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The Depopulation ot France.

At the meeting of the Academy of Medicine Dr Laqneau read his essay upon the depopulation of France. Dealing with the question of marriages, the doctor stated th'it m 1888 the marriage rate was 7"24 per thousand. The average age at which marriage takes place is 29 years nine mouths for men, and 25 years for women. Marriages are contracted later m life m the towns than m the country district. Out of 1000 males only 570 Parisians are married, against 609 for the inhabitants of France generally. The birth rate is continually decreasing. In 1888 it was 2309 per thousand, that is to say one birth for every 42 inhabitants. As m the case of marriages, the large towns compare unfavorably with the country. For every 100 married women between 15 and 45 years of age there are 19 births. The average number of birth's.,in a household is 3. The number of illegitimate births is decreasing for the whole of France ; the rate is 8"5 per cent, on the number of births, but the proportion is much higher m the large cities, rising to 28 per cent, m Paris. The death rate, which for the period 1881-87 was 19"2 per thousand, rose m 1888 to 21*9. Infant mortality is still great, giving an average of 16-8 deaths for every 100" children. The death rate for . bastards is almost double that for legitimate children. War has much increased the death rate. The Crimean war coat the country 95,615 men, and the census of 1872 shows a decrease of 366,925 inhabitants when compared with that of 1866 —a result which is largely owing to the Franco-German war. Cholera, phthsis, and typhoid and yellow fever are among the principal causes of mortality. Among the soldiers j typhoid fever is responsible for 3*43 deaths per thousand annually, while tuberculosis only causes I*lß* The increase of mortality among the younger population is chiefly due to bad nourishment and excesses. Later epidemic diseases, typhoid fever, and consumption claim the most victims. In France the excess of births over deaths'gives r«i increase of population of only I'l9 per thousand per annum, while m England I the increase is 13*7. The census returns from 1881 to 1886 show an average increase of 3"22 per thousand, against 10 m the German Empire, 11*93 m Prussia, and 12 "9 m Russia. With obligatory military service—the military strength of a nation is proportionate to its population, and the slow rate of mci ease m France will within the next fifty years put her at a' serious disadvantage as compared with other countries. Dr Lagneau will at the next meeting deal with the possible remedies for this situation.

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Bibliographic details

The Depopulation ot France., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2520, 17 September 1890

Word Count

The Depopulation ot France. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2520, 17 September 1890