Population Change in Europe

Population Change in Europe
Historical background: until recently, European was bearly able to sustain itself (carrying capacity concept). Frequent famines, plagues etc. Ensure that population growth was slow before early modern period (say, mid-18th century). In 14th century (Black Death) population actually decreased by 25-33% in nearly all parts of Europe. In fact, pandemics of bubonic plague continued in various places until the 17th century (Italy 1657). In Ireland there were major outbreaks of famine and cholera until well into the 19th century. Modern rise of population begins after 1700s and is without precedent after 1740s. Rates of growth themselves increased until early 20th c. Essence: great and sustained fall in mortality high birth rates for sustained period Consequence: large excess of births over deaths during much of period 1750-1900, producing high natural increase. High out-migration (thus partially defeating Malthus? predictions) Peak: late 19c. With growth rates of 1 ? 1.5% p.a. Emigration started in north-east Europe and moved in wave towards south-east as effects of agricultural change (but there was no ?agricultural revolution?) and industrialisation were brought home.
Exception: France, where population growth was much less rapid than elsewhere, from early in the 19th c. French emigration was thus very low. Why? Changes in agriculture, transport, commerce, technology, urbanisation, social patterns, health and hygiene all improved ?standard of living? - but did they cause population rise?? Increases in productivity which Industrial Revolution made possible were essential as high population could not othewise have been sustained, but they did not cause population growth. Most likely cause: mortality change. First Stage (18th c.) not especially unique except for elimination of ?crisis? death rates brought about by famine and plague (such death rates were as high as 200/1000): worst rates were now 30/1000 or 40/1000. By 1900 this had dropped to 15 or 20/1000. Reasons: ? advances in medicine, public health (mention nursing and connection with warfare change after developing ?mass? wars of Napoleonic period), living conditions ? better transport ? helped to eliminate local food shortages ? improvement in diet However, death rate had already started to drop before these changes took place. Moreover the rise of agricultural output in England, for instance, did not keep pace in 19th c. with population increase ? food imports increased (1846 Corn Law Repeal). Food output increases seem to have been caused by, and not the cause of, population increase - e.g. acreage was increased. Abolition of commonage was often the only way to achieve ?improving? approaches to agricultural production. Elimination of ?crisis? death was general in 18th c. Europe ? but pop. growth rates as a result are arbitrary and different by region (see p. 40) ? .45% in France to almost 1% most places, to 3% in Hungary (Ireland also very high). However the continuation of increased population growth in 19th c. depended not on ?crisis? reduction but on further lowering of ?normal? death rate. This was best sustained in a society where changes in agriculture, commerce and industry were taking place. Best example: England. In this perspective, French population grew more slowly because the conditions to encourage more rapid growth did not exist. Societies where population increases exceeded growth of agricultural and commerical economy subsequently experienced increased mortality Hungary 1788-9, 1816-7, Bohemia (increase death rate 17890-1809) and, although not mentioned, Ireland. One may therefore argue that Malthus was not wrong. Geographical patterns of change (p. 40): nw Eur. First ? drop below 30-40/1000, followed by central, eastern, southern Europe. Sw, Eng first, France slower, then Au-H, Fin, Ger, NL, followed by med. countries. Major factor: infant mortality. Cultural factors; changes in average age of marriage, expectations of family size, age/sex selective migration patterns, birth control. Cultural change lagged behind economic change: hence big rise. One should also note differences in countries where conditions are otherwise similar e.g. Flemish/Waloon difference follow language cleavage. france: a unique case. Drop in birth rate (not fall in births) begins by 1770s. France did have industrial revolution but did not experience population growth. Obsession with natalité as a result. Sweden, England: high birth rates (35/1000 cbr) until 1870s. Then Germany, then rest of Europe (eve of WW1 e.e. states were>38/1000, med. and port. 32-35/1000). where did highest population growth occur?? Cities tended to grow faster than rural areas even though birth rates were lower and death rates higher. Main factor: rural-urban migration. Population did also increase in rural areas except