Census populations which would normally have been used for this purpose. It may be recalled that the 1921 Census was unavoidably postponed until the 19th June, which brought it within the period of seasonal summer movement. Owing to temporary inflation by holiday visitors, the enumerated populations of many individual towns were far in excess of their more permanent resident populations, and if the Census figure had been used without adjustment, it would have produced a distorted picture of the population movement between the preceding and succeeding Census, a growth between 1911 and 1921 being overstated, and that between 1921 and 1931 correspondingly understated. With areas as large as the regions, the relative distortion would be naturally less than that of individual districts, but it is sufficient in some cases to render a correction desirable, and for the purpose of the following table, a more informative picture will be provided by substituting the estimated resident populations in place of the numbers actually enumerated. The 1931 record is not subject to the same degree of distortion; but there are minor differences between enumerated and resident populations even in 1931, as is shown by Table 9 of the General Tables Volume, and as the resident population is derivable almost wholly from the Census material, and is in a form enabling it to be more readily linked with the contemporaneous birth and death records, there is an advantage in the employment of the resident population estimate for 1931 as well. A separate estimate of resident population does not exist in respect of 1911, but in view of the somewhat lower level of transport facilities of the time, it is thought that the use of the enumerated figures for that occasion will introduce no error of significance.

TABLE X.— INTERCENSAL MOVEMENTS OF POPULATION IN REGIONS, 1911-1931 ( In Thousands)

A prominent and perhaps important feature placed upon record by the 1931 Census is the change which is shown to have taken place recently in the incidence of population growth as reflected by the geographical analysis. In three of the regions in particular, the contrast with previous records may be said to be a sharp one.

In South Wales the successive decennial increases prior to 1921, going back right to the date of the earliest Census in 1801, have been uniformly high, usually higher than those of any of the other regions, and in recent decades, more than twice the national rate. From the position of the highest in the regional list in respect of the decade 1911 to 1921, it has abruptly fallen to the lowest position in respect of 1921 to 1931, and is in fact, the only region in respect of which an actual decline in population is shown. The contrast is only slightly less marked in the case of Northumberland and Durham, the other prominent mining area of the series. Here the increases prior to 1921 were almost as consistent and as high as in South Wales; it stood second in the list in 1911-1921, and now ranks last but two, with a growth which, though just positive, is almost negligible. The position is otherwise in the case of the South Eastern Counties which embrace the whole of the metropolitan area. Here the past development may be said to have been inconspicuous, inasmuch as the successive changes up to 1921 tended to follow the national changes fairly uniformly; the latest record, however, discloses a rate of increase which is prominently in excess of that of any other region and is nearly double the rate for the country at large.

Of the remaining industrial regions, East Midlands shows an increase well above the national figure, and above that of the preceding period, while in the textile areas, the tendency is the other way with the West Riding a little under and Lancashire and Cheshire more materially below the general average.

Movement in the non-industrial regions has always been sub-normal in amount and the latest record is no exception to this rule. Within this generalisation, however, an improvement in the South West from a small decline in 1911-1921, to an increase of as much as 4.4 per cent, is noteworthy, as is also the upward movement in the rate of increase from 1.8 to 3.3 per cent, in the predominantly rural Eastern Counties.

As would normally be expected, the major changes thus disclosed are attributable primarily to migration. The natural increase components are by their nature less susceptible to sudden change, and it is observable that both South Wales (W.i) and Northumberland and Durham (N.i) with their customary high fertility and favourably disposed age distribution, rank highest in the rate of natural increase with increments well above the average, notwithstanding a relatively high mortality. Curiously enough, the regions with the lowest natural increments, namely, North and Central Wales (W.2), and the Eastern Counties (E.), are also subject to over average fertility, the advantage in these areas being more than neutralised by the older and, therefore, less favourable character of their populations, and aggravated in the case of North and Central Wales (W.2) by slightly excessive mortality.

The arresting feature of Table X is, however, the magnitude of the movements assigned to migration. It is seen that South Wales (W.1, has on balance, lost as many as 237 thousand, or 12.0 per cent, of its population by migration during the past decennium, and that in Northumberland and Durham (N.1, the loss has been almost as heavy at 207 thousand persons, or 9½2 per cent, whilst Lancashire and Cheshire (N.4) have similarly lost 155 thousand. In five other regions there have been moderate losses, and in two regions slight gains on this account. Nearly the whole of the complementary increase by migration is recorded in the South Eastern Counties, where there has been a net influx of as many as 633 thousand, of which 244 thousand has gone to swell the population of Greater London, the balance of 389 thousand being located in the surrounding areas within the region. The movements in the area associated with the metropolis are dealt with in greater detail on a subsequent page.


7. Population in Counties.


Notwithstanding the increasing mobility of the population, and the general development of tendencies leading on the whole, to a lowering rather than otherwise of the sanctity of fixed boundaries, the county as an areal unit retains its position as an essential feature in the geographical pattern of the country. In spite of extreme divergencies in point of size, both as regards acreage and population content—Lancashire at one extreme is nearly three hundred times as populous as Rutland at the other—the county in its ancient form still governs the distribution of the electorate under existing franchise Acts, while in its more recent administrative adaptation its position has been re-affirmed as recently as 1929 by the Local Government Act of that year as the basis of sanitary and other important local services.

County summaries in both absolute and comparative forms are provided throughout the General Tables Volume, aggregating the fuller detail published in the separate series of Census County Volumes.

In the following table, showing current population and acreage density, the 63 administrative counties (including their associated county boroughs), are arranged in order of their 1931 enumerated populations.

Lancashire is prominent, not only because it heads the list with the only population in excess of five millions, but from the fact that the said population is more highly concentrated than that of any others, except London, and the only other county, Middlesex, entirely within the area known as Greater London. London, ranking second in numbers, is no less prominent by reason of its abnormal density, which places it entirely in a position by itself. The West Riding, an outstanding third in the series is less remarkable in that the weight of numbers is to a large extent a reflection of the large area embraced by the county. Below these three counties the gradation is

TABLE XI.— ADMINISTRATIVE COUNTIES (INCLUDING COUNTY BOROUGHS) ARRANGED IN ORDER OF ENUMERATED POPULATION, 1931

comparatively smooth right down to the smallest unit. Ten other counties contain populations in excess of a million at densities higher on the whole than those of the less populous units, indicating that their position in the table is not accountable merely to their acreages. At the bottom of the list are Rutland and Radnor with populations which do not exceed those of smallish towns, and 13 others in none of which were as many as 100,000 persons enumerated. Nearly one quarter of the national population is accounted for by Lancashire and London, and more than 50 per cent. by the first eight counties on the list; 31 of the least populous of the 63 counties listed, contain in the aggregate but 10 per cent. of the total population.

In Table XII the 63 administrative counties have been re-arranged in the order of their respective rates of increase between 1921 and 1931, the rates being based on the resident populations shown for 1921 and 1931 in Table 9 of the General Tables Volume, instead of the enumerated populations of Table 8, in order to avoid the distortion which would otherwise have been introduced by the seasonal disturbance experienced in 1921.

TABLE XII.— ADMINISTRATIVE COUNTIES (INCLUDING COUNTY BOROUGHS) ARRANGED IN ORDER OF 1921-1931 INCREASE PER CENT. OF POPULATION, AND SHOWING THE INCREASE PER CENT. OF POPULATION IN THE INTERCENSAL PERIODS 1921-1931 AND 1911-1921 RESPECTIVELY AND THE PERCENTAGE GAIN OR LOSS BY MIGRATION 1921-1931

Comparison of the first two columns of the table indicates generally that the range of movement During the past intercensal period has been on a wider scale than that of the preceding (war) Decennium; it is not very dissimilar, having regard to the lower aggregate increase in the country. as a whole, from that of the last peace decade, 1901-1911. Summarising the several percentage changes as under: —

  1901-1911 1911-1921 1921-1931
Percentage Increase in England and Wales 10.9 5.0 5.5
  Number of Counties grouped according to percentage increase or decrease
Increases over 30 per cent 3 1
Increases 25-30 per cent 1 1
Increases 20-25 per cent 3 2
Increases 15-20 per cent 7 1 2
Increases 10-15 per cent 10 5 6
Increases 5-10 per cent 20 19 16
Increases 0-5 per cent 10 20 20
 
Decreases 0-5 per cent 8 15 12
Decreases 5-10 per cent 1 2 3
Decreases over 10 per cent 1

it will be seen that whereas in the 1911-1921 period, the highest rate increase recorded did not reach 20 per cent., the maximum from the latest survey exceeds 30 per cent., viz., that of Middle¨ sex (31.0 per cent.), with a figure which is approached by Surrey, and is followed by two other metropolitan counties, Hertford and Essex, each with increases in excess of 20 per cent. At the same time, it may be noted that in the 1901-1911 period, seven counties registered increases in excess of 20 per cent., three of them exceeding the 30 per cent. mark. In 15 counties, the population has been lowered during the past decennium as compared with 18 in the period 1911-1921, and nine in 1901-1911.

So far as the geographical arrangement of the increases and decreases is concerned, the county distribution is little more than an enlargement of the regional picture already referred to. The first four places on the list are taken by metropolitan counties as already stated, and the four following are all within the South East region, their natural growth in each case having been accompanied by considerable inward migration, either from the County of London itself, in which a small decline is registered, or from other regions of the country. Eleven counties, largely rural in character, in which a decline was registered in 1911-1921, now exhibit increases of varying magnitude, while in eight others the position is reversed, increases in 1911-1921, including those of Monmouth and Glamorgan, which were the highest then recorded, having now been succeeded by a decline.

The maximum decline is that of 6.2 per cent. recorded for Brecknock, and this in common with the movements in other predominantly coal-mining counties, is in strong contrast with the development of the war decennium. Of the industrial counties outside the South East region, Nottingham, Warwick and Leicester show increases well above the national average, while in Lancashire the growth has been small in itself, and less than half that of the preceding period.

The third column of Table XII, in which the migration element of the intercensal movement is separately recorded, shows that in 38 counties there was a loss on balance from this source, reaching 14.3 per cent. of the county population in the case of Monmouth, and 12.2 per cent. in Glamorgan, the losses being complemented by corresponding gains in the 25 receiving counties reaching nearly a quarter of the total populations in the cases of Middlesex and Surrey.


8. Density of Population in Counties.


Density is indicated in Table XIII by the number of persons per 100 acres in each of the administrative counties of England and Wales in 1921 and 1931. It must be remembered that the average densities of areas so wide as those of counties, are governed by the relative propor¨ tions of urban areas to sparsely populated rural areas and practically uninhabited or uninhabitable moorland, hill country and inland water.

The Administrative County of London occupies a unique position among the counties as a complete urban unit and its average density, 5,874 persons per loo acres deserves comparison with densities in the great towns rather than with those of other counties; indeed the figure is exceeded only by that for the immediately adjacent County Borough of West Ham (6,280), while only two other county boroughs exceed 4,000 per acre-Salford (4,300) and East Ham (4,280), the latter, like West Ham, forming part of London's outer ring. Although London is in effect and is regarded as a single town, it is hardly homogeneous in character and the variation in density among the metropolitan boroughs of which it is composed, is extreme, ranging from 2,620 per 100 acres in Greenwich to 15,170 in Southwark (see Table 8A in the General Tables Volume).

