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The Population Growth of London 1801 - 1881

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The Population Growth of London 1801 - 1881 At the turn of the 19th century, London was populated by close to a million people. London was becoming a World City and its economy was rapidly changing in structure and character. It provided financial services on a national and international level, and provided a market for local, national and international goods, therefore becoming a centre of innovation where all things exciting and new arrived in London first. The growth of the economy provided vast employment opportunities attracting thousands of migrants and immigrants to the Capital. By the end of the century, the population of London had quadrupled to almost four million. This rapid rise in population is illustrated in fig.1. We can see that the curve is steeper after the 1830s - 40s period. This is because of the development of the railways, underground and tramways, resulting in the acceleration of population growth in the suburbs of London. ...read more.


The growth and the movement of the population can be seen in fig. 2. The data in the graph was derived from the census which took place every ten years in the 19th century1. Note that the curve of the London City and the Strand (census registration districts) starts to slope downwards after the 1840s-50s point. These curves are similar for most inner city districts. Fig. 2 The sharp dip in the London City curve just after the 1941 point marks the period of cholera outbreaks. There were several cholera outbreaks in this period, amongst which the most serious were in 1833, where 10 000 people died, and in 1849 where 14 000 died. Cholera was contracted from drinking contaminated water and until the second of half of the century, London residents were drinking water from the same parts of the Thames that open sewers were discharging into. ...read more.


3. We see that the population in these areas has quadrupled by the end of the century. If we compare the graphs is fig. 3 and fig. 4 we can see that where the slopes in fig. 3 start to level out, the gradient of the slopes in fig. 4 become much steeper. This tells us that there is a high possibility that the population from the areas shown in fig. 3 may have to move to areas such as those shown in fig.4. There is an anomaly in the slope in fig. 5 which shows the population growth of Islington. The graph shows a sharp dip in population in 1881. I have not yet found the reason for this anomaly or it may be a mistake in the statistical data. Fig. 5 Appendices Acknowledgements * Power point presentations by Anthony Gorst * http://www.fidnet.com/~dap1955/dickens/dickens_london.html * UCLA Dept of Epidemiology website at http://www.ph.ucla.edu/epi/snow.html 1 Appendix 1 contains the raw statistical data. 2 Source: On thee Mode of Communication of Cholera John Snow, M. D. London: John Churchill New Burlington Street, England, 1855. Page 1 of 7 ...read more.

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