Population England & Wales 1780

This entry is part 6 of 14 in the series Industrial Revolution

Population England and Wales 1780, why is this a significant figure?

Why discuss the population of England and Wales in 1780? Although figures vary, the population is estimated to have been about 7.5 million, of whom 1 million live in London.

This was the beginning of a massive increase in population of the country. From 1780 to 1850 the figure will grow from 7.5 million to 18.5 million and this population will allow the Industrial Revolution to take place.

How so? you may ask.

The mechanization of society alone could not have generated the revolution. It is very fine to speed up industrial processes and create factories to make goods but if there is no market for these goods, then the factories will close. That is hard economics.

Once a market is created and there are enough people to sustain it, then there is demand. In order to satisfy that demand more goods must be made and a labour force will be required to work in the factories. The economy grows, wages rise and the factory owners become richer, this growing wealth fuels more demand.

Improvements in wages mean people are better fed and housed (creating more demand), healthier mothers mean healthier babies. The birth rate increases and mortality rate falls.

Economic growth and population growth did not exactly mirror each other, there was an inevitable lag between the two. The poor did not enjoy a suddenly more prosperous lifestyle but it was a gradual improvement.

Population England and Wales 1780

There is a great deal to think about when considering the Industrial Revolution.

Population levels though are critical to understanding what drove it, so that is why the population of England and Wales 1780 is such a significant topic, much hung on the next seventy years.

Find out more about the context of the Industrial Revolution, using a timeline showing the scientific and technological advances being made.





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