TABLE XIII.— DENSITY OF POPULATION IN ADMINISTRATIVE COUNTIES WITH ASSOCIATED COUNTY BOROUGHS, ENGLAND AND WALES, 1921 AND 1931

Middlesex also occupies a special place among the counties; it is entirely within the outer ring of London and although it is not comparable with London as one complete town, it is now classed entirely as urban. Its density, 1,102 per 100 acres, is less than a fifth of that of London but nearly three times that of the next most densely populated county.

Apart from these two counties with their special conditions, densities range from 420 per 100 acres in Lancashire with its large aggregation of county boroughs to seven in Radnor. Besides the three already mentioned only four other counties have densities of more than 200 per 100 acres—Surrey (256), Warwick (246), Glamorgan (235) and Durham (229) and only u others have more than 100.

Comparing 1931 with 1921 there was an average increase of six persons per 100 acres throughout England and Wales and it is noticeable that only in London and the adjacent counties of Middlesex, Surrey and Essex were the population movements in the decade sufficient to alter the density by 30 or more persons per 100 acres. In those four counties London lost 117 persons per 100 acres, Middlesex gained 259, Surrey 55 and Essex 30. In all the other counties of England and Wales, Warwick with a gain of 23 was the only one to exceed 20 and there were but six others which gained 10 or more. In the table, 14 counties show a definite loss but four other counties which show equality, actually suffered losses which were too small to affect the figures per 100 acres. Of these 18 however, Westmorland, the Isle of Wight, Caernarvon and Merioneth were so much inflated in 1921 by summer visitors that if their densities were based on resident instead of enumerated populations they would show increases. Only 14 counties, therefore, really decreased in density and of these London is far the most conspicuous, no other county losing more than six per 100 acres. The loss of six in Glamorgan and five in Monmouth may be accounted for by economic depression.


9. Population in Urban and Rural Density Aggregates.


In addition to the regional divisions in which the Census statistics have been summarised, the alternative type of aggregation by reference to density, irrespective of geographical location. has been maintained and included in the presentation of the records throughout the national volumes. The principal division into the two categories "All urban areas" and "All rural areas" which has for long been adopted in reports of past Censuses has once again been retained and it has been augmented on this occasion by a slightly extended treatment distinguishing four main divisions, viz.,

  Average 1931 Density
(persons per acre)
Greater London 18.5
County Boroughs outside Greater London 17.1
Other Urban Areas 3.3
Rural District 0.2

Outside the Administrative County of London consisting of the City and 28 metropolitan boroughs, the country in 1931 was apportioned as regards the main functions of local administration into 83 county boroughs, 256 municipal boroughs, 780 urban districts and 645 rural districts. Of these, the population enumerated in the 645 rural districts numbered 8,000,459, the balance of 31,951,918 being distributed over the various types of urban areas, so that the proportions living under urban and rural conditions on this type of representation may be regarded as 80.0 and 20.0 per cent, respectively. At the date of the preceding Census in 1921, the enumerated populations of the areas constituted as urban and rural in that year were 30,035,417 and 7,851,282, the corresponding proportions being 79.3 and 20.7 per cent, so that while the numbers have increased during the 10 years in each type of area, such slight difference as there appears to have been in the respective movements would appear to have been in favour of the urban areas. At the same time it has to be remembered that in the nature of things towns cannot readily accommodate increased population without extending their boundaries, a condition which does not affect the relatively sparsely occupied rural districts, and that with the continued growth of large and small towns the rural acreage of the country is being continually depleted. Between 1921 and 1931 more than 300,000 acres classed as rural in 1921 have been brought within the sphere of urban administration and their population content in the foregoing comparison of growth has been included as an element of increase in the urban and of decrease in the rural movement. When changes due to alterations in boundaries are eliminated and regard is had solely to the movements which have taken place within the respective sections as constituted in 1931, it will be seen from Table 9 of the General Tables Volume, in which comparisons are based upon resident rather than enumerated populations in order to avoid the seasonal population disturbances encountered in 1921, that the 1921-1931 rate of growth in rural areas as a whole was materially higher at 8.2 per cent, than that of urban areas (4.9 per cent.), the difference being primarily assignable to migration, which for the first time after many decades has resulted in the deliberate transfer of population from urban to rural surroundings.

The following table, providing comparative statistics of earlier Censuses, shows the steadily increasing predominance of the urban as compared with the rural population, a predominance which grew rapidly during the latter half of the nineteenth century but which, since 1901, has tended to assume a position of stability. It will be seen that whereas the rate of population growth in urban areas was more than five times that of rural areas in the decades shown prior to 1901, between 1901 and 1921 the rates in the two areas were not dissimilar, while in the decade just completed the pre-1901 tendency appears to have been reversed with the movement now definitely in favour of the rural areas.

TABLE XIV.— COMPARISON OF AGGREGATES OF URBAN AND RURAL DISTRICTS, ENGLAND AND WALES, 1891-1931

Too much significance should not, however, be attached to the apparently abnormal development of rural areas in the past ten years. As has already been demonstrated in the Census Housing Report, the period has been associated with intense house building, much of which has been located in rural areas immediately surrounding existing towns; the population growth associated with this development is essentially urban in character and only awaits the process of time for its formal incorporation in the urban areas from which it has originated. Evidence of the transitional nature of the feature is forthcoming from the extended density analysis of the following table.

TABLE XV.— COMPARISON OF RESIDENT POPULATIONS IN URBAN AND RURAL AGGREGATES, ENGLAND AND WALES, 1921 AND 1931

The last two columns of the table show that more than a third of the inward balance of migration credited to rural districts as a whole has gone to areas within the region of Greater London, areas which though incompletely developed and still, at the date of the Census, under rural administration are hardly distinguishable in other respects from many residential and dormitory areas associated with the Metropolis.

From column five of the above table it would appear that outside Greater London the rate of growth has been relatively lower in the county boroughs than in other and generally smaller types of urban area and that in neither of them has it approached that of the rural districts.

With the continued expansion of urban territory there was a continual increase in the number of separate urban administrative units up to 1921 when they numbered 1,154; but notwithstanding the further enlargement of area that has taken place during 1921-1931, the number of new creations has been less than the numbers amalgamated, absorbed or de-urbanised —with the result that the number of separate units has diminished to 1,148.

They are classified in the following table in descending order according to the numbers of their populations.

TABLE XVI.— CLASSIFICATION OF URBAN DISTRICTS BY POPULATION, ENGLAND AND WALES, 1921 AND 1931

The table brings out the intensity of the population concentration characteristic of this country. More than a quarter of the whole population is massed in the larger aggregates exceeding 250,000 persons each, while another quarter is found in towns of between 50,000 and 250,000 persons. The general distribution is not significantly different from that of the 1921 Census as might be expected and such change as there has been has tended to follow the trend of the preceding periods, the proportions in the largest aggregates remaining practically stationary, those of large and medium towns showing an increase while the proportions in the smallest towns like that of the rural areas with which they are largely associated tend gradually to decline. A comparison of the actual proportions of the total population enumerated in the several grades at 1911, 1921 and 1931 is as follows:

  Percentages of Total Population
1911 1921 1931
Towns with more than 250,000 population 25.4 25.5 25.4
Towns with more than 100,000-250,000 population 12.6 13.6 14.1
Towns with more than 50,000-100,000 population 9.9 10.2 11.3
Towns with more than 20,000-50,000 population 12.8 13.1 14.2
Towns with less than 20,000 population 17.4 16.8 15.1

The changes in proportions do not depict the relative rates of growth of towns of different sizes. Owing to the fact that the areas embraced by the several categories do not remain the same from time to time a number of the towns near the limit of any group on one occasion will have crossed the borderline and will have been scheduled in a higher or lower category at a subsequent occasion. It is necessary, therefore, to supplement the above figures by an alternative arrangement showing the increase in the populations within the boundaries of the towns as constituted in 1931, and this is done in the following table, additional columns giving comparative figures for previous decades from the report of 1921.

Towns classified by magnitude of Population Intercensal Increase Per Cent. Ratio of Group Increase to Increase in England and Wales
1901-1911 1911-1921 1921-1931 1901-1911 1911-1921 1921-1931
250,000-1,000,000 7.0 4.6 2.0 64 92 41
100,000-250,000 14.2 5.7 5.2 130 114 106
50,000-100,000 16.8 7.9 8.9 154 158 182
20,000-50,000 17.5 7.5 9.1 161 150 186
Under 20,000 13.7 6.7 6.0 126 134 122
ENGLAND AND WALES 10.9 5.0 4.9 100 100 100

Compared with the first decennium of this century, when the national rate of growth was more than double that of either of the two succeeding decades, the range of increases now recorded are at a consistently lower level showing broadly that the influences determining growth are primarily national rather than local in character. Within this generalisation the influence of actual size upon subsequent growth may be gauged from a degree of similarity in behaviour within the three successive decades, the largest increments being consistently associated with the towns of moderate size within the range of 20,000 to 100,000. Both above and below this group the growth is proportionately lower, being lowest of all in the largest towns containing more than a quarter of a million people where it is well below the average for the country at large. The arrangement tends to suggest that the advantages of increased aggregation reach an optimum in the middle reaches of the range after which they begin to be offset by disadvantages leading to an increasing rallentando in their subsequent development. With increased and increasing transport facilities and a wider distribution of industrial power supplies on the one hand, and the more insistent demand for better houses and healthier surroundings for the workers on the other, it may well be that the most effective unit of urban concentration in future will be distinctively smaller than the massed aggregates produced by the conditions of the nineteenth century.


10. London—Administrative County, Outer Ring and Adjacent Metropolitan Areas.


In the County of London and the immediately surrounding area conveniently designated the "Outer Ring" (which together comprise what is usually known and described as Greater London and coincide with the area covered by the City of London and Metropolitan Police Districts), 8,203,942 people were enumerated representing rather more than one quarter of the urban population and about one-fifth of the total population of England and Wales. Little more than one half of the Greater London population was enumerated in the administrative county itself, the remainder being dispersed over the many boroughs and other separately administered districts which together make up the outer ring outside the county boundary.

Greater London alone, however, does not necessarily measure the full extent of the metropolitan population. It is a conventional area covering an irregular circle of approximately 15 miles radius which has been in use as a convenient statistical unit for the purpose during several past decades and it has been retained on the ground of continuity throughout the tabulations displaying the current position. At the same time large developments have taken place in immediately adjacent towns and districts, particularly during the decennium 1921-1931.

Rather more than 600,000 persons were credited to the zone outside Greater London within a circle of 20 miles radius from Charing Cross, and nearly 700,000 more in the further zone within a similar circle of 30 miles radius, the bulk of the 9½ millions thus accounted for possessing sufficient community of interest to be regarded as part of the metropolitan whole, to say nothing of the many more distant residents who travel daily to and from that area for the purpose of their business.

