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The mean term of these eleven places would be 100 to 183; but the proportion which may be regarded as suitable for the whole population appears to me to be 100 : 170. In the United States of America, it is as 100 : 201.
It appears that on the high plain of the Cordil. lera the excess of births is greater than towards the coast, or in the very warm regions. What a difference between the villages of Calimaya and Yguala! At Panuco, where the climate is as hot as at Vera Cruz, although the mortal disease of black vomiting has never ye: been known there, the nu nber of births from 1793 to 1802 was 1224, and the number of deaths, 988; so that we have here the unfavourable proportion of 100 to 123. Hindostan and South America, particularly the province of Cumana, the coast of Coro, and the plains (llanos) of Caraccas, sufficiently prove that heat alone is not the cause of this great mortality. In climates very warm and at the same time very dry the human species enjoys a longevity perhaps greater than what we observe in the temperate zones. This is especially the case whenever the temperature and climate are excessively variable. The Europeans who transport themselves at an age somewhat advanced into the equinoxial part of the Spanish colonies attain there for the most part to a great and happy old age. At Vera Cruz, in the midst of the epidemical black vomitings, the na
tives and strangers seasoned for several years to the climate enjoy the most perfect health.
In general, the coasts and arid plains of equatorial America should be looked upon as healthy, notwithstanding the excessive heat of the sun, whose perpendicular rays are reflected by the soil. Individuals come to maturity, particularly those who approach to old age, have little to fear from these regions, of which the unhealthiness has been unjustifiably exaggerated. The chief mortality is among the children and young people, particularly in those parts, where the climate is at once very warm and very humid. Interınittent fevers prevail all along the coast from Alvarado to Tamia. gua, Tampico, and even to the plains of New Santander. The western declivity of the Cordillera of Mexico, and the shores of the South Sea, from Acapulco to the ports of Colima and San Blas, are equally unhealthy. We may compare this humid, fertile and unhealthy territory to the maritime part of the province of Caracas, from New Barcelona to Porto Cabello. Tertian fevers are the scourge of these countries, adorned by nature with the most vigorous vegetation, and rich in every useful production. This scourge is so much the more cruel, as the natives abandon in the most shocking manner all those who are affected. The children especially fall victims to this neglect of the Indians. In these hot and humid regions, the mortality is so great that the population makes no sensible progress; while in the cold regions of New Spain (and these regions compose the greatest part of the kingdom) the proportion of the births to the deaths is as 190 to 100, or even as 200 to 100.
The proportion of the births and deaths to the population is more difficult to estimate than even the proportion between the births and deaths. In countries where the laws tolerate only one religion, and where the priest (curé) draws a part of his revenues from the baptisms and burials, we may know exactly enough the excess of the births above the deaths; but the number which expresses the relation of the deaths to the whole population is affected by a part of the uncertainty which envelopes the population itself. In the town and territory of Queretaro, the population is reckoned at 70,600. if we divide this number by 5064 births and 2678 deaths, we shall find that for every fourteen persons one is born, and that for every twenty-six one dies. At Guanaxuato, including the adjacent mines of St. Anne and Marfil, in a population of 60,100, there are communibus annis (assuming the mean term of five years) 3998 births and 2011 deaths. For every fifteen, then, one is born, and every twenty-nine one dies. The rela- : tion of the births or deaths to the whole population is in Europe much less favourable to the augmentation of the species. In France, for example, the
births are as one to 28-3, and the deaths as one to 30,35. This is the precise result deduced by M. Peuchet from the tables of births, marriages, and deaths, drawn up in the year nine, in 98 departments, by order of the minister of the interior. Farther north, in the Prussian monarchy, there were in 1802, for nine millions of inhabitants, 436,616 births, and 282,109 deaths: hence the births are one in 20 and the deaths one in 32. But in Sweden, a country less favoured by nature, according to the tables of M. Nicunder, the most exact and extensive that were ever drawn up, the births are one in 30, and the deaths one in 39.
It appears, in general, that in the kingdom of New Spain the proportion of the births to the population is one in 17, and of the deaths one in 30. We may estimate the present number of births at nearly 350,000, and the deaths at 200,000. This excess of births in favourable circumstances, that is to say, in years without famine, epidemical smallpox, or mutlazahuutl, the most mortal disease of the Indians, is nearly 150,000. In general, we observe every where on the globe that the population augments with a prodigious rapidity in countries still thinly inhabited, with an eminently fertile soil, a soft and equal temperature, and particularly where there is a roi'ust race of men incited by nature to marriage at a very early age.
The parts of Europe in which cultivation only commenced in the last half of the past century
afford very striking examples of this excess of births. In West Prussia there were in 1784, in a population of 960,000 inhabitants, 27,134 births, and 15,669 deaths. These numbers give the proportion of births to deaths 36 to 20, or 180: 100, a proportion equally favourable with that of the Indian villages situated in the central plain of Mexico. In the Russian empire, in 1806, the births amounted to 1,961,134, and the deaths to 818,433. The same causes every wliere produce the same effects. The newer the cultivation of a country is, so much the easier is subsistence on a soil newly torn up, and consequently so much the more rapid the progress of population. To confirm this thesis, we have only to cast our eyes over the proportions of the births to the deaths in the following table. In France :
. = 110 : 100
120 : 100 Sweden
= 130 : 100 Finland
= 160 : 100 Russian empire
= 166 : 100 West Prussia . . = 180 : 100 Government of Tobolsk, ac
cording to M. Hermann = 210 : 100 Several places in the table ,
land of Mexico . = 230 : 100
* Essay on the principles of population, by M. Malthus, one of the most profound works in political economy which has ever appeared.