France (hence 20th century concern with désertification). By final years of 19th c. rural population everywhere was in decline or static. Two industrialised, urban belts of high population density emerged (these were not totally new patterns). This is the origin of the modern ?banana and crescent?: the two major development zones in Europe. Zone 1 (banana) Southern UK, NL, Ruhr valley, Rhine valley, Strasburg, Stuttgart. Zone 2 (crescent) West-East: Northern France, Ruhr (intersecting Zone 1), eastwards to Carpathians ? elongated zone of mining and manufacturing and fertile ag. zones. Zone 3 (less prominent) Northern Italy Lesser Zones: South Wales, Glasgow-Edinburg axis, Hamburg, Zurich, Lyons, Madrid, Barcelona, Rome. Mention differentiation within ag. sector as well: e.g. market gardening and other high-intensity production in Paris basin and similar. Urbanisation was the over-riding factor. 1800 Europe had one city with 1m. inhabitants 23 with 100,000+ 1900 London 4m.+, Paris, Berlin, Vienna, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Hamburg. 135 cities of 100,000+. Total population of these cities: 5.5m. 1800 ? 46m. 1900. +2.2% p.a. compared to European average of 0.7% p.a. Key area: crossing point of two axes Rhine-Ruhr area. Dortmund, Essen, Duisberg, Dusseldorf +6% p.a. 36,000 1850 ? 1.2m 1870. 20th c. Urban and industrial growth during 18th c. And 19th c. Fixed broad outlines of population distribution in western Europe and these broad patterns have persisted. Core zone: as before. Reflect mineral deposits (coal and iron) and easy access to transportation. Populaton density>250p/km. However, important changes are now taking place in details of pop. distribution. Conditions which established earlier pattern are no longer the same. Communications and transport infrastructure and energy and resource bases are now quite different ? moreover, some of the traditional energy sources are gone. So have been government responses ? e.g French, Norwegian regional policies (technopoles and remote area subsidies) ? new possibilities open up. Dominance of traditional model is not inevitable. Demographic transition is now complete ? indeed we may be in a "second demographic transition". European population is static or in decline. Is this connected with lower rates of productivity and economic growth? No clear answer ? although Ireland at present is an interesting case in point it doesn?t prove any rule. We do not know at present what will be the long-term effect of an ageing society with few babies. My concern here is to explore spatial aspects of question. 19th century core is still there (one should not forget capital accumulation and the ?cultural? role still played by great cities as centres of consumption and cultural production). These core areas have continued to grow faster than rural areas. However, some expansion of core city concept to eastern/southern Europe. Rapid expansion also of Scandinavian cities after 1900 combined with decline in southern/western France ? northward shift in centre of gravity although this was more than offset for continent as a whole by med region changes. 1970 14 cities 1m.+ (3 a century earlier). 95m. (30%) Europeans lived in 292 cities of 100,000+. Changes: Absolute dominance of city. By first third of 20th c. more than half of Euroopean pop. lived in towns of 2,000+. North-east to south west again. 1975 ? in west, only Portugal had not reached this state. Ireland: population decline until 1961. France: 1830s saw pop. decline beginning in south and west (Massif Central, Pyrenees). Elsewhere absolute decline is recent (post WW2). Highlands and Islands, Wales, rural Scandinavia, frg n.e. borderlands, Italy, central Iberia etc. Often over short distances ? nearby towns etc. 1960s ? growth of largest w.e. cities has slowed. Medium-sized provincial towns are enjoyed renewal (Limerick?). Upper/middle classes moving to suburbs and small towns (home counties of UK). Effect of automobiles on cityscapes. Selective decline of certain industrial areas ? s. Wales, n.e. Britain, Belgium. Hence shift from cap to erdf, esf etc. National and EU policy try to halt this drift ? limited success. Migration to cover labour deficits also important ? D, CH etc. General trends of population distribution (as said above, and in spite of two wars) have not changed greatly. Main factor behind all this has been the move from primary to secondary sectors. Growth now in tertiary (services) sector, with new possibilities of distance-free economic activity, offer new horizons. Lower overheads and wage costs may bring change. Examples: out-sourcing by American firms in Ukraine, rural Ireland; counter-urban migration; EU Structural Policy including transport and telecoms infrastructure; ex-urban shopping malls; "edge cities".

Population Change in Europe 8.5 of 10 on the basis of 4359 Review.