Full details of the Census history of the London population from 1801 are available from past Census reports, and the following extracts from the 1931 Census publications will serve to provide a general picture of the movements in the more recent decades.

TABLE XVII.— LONDON ? POPULATION AND DENSITY

TABLE XVIII.— LONDON ? INTERCENSAL CHANGES

So far as the administrative county is concerned it will be seen that though a slowing of the periodical growth is observable from after the Census of 1881, substantial increases continued to be recorded up to about 1901, when the population numbered 4,536 thousands, representing a density of 60.6 persons per acre and that, since that date, small but continuous decreases have been recorded.

In the larger area of Greater London with six times the acreage of the administrative county and a far lower population density, the successive increases have been at a relatively higher level than those of the county over the whole period portrayed and though, like the county, they were on a diminishing scale between 1881 and 1921, the increments have been positive throughout, with the result that the 1931 total of 8,204 thousands is the highest figure hitherto recorded for the area.

The slowing up of the rate of increase which set in after 1881 was not, however, peculiar to the metropolis. From the column showing the comparable rates of increase in England and Wales it will be observed that the deceleration extended to the country as a whole, and it will generally be associated with the fall in the birth rate which set in at about that time after having been maintained at a high and more or less stationary maximum for a considerable period. It would appear also that the highwater mark of the industrial acceleration was reached somewhere about the same time, for from then onwards the special development in urban areas as judged by the excess of their periodical increases over the national increase from time to time began to wane, ultimately reaching negligible proportions about 1901 (see Table XIV). In company with urban areas generally the excess development in Greater London (see last column of the Table XVIII) also began to fall, and though the fall was lighter at first its disappearance at the close of the century was even more complete than in the case of other urban areas.

From 1901 until 1921 and possibly for some years after 1921, the rates of growth in Greater London were slightly less than the national average. No significant large-scale displacements of population were observable and it seemed reasonable to infer that a broad population balance had been reached which appeared to be generally adequate for industrial production and distribution on the scale attained at any time since 1901.

When the Census was taken in 1931, however, it became clear that the even distribution of growth of the first two decades of the present century had not been maintained as between Greater London and the rest of the country for the period 1921-1931. The increase in population was definitely higher in the South East region of the country than elsewhere; especially was this the case in respect of areas in proximity to London, and it was obtained at the expense not so much of rural areas (as in the nineteenth century) as of provincial towns, particularly those of South Wales and of the North of England.

Some exceptionally large local increases were recorded, e.g., Dagenham U.D. (886 per cent.), Hendon U.D. (106 per cent.), etc., but, notwithstanding these, the increase in Greater London as a whole was not itself outstandingly high. The latter is shown in Table XVIII as 9.7 per cent., and it will be seen from the same table that the growth it represents was very considerably exceeded both in absolute amount as well as in terms of percentages during several decades prior to 1901. Such significance as the latest increase possesses arises from the fact that it appears to have been concentrated towards the latter end of the decade, in which event the full intensity of the movement will not have been properly portrayed in an average rate for a period which covers, in addition, a number of otherwise uneventful years.


11. Analysis of Movement in the Metropolitan Area since 1921.


For a fuller statement of the present position and of the more recent movements, the region examined has been extended to embrace an area within a circle of approximately 30 miles radius from Charing Cross. This has been divided into concentric zones, at radii of about 20, 15 and ii miles, outside the county boundary and by division of the county itself between the outer metropolitan boroughs and an inner central nucleus. The area outside the central nucleus has also been divided radially into five sectors by lines cutting across the zones, thus identifying in all 26 units of area within the 30 miles circle. The full constitutions of the several units (which are irregular in shape owing to the necessity of following existing boundaries), are set out in Appendix C in terms of their constituent districts. In summary they may be described as follows:—

Zonal Divisions
A nucleus consisting of the nine central metropolitan boroughs inclusive of the City of London.
Zone 1 Consisting of the remaining metropolitan boroughs which with the nucleus comprises the Administrative County.
Zone 2 The area outside the Administrative County but within the "equalisation area" (as recommended by the Royal Commission on London Government, 1923, and equivalent in area to a circle of about 11 miles radius).
Zone 3 The area between the "equalisation area" and Greater London (equivalent in area to a circle of about 15 miles radius).
Zone 4 The remainder of the area within a circle of about 20 miles radius from Charing Cross.
Zone 5 The remainder of the area within a circle of about 30 miles radius from Charing Cross.
 
Sector Divisions
S.W. Sector The area within the county of Surrey together with the metropolitan boroughs of Wandsworth, Battersea and Lambeth.
S.E. Sector The area within Kent and metropolitan boroughs of Camberwell, Deptford, Lewisham, Greenwich and Woolwich.
E. Sector The area within Essex and metropolitan boroughs of Hackney and Poplar.
N. Sector The parts of Hertford and Middlesex between Essex and a line running in a north-westerly continuation of Edgware Road and including the metropolitan boroughs of Stoke Newington, Islington, St. Pancras, St. Marylebone and Hampstead.
W. Sector The area between the boundary of the north sector and the river Thames, including the metropolitan boroughs of Paddington, Kensington, Chelsea, Hammersmith and Fulham.

Census records in this country are available only at intervals of 10 years and for a finer division of the time period recourse must be had to alternative and less direct sources of information. These are available in the mid-year estimates of resident populations published each year in respect of every borough and district in successive issues of the Registrar General's annual Review, and these estimates have been used in the analysis which follows relating to the period between 1921 and 1934. The method adopted in the construction of each year's estimates is set out in the Annual Review for the year. Broadly, it may be said that for the Census year itself the mid-year estimate of resident populations closely corresponds to the enumerated figure and that for subsequent post censal years the Census year population is modified by appropriate allowances for

(a ) births and deaths as evidenced by registration records, and

(b ) migration as deduced from changes in electoral registers, housing development, etc.

Some margin of error must be regarded as inseparable from constructed figures of this kind, especially where very small units of population are concerned, but they may probably be accepted as displaying the general course of movements in the metropolitan area with sufficient accuracy for the present purpose.

The following table shows the successive percentage rates of population increase experienced (a ) in England and Wales as a whole, and (b) in four metropolitan aggregates during the years between 1921 and 1934 as indicated from the series of mid-year population estimates.

TABLE XIX.— PERCENTAGE INCREASE OF RESIDENT POPULATION IN ENGLAND AND WALES AND FOUR METROPOLITAN AGGREGATES AND COMPARISON BETWEEN THE METROPOLITAN AGGREGATES AND ENGLAND AND WALES, 1921-1934

From the upper portion of the table it may be inferred, in spite of the obscurity imparted by an unevenness of the record inseparable from statistics presented in respect of time intervals as short as a year, that though the rate of growth of the London population was higher than that of the country at large over practically the whole period portrayed, the excess was a very moderate one up to about 1929 and that it was mainly in the last two years of the 1921-1931 decade that the local increase was at all remarkable. It seems probable, however, that the acceleration in these years was not so abrupt as this series would appear to imply. As already indicated the successive year's estimates of population depend to some extent on the changes observed in the Annual Registers of Electors; the continuity of this record was interrupted by the Representation of the People Act of 1928, which enlarged the franchise and brought the 1929 Register into operation in the Spring of the year instead of the Autumn as has been customary in respect of both earlier and later years and as a consequence thereof it is probable that part of the population movement estimated to have occurred between 1929 and 1930 in reality should have been credited to the previous year.

For a safer and more intelligible view of the changes of the period it will be preferable to telescope the record as is done in the lower half of the table. For this purpose the data are arranged in three-year periods, the choice of this unit being influenced by the significance attaching to the estimates of the terminal years 1928 and 1931, those for 1928 having been subject to special care in compilation in view of the fact that they had to serve as the basis of the distribution of large exchequer monies under the Local Government Act of 1929, and those for 1931 pertaining to the Census year and therefore practically free from error.

The record in its shortened form displays a more orderly progression of events. While the rate of increase for the country as a whole (column i) declined steadily throughout the period largely as the result of the continued fall in the birth rate, the movements in the London area followed a much more varied sequence. During the first triennial period 1922-1925 the rate of increase throughout the whole region was not very dissimilar from the national rate and in the second period 1925-1928, though decentralisation is observable from the reduction in the administrative county population, immigration from other parts of England and Wales as judged from the last four columns of the table, remained very moderate. It was not until the third period, 1928-1931, that the latter movement became prominent when the full rate of Increase reached 5.2 per cent, (three years) in the 2O-mile circle of which 3.9 per cent, may be said to have been due to immigration from outside. In the final period of the table (1931-1934) the rate of increase has been considerably lowered, mainly by the curtailment of the immigration element, though it is still materially in excess of that shown for the earlier periods of the table.

In an endeavour to account for these varying phases of movement the most likely explanation would appear to be to attribute the population displacement fundamentally to variations "in the incidence of employment opportunity as between London and the rest of the country, and to some extent this appears to be justified from the following comparisons of the percentages of unemployed persons in the insured population derived from figures published by the Ministry of Labour in respect of 1927 and subsequent years.

UNEMPLOYMENT PERCENTAGES
  London Great Britain and
Northern Ireland
Difference
1927 5.8 9.7 3.9
1928 5.6 10.8 5.2
1929 5.6 10.4 4.8
1930 8.1 16.1 8
1931 12.2 21.3 9.1
1932 13.5 22.1 8.6
1933 11.8 19.9 8.1
1934 9.2 16.8 7.6
1935 (first 10 months) 8.6 15.9 7.3

The big rise both in unemployment generally and also in the disparity of unemployment levels as between London and the provinces is located from the above figures as having taken place between 1929 and 1930 and this coincides in point of time with the big influx of population indicated by the population increases of the preceding table. At the same time the movements on each side of the peak period are more precipitate in respect of the population changes than would seem to be justified by the trend of unemployment and it may be worth while to consider whether there may have been any other factor tending to heap up the metropolitan immigration in the 1928-1931 period.

It seems probable that the housing situation of the post-war period may have been such a contributory influence. It is clear from the Housing Report of the 1931 Census that there was a definite shortage of dwellings in 1921 as a consequence of which many families were forced to share houses who in ordinary circumstances would have had separate dwellings of their own. The feature was general and not in any way confined to London, but it must have operated to impose a definite restraint upon the freedom of population transfer between one area and another. In the Administrative County of London for example, the population which had been steadily declining for some years before the War showed signs of increase after the War which was almost certainly due to the physical absence of accommodation in the surrounding areas in which the growing pressure could find relief and it was not until 1926 that the outward movement was once more resumed. Moreover, even when new dwellings did begin to become available the first claim on them would have been from demands within short distance and it would not have been until sometime later that accommodation was freed in sufficient quantity to provide for any material inflow of population from other regions of the country.

