British Population in the Twentieth Century by N.L. Tranter

By N.L. Tranter

Some of the most extraordinary beneficial properties of the demography of 20th century Britain and its constituent international locations has been the patience of charges of inhabitants development a ways below these of the 19th century. via the Nineteen Eighties even absolutely the measurement of the inhabitants had began to say no. Why has this occurred? And why have falling premiums of inhabitants progress been observed via both dramatic alterations within the geography of human place of abode? In an try to resolution those questions, the booklet lines the evolution of developments in degrees of fertility, mortality and migration and considers the character of the forces chargeable for those traits.

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It was one of the legacies of its Empire and of the unusually high dependence of its economy on international trade and investment that Britain was more prone to immigration from a wider mix of races and countries than most. In spite of its attractiveness to immigrants mainland Britain and each of its constituent countries have invariably lost more people to emigration than they have gained by immigration. In the case of England net migration has been more or less continuously unfavourable since at least the middle of the sixteenth century.

3 Before the 1920s most Scottish emigrants went overseas rather than to other parts of the United Kingdom. During the interwar period this pattern was reversed, more than four-fifths of the net outflow, initially at least, departing for United Kingdom destinations. Mter the Second World War a preference for overseas destinations reemerged and the number of Scottish emigrants going to other parts of the United Kingdom declined to between a third and a half of the total. 4 Until well into the twentieth century rates of population growth within the different regions and settlement types of each country on the British mainland were also determined chiefly by the behaviour of natural increase.

By the 1980s, however, the volume of Irish immigration once more increased and the traditional net inflow of Irish to mainland Britain reasserted itself. 20 Although relatively high levels of immigration in the 1950s and early 1960s owed much to growing numbers of coloured immigrants from the West Indies and the Indian sub-continent, they also owed a good deal to increasing levels of white immigration from countries outside the Caribbean, the New Commonwealth and Pakistan. Even excluding immigrants from the Irish Republic, as early as 1966 only 12 per cent of all United Kingdom immigrants came from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka and fewer than 7 per cent from the Caribbean.

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