It is not possible to analyse the events of the complex situation with any exactitude, but such explanation seems to indicate that the high rate of immigration into the metropolitan area during the years 1928-1931 was of an exceptional nature in that it probably included an element of potential migration which would have materialised in earlier years if it had not been restrained by the barrier of the housing shortage.

TABLE XX.— POPULATIONS AND TRIENNIAL INCREASES—METROPOLITAN AREAS

From the zone and sector analysis in Table XXI it will be seen that the estimated 1931 population densities in the successive concentric rings into which the area has been divided fall steeply from the congested conditions characteristic of the central Metropolitan Boroughs.

Nucleus (Nine Inner Metropolitan Boroughs) 96.2 persons per acre
Zone 1 (Outer Metropolitan Boroughs) 53.1 persons per acre
Zone 2 (Outer Metropolitan Boroughs) 17.3 persons per acre
Zone 3 (Outer Metropolitan Boroughs) 3.1 persons per acre
Zone 4 (Outer Metropolitan Boroughs) 1.5 persons per acre
Zone 5 (Outer Metropolitan Boroughs) 0.7 persons per acre

The nucleus and Zone 1 together make up the administrative county and comprised at mid 1931 an estimated resident population of between 4½ and 4½ millions with a combined average density of 58.9 persons per acre. In all sectors within this area the latest records indicate that the population is declining so that their practical limits of residential capacity may be said to have been reached and passed. This would appear to be the case even in the south eastern boroughs in which the density is but half that of the remainder of the county,

TABLE XXI.— POSITION AND SUBSEQUENT TRIENNIAL INCREASES—.METROPOLITAN AREAS

Zone 2 which with the County makes up the "equalisation area" recommended by the Royal Commission on London Government in 1923 is a continuously and highly urbanised zone. It contained in 1934 more than 3½ millions population and thus with the administrative county accounts for the greater part (viz., 7¾ millions) of the total metropolitan population. The average density of Zone 2 is considerable at 17.3 persons per acre which is practically the same as that of the County Boroughs of the country taken as a whole. The density is, however, but about one third of that of Zone I from which it may be inferred that it is capable of absorbing a large addition to its present population of 3½ millions before reaching maximum capacity. The largest numerical additions are at the present time being credited to this area and it will be observed that its population is estimated to have grown by no less than 344 thousands and 260 thousands persons in the two triennia 1928-1931 and 1931-1934 respectively. In the eastern section of the zone the density was much! higher in 1931 at 28.0 than in either of the other sections and the current rate of population increase very small in consequence. In contrast is the south eastern section where the comparatively low density of 9.1 in 1931 was followed by an extremely rapid rate of population growth (38.5 per cent, increase in the three years 1931-1934). In the south west and west sections also, the current rate of expansion which approximates to 10 per cent, in the same three years is a relatively high one.

Zone 3 which with the inner areas makes up what is known as Greater London begins to be less exclusively urban in character. The urban element, however, continues to predominate, particularly in the west, and these areas maintain contact with the more central zones if not always with one another. Some 660 thousand population are assignable to this zone in 1934 at a general density which is low at 3.7 persons per acre, being less than one-fifth of that in the adjoining Zone 2. It will be observed that the rate of population increase in this zone has been materially higher over the whole 12 years portrayed than in either of the other zones though the actual numbers of population added from time to time have been lower than the corresponding increments to the more populous Zone 2. The latest increases are shown to have been heaviest in the west'ern section of the area (25.0 per cent, in 1931-1934) and in that respect rather more than in the south east or south west (21.3 per cent, and 20.1 per cent.). The lowest increase is that of 9.6 per cent. in the eastern section where the population density is highest. It is noteworthy to observe that recent increases in the northern section of the zone have been relatively moderate notwithstanding the fact that its density is less than one third of that of the other sections.

Zones 4 and 5 which lie outside Greater London may be described as largely rural in character with a liberal sprinkling of urban concentrations of the nature of independent satellite towns usually detached both from one another and from the main central area. The populations of these zones are substantial in total, viz., 655 thousands and 722 thousands respectively in 1934, equivalent altogether to about one sixth of the Greater London population but the acreage covered is more than three times as great as the whole of that of Greater London so that the average densities are comparatively low at 1.6 and 0.7 persons per acre. As might be expected the latest rate of increase is greater in Zone 4 (8.6 in 1931-1934) than in Zone 5 (4.2), each of them being much lower than the corresponding figure for Zone 3 (19.7 per cent.). So far as geographical distribution is of significance in these outlying areas it would seem that at present development appears to be taking place rather more rapidly in the eastern sections and less rapidly in the south eastern sections than in other parts of the areas.


12. Large Towns.


Of the 1,120 Urban Administrative areas (including the County of London as one district) 113 had enumerated populations each exceeding 50,000 in 1931 and accounted, in the aggregate, for one-half of the population of the country. There were 101 such towns in 1921; of these Aberdare has fallen below the 50,000 limit and is now excluded, while 13 additional areas have become entitled to inclusion, viz., Dagenham, Heston and Isleworth, Brentford and Chiswick, Finchley, Poole, Mitcham, Watford, Stretford, Southgate, Hove, Ashton-under-Lyne, Barking Town and Worcester. In the case of Cheltenham, the enumerated population was 49,418 only, but when regard is had to its resident population, the excess of inward residence transfers is sufficient to bring it within the large town criterion raising the total number of towns in this class from 113 to 114. All the County Boroughs of the country have populations in excess of 50,000 with the exceptions of Burton-upon-Trent, Chester and Canterbury.

In Table XXII the 114 towns are brought together and arranged in the order of their 1931 resident populations (as shown in Table 9 of the General Tables Volume): 1921 and 1911 populations are also shown in respect of the areas as constituted in 1931.

TABLE XXII.— POPULATION 1911-1931—TOWNS WITH POPULATIONS OF OVER 50,000, ARRANGED ACCORDING TO SIZE

Of the towns outside the County of London, Birmingham heads the list with a population which has now passed the million mark; by its considerable increase of 7.0 per cent.—double that of the average for all great towns—it has increased its lead over Liverpool and Manchester which continue to rank second and third on the list with populations in excess of three-quarters of a million. Sheffield, with its half million population, has remained practically stationary during the decennium.

Notwithstanding the fact that a fifth of the towns included in this list are situated in the metropolitan area where some of the largest individual increases have been recorded, the growth of the great towns as a whole between 1921 and 1931 was at the rate of 3.5 per cent, only as compared with 5.6 per cent, for the country as a whole. In comparison with the previous decennium, the average rate of increase has declined from 5.3 to 3.5 per cent., but the range of the individual movements has widened. Classifying the 114 towns by their rates of increase or decrease (based upon resident populations within boundaries as existing in 1931) it will be seen that whereas in the decennium 1911-1921 there was only one large town with a growth in excess of 30 per cent, (actually 42.4), in the 10 years now closed 12 towns are scheduled within the category and in five of these the growth exceeds 50 per cent. The extension at the other end of the scale is no less noteworthy for the table records 29 cases of decline, three of them in excess of 10 per cent., as compared with eight, of which the maximum loss was one of 2.7 percent, only in the preceding period.

  1911-1921 1921-1931
Increase more than 50 per cent ? 5
Increase 30 to 50 per cent 1 7
Increase 10 to 30 per cent 34 16
Increase 0 to 10 71 57
Decrease 0 to 10 8 26
Decrease more than 10 ? 3

The 28 large towns in which the increase was more than 10 per cent, and those, numbering 29 in all, in which an actual decrease is shown are.specified below.

Area Per cent.
   
INCREASES GREATER THAN 10 PER CENT.
Dagenham UD 885.7
Hendon UD 106.0
Heston and Isleworth UD 61.6
Mitcham UD 60.5
Ilford MB 55.1
Barking Town UD 44.6
Southgate UD 43.2
Blackpool C.B. 34.9
Poole MB 32.5
Southend-on-Sea C.B. 31.5
Ealing MB 31.3
Bournemouth C.B. 30.6
Finchley UD 27.4
Watford MB 22.1
Croydon C.B. 21.7
Oxford C.B. 21.4
Hove MB 21.0
Stretford UD 20.5
Doncaster C.B. 16.3
Edmonton UD 14.6
Cambridge MB 14.4
Acton MB 13.7
Coventry C.B. 12.5
Luton MB 12.5
Enfield UD 11.5
Willesden UD 11.0
Exeter C.B. 10.8
Hornsey 10.6
 
DECREASES
Rhondda UD 14.9
Merthyr Tydfil C.B. 12.7
Barrow-in-Furness C.B. 12.0
Burnley C.B. 6.7
Salford C.B. 6.6
Wigan C.B. 6.2
Blackburn C.B. 5.4
Oldham C.B. 5.4
South Shields C.B. 5.0
Newport C.B. 4.2
West Ham C.B. 4.2
Gateshead C.B. 2.9
Wimbledon MB 2.9
Halifax C.B. 2.8
London, Administrative County 2.6
Bolton C.B. 2.4
Bury C.B. 2.3
Ashton-under-Lyne MB 2.1
Dewsbury C.B. 2.1
East Ham C.B. 2.1
Rochdale C.B. 2.1
Leyton MB 1.7
Bootle C.B. 1.3
Plymouth C.B. 1.3
Sheffield C.B. 1.3
Birkenhead C.B. 1.1
West Hartlepool C.B. 0.9
Lincoln C.B. 0.8
Preston C.B. 0.8

To a large extent, though with occasional exceptions, the movements in the towns reflect the general regional changes already described. Of the 28 increases in excess of 10 per cent., 16 are wholly or partly within Greater London, seven of them occupying the highest positions in the list. Of these Dagenham, which has already been mentioned in the section dealing with the Metropolis, consists almost wholly of one of the new London County Council housing estates reserved primarily for the relief of the overcrowded area in the centre of London; its rate of increase during the past 10 years not only places it outstandingly first in the list but, having regard to the extent of the area, marks its growth as one of quite exceptional type and rapidity. Hendon claims a prominent second place and is noteworthy in that the present high rate of increase follows the considerable growth of 42.4 per cent, in the 1911-1921 period. Many other towns in the metropolitan area are prominent in showing large and continuous increases over two consecutive decades, while examples of similar conditions outside the Metropolis are to be seen in the seaside resorts of Blackpool, Southend-on-Sea and Poole and industrial areas such as Coventry, Luton and Doncaster and in the residential town of Stretford adjoining Manchester.

Of the 29 large towns in which a decrease is recorded, 22 are situated in the Northern regions or in South Wales and are generally associated with the mining and textile industries. No less than 12 are in the County of Lancashire and in respect of four of these, Burnley, Blackburn, Bury and Ashton-under-Lyne, the decline is in continuation of a loss during the preceding period. Outside the admittedly depressed areas, Plymouth and Lincoln show a loss of population as do also five of the large towns within Greater London, the movements in the case of the latter being ascribable largely to density or social adjustments within an otherwise rapidly expanding region.


13. Smaller Towns.


The nature of the range of movement in towns with less than 50,000 resident population in 1931 may be gauged from the following lists showing the towns whose populations have increased by more than 5,000 or have decreased by more than 1,000 between 1921 and 1931.

It is necessary to observe that while the series of successive Census returns affords significant long range evidence of the growth or otherwise of various types of area, the movements recorded for individual areas, particularly those of growing towns, between pairs of adjacent Censuses must be viewed in the light of any special features attending the several enumerations. By the use, in the above comparisons, of resident populations instead of the numbers actually enumerated it has been possible to avoid the distortion that would otherwise have resulted from purely temporary displacements of population, such, for example, as was exceptionally prevalent at the 1921 Census owing to its postponement to a time of year when many holiday and health resorts were subject to an abnormal amount of seasonal inflation. At the same time it has to be remembered that the Census record of necessity relates to areas of denned administrative boundaries, in respect of which developments, whether by growth of population or merely re-adjustment of population arising from improved standards of housing and environment, frequently involve encroachment into adjoining areas and are not in that event automatically related to the areas with which they might reasonably be associated. Boundaries are modified from time to time to give effect to the altered circumstances, but the changes can only take place at infrequent intervals with a consequential time lag between the development and its formal recognition.

INCREASES OF MORE THAN 5,000

Area No. Per cent.
Buckinghamshire:  
  Slough UD 13,250 65.8
 
Cheshire:    
  Bebington and Bromborough UD 7,467 38.5
  Cheadle and Gatley UD 7,500 67.8
  Ellesmere Port and Whitby UD 5,620 42.1
 
Devonshire:    
  Paignton UD 5,520 44.2
  Torquay M.B. 9,469 27.9
 
Durham:  
  Billingham UD 9,841 121.7
 
Essex:    
  Benfleet UD 6,080 101.5
  Chelmsford M.B. 5,990 28.8
  Chingford UD 12,970 137.5
  Colchester M.B. 5,560 12.7
  Hornchurch UD 18,086 166.6
  Romford UD 16,840 86.4
  Tilbury UD 6,970 71.5
 
Hertfordshire:  
  East Barnet Valley UD 5,290 39.2
  Welwyn Garden City UD 7,890 1059.1
 
Kent:    
  Beckenham UD 11,530 35
  Bexley UD 12,220 56.8
  Bromley M.B. 11,070 31.8
 
Lancashire:  
  Great Crosby UD 5,210 38.4
  Morecambe and Heysham M.B. 6,290 36.1
  Prestwich UD 5,220 27.6
 
Lincolnshire (Lindsey):  
  Scunthorpe and Frodingham UD 6,110 22
 
Middlesex:  
  Friern Barnet UD 5,510 31.5
  Harrow-on-the-Hill UD 8,502 43.3
  Hayes and Harlington UD 14,193 144.9
  Kingsbury UD 15,158 818.5
  Ruislip Northwood UD 7,230 80.3
  Southall Norwood 8,480 27.5
  Twickenham M.B. 5,380 15.5
  Uxbridge UD 10,861 52.3
  Wealdstone UD 13,510 99.9
  Wembley UD 33,110 205.5
 
Southampton:  
  Aldershot M.B. 5,580 19.3
 
Surrey:  
  Barnes UD 8,620 25.3
  Beddington and Wallington UD 10,210 63.4
  Carshalton UD 15,160 108.3
  Coulsdon and Purley UD 16,960 80.5
  Epsom UD 8,550 45.4
  Guildford M.B. 5,674 22.4
  Merton and Morden UD 24,680 140.9
  Surbiton UD 10,580 54.7
  Sutton and Cheam UD 17,729 61.9
  The Maldens and Coombe UD 9,380 65
 
Surrey, West:  
  Worthing M.B. 11,507 34.6
 
Warwickshire:  
  Sutton Coldfield M.B. 6,119 25.7
 
Worcestershire:  
  Oldbury UD 5,001 16
 
Yorkshire, West Riding:  
  Adwick-le-Street UD 8,330 69.3
  Thurnscoe UD 5,580 110.3

DECREASES OF MORE THAN 1,000

Area No. Per cent.
Buckinghamshire:  
  Wolverton UD 1,433 10
 
Cheshire:  
  Crewe M.B. 1,110 2.4
  Hyde M.B. 2,030 5.9
 
Cumberland:  
  Cleator Moor UD 1,810 21.4
  Millom UD 1,377 15.7
  Workington M.B. 2,020 7.5
 
Derbyshire:  
  Glossop M.B. 1,370 6.6
 
Durham:  
  Bishop Auckland UD 2,100 14.6
  Blaydon UD 1,310 3.9
  Brandon and Byshottles UD 1,850 9.8
  Crook UD 1,220 9.4
  Jarrow M.B. 3,970 11
  Shildon UD 1,660 11.5
  Spennymoor UD 2,170 11.7
  Stanley UD 1,070 4.2
  Tanfield UD 1,352 12.8
 
Kent:  
  Sheerness UD 2,160 11.5
 
Lancashire:  
  Accrington M.B. 2,840 6.2
  Ashton-in-Makerfield UD 2,400 10.4
  Bacup M.B. 1,060 4.9
  Chadderton UD 1,860 6.3
  Colne M.B. 1,400 5.6
  Dalton-Furness UD 2,100 16.8
  Darwen M.B. 2,630 6.8
  Failsworth UD 1,570 9
  Great Harwood UD 1,110 7.9
  Haslingden M.B. 1,160 6.5
  Heywood M.B. 1,260 4.6
  Hindley UD 2,490 10.3
  Ince in Makerfield UD 1,630 7
  Leigh M.B. 1,210 2.6
  Nelson M.B. 2,340 5.8
  Oswaldtwistle UD 1,230 8
  Padiham UD 1,080 8.5
  Tyldesley with Shakerley UD 1,370 8.4
 
Lincolnshire (Lindsey):  
  Gainsborough UD 1,160 5.8
 
Staffordshire:  
  Audley UD 1,420 9.5
 
Suffolk, East:  
  Lowestoft M.B. 1,390 3.2
 
Yorkshire, North Riding:  
  Loftus UD 1,480 16.2
  Skelton and Brotton UD 2,200 13.9
 
Yorkshire, West Riding:  
  Batley M.B. 2,210 6
  Castleford UD 2,850 11.6
  Keighley M.B. 2,100 4.9
  Todmorden M.B. 1,930 8
 
WALES
Anglesey:  
  Holyhead UD 1,150 9.7
 
Glamorganshire:  
  Aberdare UD 7,290 13
  Caerphilly UD 1,670 4.4
  Gellingaer UD 2,860 6.5
  Maesteg UD 4,000 13.6
  Mountain Ash UD 5,720 12.9
  Ogmore and Garw UD 3,710 12
  Pontypridd UD 5,180 10.8
 
Monmouthshire:  
  Abersychan UD 1,920 7
  Abertillery UD 7,790 19.6
  Bedwellty UD 1,480 4.7
  Blaenavon UD 1,530 12.1
  Ebbw Vale 4,260 11.8
  Nantyglo and Blaina UD 3,630 21.5
  Rhymney UD 1,400 11.7
  Tredegar UD 2,400 9.4
 
Pembrokeshire:  
  Pembroke M.B. 3,460 22.2

14. Civil Parishes and Wards of Urban Areas.


The modern Civil Parish, which was denned in the Interpretation Act of 1889, as "a place for which a separate poor rate is, or can be, made, or for which a separate overseer is, or can be, appointed", has been retained in the re-organised system of local administration embodied in the Local Government Act of 1929, as an essential administrative sub-division of the County District (Borough, Urban District or Rural District) and as such has been identified at the Census, a record of the acreage, population, private families and dwellings of each such parish being shown in Table 3 of the Census County publications.

The total number of Civil Parishes in England and Wales amounted to 14,209 in 1931, and their distribution by Counties is set out in Table 7 of the General Tables Volume. The number is slightly fewer than that of 1921 (14,483), and it has further been much more materially reduced as a result of the re-arrangement of areas by County Schemes under the 1929 Act which have been brought into operation since the date of the 1931 Census.

The average civil parish population in 1931 was one of 2,812 persons, but as may be seen from the distribution given in the 1921 Report, the average covers a wide range of conditions ranging from an appreciable number of areas with fewer than 100 persons each to comparatively extensive units with more than 20,000 apiece. The bulk of the civil parishes, however, are small units of 1,000 population or less, and as they are usually located as parts of much more extensive rural districts they generally form a useful and adequate statistical sub-division of those districts.

The larger parishes are frequently associated with urban areas, some of which, containing relatively dense populations in small areas, comprise but single parishes in themselves—the County Borough of Birmingham is an outstanding example of a single civil parish with a population exceeding a million persons. For boroughs and urban districts, therefore, the wards into which many of them have been divided for electoral or other purposes have been adopted as alternative and additional units of area and population statistics in the same detail as those provided for civil parishes have been published in the individual Census County volumes.

With the aid of the Parish and Ward Records, it will usually be possible, by appropriate aggregation, to obtain exact, or sufficiently approximate, figures of the populations of the many types of area, e.g., Lieutenancy sub-divisions, Coroner's Court Districts, Polling Districts, areas served by various public utility schemes, etc., which are not specifically identified in the Census Reports.


15. Parliamentary Areas.


Under the provisions of the Representation of the People Act, 1918, the boundaries of parliamentary boroughs and counties were for the most part brought into line with those of complete administrative or local government areas as constituted on ist October, 1917. As a result of the normal changes in the boundaries of administrative areas between the Censuses of 1921 and 1931 there was a gradually increasing divergence between the boundaries of such areas and the parliamentary boundaries fixed by the above mentioned Act, and this divergence has been accelerated greatly by the numerous changes of boundary which have taken place since the 1931 Census under the provisions of Section 46 of the Local Government Act, 1929.

At the date of operation of the Representation of the People Act, 1918, there existed 98 administrative areas, exclusively Rural Districts, situated in more than one Parliamentary Constituency, viz.,87 situated in two, 10 situated in three, and one situated in four Parliamentary Divisions.

At the date of the Census of 1931 the number of administrative areas situated in more than one Parliamentary Division may be analysed thus:

  Numbers of Administrative Area situated in
Two Parliamentary Divisions Three Parliamentary Divisions Four Parliamentary Divisions Five Parliamentary Divisions Six Parliamentary Divisions
Rural Districts 95 15 2 0 0
Urban Districts 17 2 0 0 0
Municipal Boroughs 13 2 0 0 0
County Boroughs 26 8 3 1 1
 
TOTAL 151 27 5 1 1

The lack of coincidence between the boundaries of the administrative and parliamentary areas complicates census operations very considerably, since special provision has to be made for the separate enumeration of a large number of small areas, and the subsequent combination of the results in different ways to build up the populations of the various larger areas.

Table 7 of Part I of the respective County volumes gives for each Parliamentary Borough (or its separate Divisions), and for each Parliamentary County Division, the total number of males and females enumerated in 1931 together with statistics as to the numbers and proportions of persons qualified as parliamentary electors in respect of the 1931 Register of Electors, whilst Table 8 shows the 1931 constitution by administrative areas of each separate Parliamentary Borough (or its Divisions) and each separate Parliamentary County Division.

The statistics in the above mentioned Table 7 are summarised for the whole country and separate figures given for each county in Table 12A of the General Tables Volume, whilst in Table I2B of the same volume similar figures are given for each Parliamentary Borough (or Division) and each Parliamentary County Division together with summaries for Parliamentary Boroughs and Counties as a whole.

Excluding University representation, viz., five constituencies returning 8 members, there are altogether 509 Parliamentary constituencies in England and Wales. These are comprised of 244 English and u Welsh Parliamentary Boroughs and Borough Divisions, and 230 English and 24 Welsh Parliamentary County Divisions. Eleven of the undivided English Boroughs viz. Blackburn, Bolton, Brighton, City of London, Derby, Norwich, Oldham, Preston, Southampton, Stockport and Sunderland return two members each, so that the 509 constituencies return 520 members.

Table XXIII shows the comparative positions at the Censuses of 1921 and 1931 in respect of (1) total population and (2) actual electorate, excluding University representation, and (3) number of persons of franchise age.

TABLE XXIII.— POPULATION AND ELECTORATE (EXCLUDING UNIVERSITIES), ENGLAND AND WALES, 1921 AND 1931

It will be observed from the above figures that concurrently with a population increase between 1921 and 1931 of 5.5 per cent, the electorate increased from 17,758,700 to 26,048,834 i.e., by 8,290,134 or 46.7 per cent., this increase following one of 11,372,021 during the preceding inter-censal period. Thus, whereas in 1911 there was, on average, only one elector among 5.6 persons in the country as a whole, there was in 1921 one among every 2.1 persons, and in 1931 one among every 1.5 persons.

The considerable increase in the electorate between 1921 and 1931 was due to the passing of the Representation of the People (Equal Franchise) Act, 1928, which, as its title implies, placed women on the same footing as men in regard to franchise rights, lowering the age limit governing the franchise qualification in the case of women, viz., 30 years, to correspond with that of men, viz., 21 years.

With regard to persons of franchise age it will be observed that in 1921 only 17,758,700 out of a total of 20,251,563 persons of franchise age, that is 87.7 per cent., were on the register of electors whereas in 1931, 26,048,834 out of 26,309,890 or 99 per cent, were so registered. Taking the sexes separately, the proportion of male electors to males of franchise age rose from 94.9 in 1921 to 99.5 in 1931, the female proportion rising from 79.5 to 98.5 in the same period. The result was that whereas in 1921 there were only 74 female electors to every 100 male electors, in 1931 there were 113 females to every 100 males on the electoral register.

The intercensal increase in the number of female electors was, in consequence of the Act of 1928, considerably greater than that in respect of males, the numbers rising from 7,552,423 in 1921 to 13,827,747 i.e., by 6,275,324 or 83.1 per cent., whereas the male electorate increased from 10,206,277 to 12,221,087 i.e., by 2,014,810 or 19.7 per cent.

The increase in the male electorate is due largely to the increase in the number of males of franchise age, which rose from 10,754,022 to 12,277,504 in the period 1921 to 1931. If the proportion of such males appearing on the electoral register had been the same in 1931 as in 1921, the total number would have been about 11,652,000, an increase of some 898,000, leaving a balance of 625,000 to be accounted for. Following the Act of 1928, to which reference has already been made, a compulsory form of return was adopted in 1929, the object of which was to ensure that the names of all who were entitled to exercise the franchise should appear on the register. This resulted in the addition of about 640,000 males in the 1929 register (Spring) as compared with that of 1928 (Autumn); the average annual increase between 1921 and 1928 having been about 141,000. It would appear, therefore, that the addition of the 625,000 is due mainly to the change of procedure initiated in 1929. The proportion of 99.5 per cent, of male electors represents practically complete adult male suffrage; the number of electors on the register includes, on the one hand, some plural representation in respect of those who have a residential or business qualification in more than one constituency, and excludes, on the other, some of those who have only recently attained the age of 21, those who lose franchise by reason of change of abode, and those who are subject to legal incapacity.

Excluding university representation each member of Parliament in 1931 represented, on average, 76,831 persons of all ages as compared with 72,859 in 1921 and 73,613 in 1911, and the following statement shows how far the actual representation varies from the general average at the time of each of the past three Censuses.

TABLE XXIV.— DISTRIBUTION OF POPULATION IN CONSTITUENCIES, 1911, 1921 AND 1931

From the above table it will be observed that the number of constituencies with a population in excess of 100,000 increased by 34 between 1921 and 1931 viz., from 20 to 54, the growth and to a larger extent the movement of population during that period having wiped out more than half the 1921 decrease in the number of such constituencies, viz., 63, due to the operation of the Representation of the People Act, 1918. The number of constituencies with populations between 90,000 and 100,000 has increased from 30 to 39; the numbers in respect of constituencies with populations between 70,000 and 80,000 showing the greatest decrease viz., from 167 to 133. The position with regard to constituencies of the remaining sizes remains much the same in 1931 as it was in 1921.

The following table gives the constituencies with populations in excess of 100,000 in 1931, showing their populations and electorates in 1921 and 1931.

TABLE XXV.— CONSTITUENCIES WITH MORE THAN 100,000 POPULATION PER MEMBER IN 1931

The constituency with the largest population viz., 220,074 is the Romford Division of the County of Essex, the population having increased from 84,450 in 1921 i.e., by 161 percent., and the electorate from 39,266 to 124,795 or 218 per cent. Other constituencies with populations considerably in excess of 100,000 are the Hendon and Harrow Divisions of the County of Middlesex with populations of 175,929 and 140,953 representing population increases between 1921 and 1931 of 133 and 98 per cent, and increases in electorate of 218 and 169 per cent, respectively. The Moseley Division of the Parliamentary Borough of Birmingham with a population of 140,947 likewise shows increases in population of 66 per cent, and in electorate of 117 per cent, during the same period. The corresponding increases in population and electorate for the whole country were 5.5 and 46.7 per cent, respectively.

The constituencies, twelve in number as compared with eleven in 1921, whose population per representative is below 50,000 are given in the following table, the City of London with its population of 10,999 and electorate of 43,902 retaining its right to send two representatives to Parliament.

TABLE XXVI.— CONSTITUENCES WITH LESS THAN 50,000 POPULATION PER MEMBER IN 1931

The following table gives the constituencies each of which sends two representatives to Parliament, and shows population and electorate at the Censuses of 1921 and 1931.

TABLE XXVII.— CONSTITUENCIES RETURNING TWO MEMBERS

In the last two columns of Tables 12A. and 126 of the General Tables Volume the proportions per 1,000 population of persons on the electorate possessing (I) residence qualification and (2) other qualifications are given. The figures show that for the country as a whole out of every 1,000 persons 643 have a residence qualification and n some qualification other than residential which signifies that the latter category, mainly those with a business premises qualification, number about 1.7 per cent, of the whole electorate.

The possession of a business premises qualification in some constituency other than that in which a person has a residence qualification involves a certain amount of plural representation and, therefore, the proportions of male and female electors to males and females of franchise age, above stated as 99.5 and 98.5 per cent, respectively, represent numbers in excess of the actual numbers of individuals entitled to vote

The figures given in the last two columns of Tables 12A and 12B show that the business premises qualification occurs, as might be expected, with greater frequency in commercial and business centres and is on the whole five times as numerous in Parliamentary Boroughs as it is in Parliamentary Counties.

The proportion of persons with a qualification other than that of residence to the total electorate is approximately 2.3 per cent, in the case of Parliamentary Boroughs generally, but outstanding cases in which this proportion is greatly exceeded are the City of London—84 per cent., the Exchange Division of Manchester—32 per cent., Holborn Parliamentary Borough—30 per cent., the Abbey Division of Westminster—28 per cent., and the Exchange Division of Liverpool—24 per cent.

The universities form five parliamentary constituencies—Oxford, Cambridge, London, the combined English Universities, and Wales—with a total electorate of 87,110 persons—67,765 males, and 19,345 females. Of these, Oxford, Cambridge and the combined English Universities each return two members, so that the total university representation consists of eight members. The number of electors per member varies from 16,501 for London to 5,121 for Wales. The numbers of electors in the several University Constituencies in 1921 and 1931 are shown in Table XXVIII.

TABLE XXVIII.— UNIVERSITY ELECTORS, 1921 AND 1931


16. Ecclesiastical Areas.


England, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are for ecclesiastical purposes divided into two Provinces—those of Canterbury and York—containing between them 43 dioceses, 30 in Canterbury and 13 in York, each of which is sub-divided into a number of ecclesiastical parishes and extra-parochial places.

A separate volume has been published under the title Census of England and Wales, 1931, Ecclesiastical Areas (England) in which will be found the enumerated population for 1921 and 1931 and the constitution of the provinces and dioceses and also the enumerated population in 1921 and 1931 of each ecclesiastical parish or district. In that volume will be found a foreword giving an outline of the foundation and development of their territorial organisation up to the present time.

By the Welsh Church Act, 1914, certain border parishes elected, by means of a plebiscite, whether they desired their parish to be considered for the purposes of the Act, to be in Wales and Monmouthshire or not. In consequence of this the term "England" used in the Ecclesiastical Areas Volume includes a considerable area actually in Wales and Monmouthshire and excludes a small area regarded for all other purposes as part of England.


17. Other Areas.


The remaining classes of areal division of the country which have received separate recognition in the various Census reports are as follows:

(a) Petty Sessional Divisions. —The 1931 population by sex, the 1921 persons population and the acreage of each division, together with its constitution in terms of Civil Parishes, are given in Table Q of the County Volume Series of publications. This information has not been repeated or summarised in the General Tables Volume.

(b) County Court Circuits and Districts. — The 1931 population by sex, the 1921 persons population and the constitution in terms of County Court Districts are given for each Circuit in Table 13 of the General Tables Volume and similar population figures for each District in Table 14.

Other sets of local areas for which figures are not separately distinguished in the Census tables, such as Education Authority areas, Lieutenancy Sub-divisions, Coroner's Court Districts, Highway Districts, Polling Districts, Relief Districts, Archdeaconries, etc., either are aggregates of the basic areas for which figures are given, or serve purposes having too little connection with the local population to justify a claim to be separately represented. Still others, such as gas, water, electricity or drainage areas, possess a special and limited interest which can best be dealt with, should occasion arise, by arrangement with the interested parties in accordance with the provision made in the Census Act to meet such cases.


18. Institutions and Special Classes.


Of the total population of England and Wales viz., 39,952,377, 38,042,464 (or 95.2 per cent.) belonged to the private family category, that is the person or group of persons comprising the ordinary domestic household: leaving 1,909,913 to be classified to all the aggregations of individuals enumerated in premises such as hotels, boarding houses, hospitals, institutions for the aged, infirm or poor, schools, prisons, barracks, ships, etc.

Before commenting on the statistics relating to the latter category it should be noted that, with a view to the definite allocation of borderline cases falling between the private and the non-private family class, it was the practice to exclude from the non-private family class business establishments or boarding houses, when the number of business assistants or boarders was not greater than the number in the employer's or householder's family (including domestic servants), a similar rule being applied to exceptional families of like character, e.g., a doctor with resident patients, a tutor with resident scholars, etc. In order to assist in the identification of the non-private family class when the Returns were being dealt with at the Census Office each enumerator was required to ascertain and record a brief description of the nature of the occupation i.e., whether a private family, boarding house, nursing home, etc., in every case where the family occupation comprised more than 10 persons.

Statistics relating to the non-private family population are contained in Tables 12 and 13 of Part I of the County Series of volumes and in summary form in Tables 15, 16 and 28 of the General Tables Volume.

Table 12 of the County volumes gives the total enumerated population and the private family population, and divides the non-private family population into nine separate categories giving for each administrative area the number of persons (without distinction of sex) contained in each category, and the percentage proportion which such number bears to the total enumerated population of the area. Table 15 of the General Tables Volume gives similar figures for England and Wales, Urban and Rural Aggregates, Regions, Metropolitan Boroughs, County Boroughs and Administrative Counties.

Table 13 of the County volumes particularises sixteen separate types of Institutions and Special Premises, gives the number of each type contained in each administrative area within the county, also the population, by sex, in each type for the separate administrative areas and the whole county, with separate figures for "Inmates" in the case of Institutions. Table 16 of the General Tables Volume summarises these figures for England and Wales, Regions, and Administrative Counties with associated County Boroughs, whilst Table 28 analyses the inmate population of certain Institutions by quinquennial groups of age and marital condition.

As above stated, the non-private family section of the population numbered 1,909,913 or 4.8 per cent, of the total population and it will be seen from Table 16 of the General Tables Volume that, of these, 890,434 persons (or 2.2 per cent.) were enumerated in the 16 types of Institution or Special Premises therein specified.

The remaining 1,019,479 (or 2.6 per cent.) were comprised of persons enumerated in (I) Hotels, Boarding Houses, Lodging Houses, etc., (2) Schools, Orphanages and other Educational Institutions (excluding Reformatories) and (3) All others (including vagrants). From Table 15 of the General Tables Volume it will be seen that the first of these, viz., the Hotel, Boarding House, etc. category contained 832,506 persons (or 2.1 per cent.), the second viz., Schools, Orphanages, etc. 125,952 (or 0.3 per cent.) and the third viz., all others (including vagrants) 72,361 (or 0.2 per cent.), making a total 11,340 in excess of the 1,019,479 above referred to. This is due to the fact that 11,340 persons were enumerated in Educational Institutions connected with Public Assistance and form part of the 890,434 persons comprised in the 16 types of institution above referred to.

Table XXIX gives for 1921 and 1931 the numbers of Institutions and Special Premises, i.e., military barracks, ships, barges, etc., the proportions of the population enumerated therein to the total population of England and Wales and the proportion of males among the institution population.

TABLE XXIX.— INSTITUTIONAL AND OTHER SPECIAL TYPES OF POPULATION IN ENGLAND AND WALES, 1921 AND 1931

The table shows that the number of Public Assistance Institutions, i.e., categories i and 2, increased from 1,466 to 1,650 between the two Censuses and Table 16 of the General Tables Volumes, 1931, shows that the 1,650 institutions contained 110,866 male and 76,454 female inmates. In 1921 the corresponding numbers of inmates were 101,645 males and 84,050 female so that there was an increase of 9,221 males but a decrease of 7,596 females resulting in the small increase of 1,625 m the total number of inmates.

When comparing statistics relating to Public Assistance Institutions for 1921 with those for 1931 there must, however, be taken into account the fairly considerable number of important Poor Law Institutions appropriated, after the passing of the Local Government Act, 1929, for Hospital, Maternity and Child Welfare purposes, under the provisions of the Public Health and associated Acts. Thus it will be seen that the number of Hospitals (exclusive of Military) increased from 1,945 to 2,025 and the number of inmates from 80,020 (46,194 males and 33,826 females) to 125,100 (63,434 males and 61,666 females), the female element showing an increase since 1921 of 82 per cent, compared with a male increase of 37 per cent. Convalescent and Nursing Home increased in number from 2,189 to 2,994 and the number of inmates from 25,981 (10,347 males and 15,634 females) to 33,163 (12,528 males and 20,635 females), the female increase in this case also being seen to be appreciably higher than the male.

The number of Prisons decreased from 48 to 35 and the number of inmates from 11,427 (10,069 males and 1,358 females) to 10,476 (9,817 males and 659 females) but the females here record a noteworthy decrease of 51 per cent, compared with a decrease of only 2.5 per cent, it the case of males.

The large increase in the number of "Other Places of Detention" is due to the inclusion in this category in 1931 not only of the larger Police Stations in towns but also smaller ones at which the special prison schedule was left because of the provision of cell accommodation whether or not any person was under detention at the time. Notwithstanding the large increase in the numbers of places of detention there was a striking decrease in the numbers of inmates, the numbers falling from 16,010 (12,499 males and 3,511 females) to 8,283 (6,754 males and 1,529 females), a total decrease of 48 per cent., the male and female decreases per cent, being 46 and 56 respectively

The relative proportions, by sex, of the inmates of the various classes of Institutions in 1931 as compared with 1921 may be derived from the last two columns of the Table XXIX, whilst Table XXX, summarising the figures in Table 28 of the General Tables Volume, shows the characteristic differences in age and marital condition distribution in certain classes of Institution and gives, for comparative purposes, the distribution for 1921 also.

TABLE XXX.— INSTITUTIONAL AND OTHER SPECIAL TYPES OF POPULATION—AGE DISTRIBUTION (INMATES ONLY)


19. Boundary Changes arising out of the Operation of Section 46 of the Local Government Act, 1929.


(a) Urban and Rural Changes


The Councils of all administrative counties, with the exception of London, were required by Section 46 of the above-mentioned Act to make a review of all districts or parishes wholly or partially within their areas with a view to making such proposals as they thought desirable for the alteration of boundaries, unions of districts or parishes, the conversion of rural districts into urban or vice versa, or the formation of new districts.

Each Council was required to send to the Minister of Health, by the 1st April 1932 or such later date as the Minister might allow, a report of the review, together with proposals for any changes which it wished to make. Provision was made for the County Councils to consult with the Councils of adjoining county boroughs and for County Borough Councils to be given an opportunity to lay before the Minister of Health their views on the proposals made by the County Councils.

After consideration of the proposals, the Minister of Health could either make, or refuse to make, an Order giving full or partial effect to the proposals, but if a Local Authority objected to any proposal a local enquiry had to be held before a decision was given. Every Order had to be laid before Parliament. Power was also given to the Minister, after consultation with Local Authorities concerned, to make proposals himself if a County Council had failed to do so.

Prior to Census Day, the 26.271x1 April, 1931, only one complete county scheme viz., that for Lincoln, Kesteven, had been brought into operation. Allowance was made for this scheme in the statistics shown in Part I of the Lincolnshire County Volume; but in respect of those I counties whose schemes did not come into operation until after the Census Day, a special series of supplementary volumes was necessary. These have been published as soon as possible after the completion of the various county schemes, the last scheme, that for Yorkshire West Riding, being completed in April 1939 and the supplementary volume for that county published in 1940 to complete the series.

Table XXXI has been prepared to show, for the whole country and for the several aggregates, regions and administrative counties with their associated county boroughs, the enumerated populations in the respective areas as constituted at the 1931 Census and after the completion of the schemes, together with the consequent decrease or increase in rural population and the proportions of the latter to total population.

TABLE XXXI.— COMPARATIVE URBAN AND RURAL POPULATIONS (1931 CENSUS) OF AREAS AS CONSTITUTED AT CENSUS DAY, 1931, AND AFTER COMPLETION OF CHANGES MADE UNDER THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT, 1929.

The figures in the table show that a decrease in the rural section of the population is recorded in respect of the great majority of the administrative counties, those showing the greatest decreases being Durham 122,496 or 30.3 per cent., Essex 95,362 or 34.1 per cent., Surrey 70,935 or 38.8 per cent., Kent 69,435 or 20.3 per cent., Yorkshire, West Riding 64,435 or 14.6 per cent, Cheshire 56,926 or 27.6 per cent., Warwickshire 51,149 or 27.2 per cent. Other counties with decreases in excess of 40,000 population are Middlesex 49,331 or 100 per cent., Southampton 48,843 or 18.9 per cent., Lancashire 48,332 or 18.3 per cent., Staffordshire 42,918 or 20.2 per cent. Of the remaining counties showing decreases in rural population it is noteworthy that the Isle of Wight with 13,444 shows the relatively high percentage decrease of 44.8, second only to that of Middlesex.

Three counties, Rutland, Radnor and the Soke of Peterborough, show no change because no schemes were made in respect of them, whilst in the case of four other counties, Anglesey, Brecknock, Cardigan and Montgomery, the schemes involved no alteration in the numbers of the respective urban and rural populations. A small transfer from the rural to the urban section of the population took place prior to the Census in Hereford.

With regard to the converse process Cumberland is especially prominent in having experienced a net transfer from the urban to the rural category of 31,832 persons or 34.9 per cent. Eight other counties experienced a net increase in their rural at the expense of their urban populations. The most prominent of these were Lincoln Holland with 6,309 population or 12.3 per cent., and Lincoln Lindsey with 5,101 population or 3.8 per cent.; the remainder had transfers of small magnitude in no case reaching 2 per cent. In the Isle of Ely an increase in the rural population was accompanied by an increase in the urban population also, the dual increase being due to marginal adjustments of boundary with the adjacent counties of Lincoln Holland and Norfolk.

For the country as a whole there has been a net transfer of 959,371 persons from the rural to the urban category, representing a percentage decrease in the rural population of 12.0 and reducing the proportion of the rural to the total population from 20-o per cent, in 1931 to 17.6 cent.

In the regions the greatest relative transfer took place in Greater London and, as the Administrative County of London was unaffected, this occurred entirely in the Outer Ring and amounted to 109,719 or no less than 90 per cent. Of this nearly half was due to the transfer of the whole of rural Middlesex to urban status. The greatest actual transfer, 274,157, took place in the remainder of the South East but the percentage was only 14.9, ranking fourth among the regions. The greater part of this occurred in Essex, Kent and Surrey in the immediate neighbourhood of Greater London. In North i the transfer was 126,659 or 24.9 per cent, more than twice the average for the whole country and in North 4 the transfer was 105,258 or 22.4, nearly twice the average. Midland i and 2 each had a transfer of more than one hundred thousand but the percentage changes were little more than average. Least change of all took place in the East, Wales i and Wales 2, Monmouthshire being the only county in those regions to show more than the average. North 2 enjoys the distinction of being the only region to show an increase in rural population as a result of the changes, small decreases in three of the counties composing it being offset by the de-urbanisation in Cumberland previously referred to, resulting in an increase in he whole region of over 6 per cent.

(b) Changes of Boundary of Administrative Counties with Associated County Boroughs


The foregoing table and comment have been mainly concerned with the interchange of population between urban areas—whether county boroughs, municipal boroughs or urban districts—and the rural districts comprised within the boundaries of the respective administrative counties with their associated county boroughs.

At the same time as they reviewed their areas under Section 46 of the Local Government Act, 1929, County Councils have, however, reviewed the boundaries of the counties themselves and proposals under Section 54 of the Local Government Act, 1888, or Section 140 of the Local Government Act, 1933, have been submitted, whereby adjustments of boundary have been made between two or more of 22 counties. Table XXXII shows the effect of such adjustments on the area and population of the counties concerned.

TABLE XXXII.— ACREAGE AND POPULATION AT CENSUS OF 1931 OF COUNTIES WITH THEIR ASSOCIATED COUNTY BOROUGHS AS CONSTITUTED

(c) County Borough Changes


Arising out of the consultations between County Councils and Councils of adjoining county boroughs changes were made under Section 46 of the Local Government Act, 1929, in the boundaries of 47 of the 83 county boroughs in England and Wales. Table XXXIII shows the increase or decrease of the population of each of the county boroughs affected and the effect of the transfers on the county borough aggregates for the whole country and for the regions.

TABLE XXXIII.— 1931 CENSUS POPULATIONS OF REGIONAL AGGREGATES OF COUNTY BOROUGHS AND OF ALTERED COUNTY BOROUGHS AS CONSTITUTED

It will be observed that in two cases only, Manchester and South Shields, was the population of the county borough reduced and then only to a slight extent and that in three cases only, York, Chester and Newport, was the increase of population in excess of 10 per cent. The average increase for the whole of the county boroughs throughout the country was just over one per cent.

(d) Administrative Counties and Their Constituent Administrative Areas before and after the Operation of Changes under Section 46 of the Local Government Act, 1929


The reviews by the County Councils of the areas within their jurisdiction have, in most of the counties, effected a reduction in the numbers of administrative areas within their boundaries. Only four counties, Rutland, The Soke of Peterborough, Montgomery and Radnor, showed no change. At the date of the Census there were 1,793 administrative areas in England and Wales. These were reduced by 323, or 18 per cent., to 1,470. As the scheme for Lincoln (Kesteven), which involved a reduction of areas from eleven to eight, had been introduced prior to the Census date and the results embodied in the Census figures, the total reduction for the whole country as a result of the schemes was 326. Among civil parishes, of which the administrative areas are composed, the reduction was relatively a little greater, a total of 14,210 at the Census (or 14,259 including the Kesteven figure) being reduced by 12 per cent, to 12,530.

Table XXXIV shows the numbers of county boroughs, metropolitan boroughs in London, municipal boroughs, urban districts, rural districts and civil parishes in each county of England and Wales as constituted at the date of the Census and after the changes of boundary had been completed.

TABLE XXXIV.— NUMBERS OF COUNTY BOROUGHS, METROPOLITAN BOROUGHS, MUNICIPAL BOROUGHS, URBAN DISTRICTS, RURAL DISTRICTS AND CIVIL PARISHES IN EACH COUNTY OF ENGLAND AND WALES AT THE CENSUS OF 1931 AND AFTER CHANGES UNDER LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT, 1929

The number of county boroughs and metropolitan boroughs remained the same.

Municipal boroughs were the only class of area to show an increase. This was due to the granting of Charters of Incorporation to 22 areas during the period to which the tables relate, while existing boroughs, though subject to alteration, could not be abolished under the provisions of the Act.

Urban districts were reduced in number from 780 to 602 or nearly 23 per cent., the most considerable reduction taking place in Yorkshire (West Riding), where the total was reduced from 109 to 57 or by 48 per cent., only one of these areas being converted into a municipal borough. Eight counties with much smaller numbers show reductions of 50 per cent, or more, the greatest in actual numbers being Cornwall, from 16 to 8, and the relatively highest being Lincoln Holland, from 4 to I or 75 per cent. Middlesex shows an apparent 50 per cent, decrease in numbers but 9 of the 26 original urban districts became municipal boroughs so the overall reduction is only from 30 to 26. The Kesteven change, which took place before the Census, was from 3 to 2. In the case of 21 counties submitting schemes under the Act, no change was made in the number of urban districts.

Rural districts were reduced from 645 (647 before the Kesteven changes) to 478. The table shows 12 counties with no change; of these, the Soke of Peterborough, Rutland and Radnor submitted no scheme, Lincoln Kesteven had reduced its numbers from 6 to 4 before the Census and the Isle of Wight had only one rural district. The greatest reductions were made in Southampton, from 22 to IT, Northampton, from 16 to 8, Shropshire and Staffordshire, from 17 to 10 and Yorkshire (West Riding) from 28 to 21, but other counties with smaller numbers had high percentage reductions, the most notable being East Sussex, from u to 5 or nearly 55 per cent, and Middlesex in which the only 2 remaining rural districts were abolished.

The scale of reduction in the numbers of civil parishes varied considerably in the respective counties. The greatest percentage reduction being 46 in the case of the Isle of Wight where the number of civil parishes was reduced from 37 to 20, followed by Monmouth with a reduction of 44 per cent, from 161 to 90. Other considerable reductions both in numbers and percentages occurred in Yorkshire (East Riding) where 339 civil parishes were reduced to 209 or 38 per cent., Caernarvon 77 to 54 or 30 per cent., Leicester 321 to 228 or 29 per cent., Durham 264 to 399 or 25 per cent, and Norfolk 697 to 539 or 23 per cent. The only increase was in Surrey where the number of civil parishes was raised from 138 to 141, whilst no net change was recorded in the case of only two counties submitting schemes, these being Glamorgan and Merioneth. The reduction in Lincoln (Kesteven) was from 210 to 161.

(e) Size of Reconstituted Areas


Before any schemes under the 1929 Act came into operation there were 1,037, and at the date of the Census 1,036, municipal boroughs and urban districts with an average population of about 13,740. Completion of the changes reduced this number to 880 and the reduction in number, together-with a net transfer of about 800,000 to urban areas from the rural population, resulted in the average population being increased to about 17,100, or by about 24 per cent. The populations were, of course, based on the 1931 Census enumeration for the areas before and after the changes.

In the case of the rural areas the transfer of nearly a million population to the county boroughs and other urban areas as more than counter-balanced by their reduction in number from 645 to 478, so that their average population of about 12,330 was increased to 14,700 or by 19 per cent.

The average population of civil parishes which was about 2,800 before the change, was increased to 3,190 or by about 14 per cent.

As has already been pointed out in the section on county boroughs (page 67) the result of the changes on the average population was slight, an average of approximately 160,340 being increased to 162,150 or just over I per cent. In two cases, Portsmouth and Leicester, the extensions were sufficient to bring them into the class with over a quarter of a million population.

Among municipal boroughs and urban districts there were 28 cases in which extensions of boundary resulted in the addition of more than 10,000 population. The most notable of these were Harrow U.D., to which 70,276 were added, bringing its total to 96,656; Twickenham M.B., with an addition of 39,393 and a total of 79,299; and Pontypool U.D., with 37,120 added and a total of 43,910. The population of three others, Newcastle-under-Lyme M.B., Stanley U.D. and Brierley Hill U.D., increased by more than 30,000. Among the foregoing the highest relative increases were those of Pontypool U.D. with 547 per cent., and Harrow U.D. with 266 per cent. Three other smaller areas, Brentwood U.D., Bishop Auckland U.D. and Consett U.D., had additions of more than 200 per cent.

Table XXXV shows the distribution according to size of metropolitan and municipal boroughs and urban districts, both at the date of the Census and after the changes. The joint effect of extension of boundaries and reduction in numbers, as might be expected, has resulted in an increase of numbers in the higher groups while progressively decreasing the numbers in the lower groups. The table shows that the increases are confined to the two upper groups of 20.50 and over 50 thousand, while the lowest group of under 1,000 has been reduced to nil in England, the only remaining urban areas of this size being in Wales. The summary following Table XXXV shows the actual distribution of the numbers in the groups before and after the changes and the relative effect of the later distribution (excluding metropolitan boroughs, London Administrative County being unaffected.

TABLE XXXV.— DISTRIBUTION OF METROPOLITAN BOROUGHS, MUNICIPAL BOROUGHS AND URBAN DISTRICTS AS CONSTITUTED AT THE CENSUS OF 1931, AND AFTER THE COMPLETION OF CHANGES UNDER THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT, 1929, ACCORDING TO THE SIZE OF THEIR RESPECTIVE POPULATIONS AS ENUMERATED AT THE CENSUS OF 1931 IN EACH CASE

1931 Census Population Distribution* Increase (+) or Decrease (-)
At Census of 1931 After Changes
Number per cent Number per cent Number per cent
Over 50,000 32 3.1 41 4.7 9 28.1
20,000?50,000 180 17.4 219 24.8 39 21.7
10,000?20,000 233 22.4 212 24.1 -21 -9.0
5,000?10,000 232 22.4 188 21.4 -44 -19.0
3,000?5,000 181 17.5 126 14.3 -55 -30.4
2,000?3,000 93 9 56 6.4 -37 -39.8
1,000?2,000 67 6.5 34 3.9 -33 -49.3
Under 1,000 18 1.7 4 0.4 -14 -77.8
TOTAL 1,036 100 880 100 -156 -15.1

* Excluding metropolitan boroughs.

The summary shows that the two groups with over 20,000 population formed 20.5 of the total numbers at the Census and 29.5 after the changes, the over 50,000 group having increased by 28.1 per cent, and the 20,000.50,000 by 21.7 per cent. Below 20,000 the numbers in the groups declined progressively from a decrease of 9 per cent, at 10,000.20,000 to 77.8 at under 1,000.

TABLE XXXVI. NUMBERS OF DETACHED PARTS OF CIVIL PARISHES BY COUNTIES, 1931

(f) Detached Parts


Effective action was taken by County Councils under the provision on Section 46 of the Local Government Act, 1929 to secure that every parish and district should be wholly within the area of one administrative county.

The proposals submitted also had the effect of very substantially reducing the numbers of parts of civil parishes detached from the main body. Particulars of these as existing at the date of the Census appear in Table 5 of the several County volumes and Table XXXVI has been prepared to give a summary of the numbers of detached parts as existing at Census date and after completion of the schemes made under the Act.

The table shows that a total of 868 detached parts at Census date was reduced to 118 or by 86 per cent., and that, whereas there were only 6 counties with no such parts, there are now 29. Of the remaining 118 parts 66 are situated in two counties, Essex with 36 and Northumberland with 30.


1 Population stability as adopted for the purpose of the Registrar General's annual Statistical Review implies the production of such a number of children as will in their turn produce offspring numerically equal to themselves, on the assumption that they are subject to the fertility rates at which they themselves were born.

2 The criterion of permanent migration is a declared intention of more than 12 months residence in the area of destination

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