In lower civilizations the birth rate seems to be unaffected by the density of population - the women give birth to many children and the surplus are killed off, starved, or wiped out in other ways, as we see in China and India. On the other hand, in the highest civilizations, the birth rate is intensely sensitive to changes of density of population. This is illustrated in our own country where at first there was so much room for all, and such a sure existence for every one that there was no check on child-bearing, and very large families were the rule. Genealogical studies of Colonial American families show that the birth rate was small prior to leaving Great Britain, and immediately jumped to the enormous numbers in the families of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. "The immigration which formed the basis of our colonial population was very slight. The men who fought the Revolution and created the United States, were almost exclusively native. The population of New England, as is well known, was produced out of an immigration of not over 20,000, all of whom arrived before the year 1640. From 1640 until about 1820, a period of nearly 200 years, the growth of New England was by the child-bearing of the original and native stock. There was no immigration worth mentioning, but, on the contrary, an overflow into neighboring colonies, New York and the West. Franklin, writing in 1751, when the population of all the colonies was about 1,000,000, said that the immigration which had produced this number was generally believed to have been less than 80,000."* Mr. Fisher, Mr. Edward Jarvis and Gen. Francis Walker all showed that if this same rate of increase had been kept up our population would now be far greater than it is. They all believed that the great checking of the native birth rate was due to foreign immigration, which began to be noticeable in 1820.

* Prof. Richmond Mayo-Smith is quoted as saying that emigration depopulates Europe, and Hunter says: "Economic conditions abroad have not been bettered for the reason that an increased number of children have been born to fill the places left vacant by the emigrating millions. Neither has the poverty nor the congestion abroad been diminished by emigration".

"The rate of increase by births among the colonists had been remarkably rapid, and had astonished the people of Europe (where the rate was not far from four per cent, per decade). Franklin was the first to call the attention of learned men to this phenomenon. In some parts of the country the people, without the aid of immigration, doubled themselves in twenty-five or twenty-seven years; and there were traditions of particular localities in which the doubling had taken place within less than twenty years. No record of a like increase over such an extended territory could be found in the history of the civilized world." But then, there never was a like instance of civilized people finding an unoccupied land with proper climate. "After the Revolution the rate of increase was greater than ever - doubling every twenty-three years." In the United States the rate of doubling is now about forty-two years; in Norway it is fifty-one years; Austria, sixty-two years; England, sixty-three years; Sweden, eighty-nine years; Germany, ninety-eight years; France, 334 years.

* Sydney G. Fisher, Popular Science Monthly, December, 1895.

The fact that the birth rate is large in a newly settled country and gradually diminishes as that country grows older, is shown in the calculated birth rates of native families per 1,000 population according to States, in the 1900 census.

Utah...................... 63.1

Idaho..................... 48.3

Wisconsin.................. 41.2

Minnesota.................. 40.0

Texas..................... 38.7

North Dakota.............. 35.3

Louisiana.................. 35.8

West Virginia............... 33.9

Arizona.................... 36.8

Montana................... 32.2

New England............... 3.8

Illinois..................... 22.8

Iowa...................... 29.8

Missouri.................... 26.3

Nebraska................... 22.2

Kansas..................... 21.6

Indiana.................... 16.3

Michigan................... 19.3

Ohio....................... 12.9

Pennsylvania............... 14.0

New York.................. 8.9

Connecticut................. 1.8

The large Utah rate is partly due to polygamy. Most of the adults are prosperous, a condition which could only occur as a result of undersaturation. Polygamy will, therefore, necessarily disappear as Utah fills up.

Statistics brought forth by the pastors of the German Lutheran Church in Jersey City, show much lower birth rate in the oldest congregations, which are English speaking, than in the newer ones speaking German, and, the older the stock the less the birth rate. In a general way the same reduction of birth rate according to age of a country is seen in the following table of birth rates per 1,000 of foreigners in the United States, 1890-1900 (United States census):

North Dakota............... 92.1

Montana.................... 73.2

Minnesota.................. 53.4

Texas...................... 53.2

Arizona................... 52.5

Idaho...................... 50.8

Illinois..................... 43.9

Nebraska................... 43.7

Utah....................... 41.7

Michigan................... 40.1

Pennsylvania............... 36.8

New York.................. 36.6

Wisconsin.................. 34.5

Iowa....................... 31.0

Kansas.................... 30.0

West Virginia............... 25.2

Ohio....................... 21.9

Indiana.................... 19.4

Missouri.................... 17.1

Louisiana.................. 11.2

So that the general contention seems proved that birth rates diminish as lands fill up and there is no relief by famine, war or migration. Australia is also an example of a birth rate lessening as saturation is approached. It has but a small manufacturing class to buy the foods it exports, and it cannot support many people. Hence, its birth rate had to decline, but its public men do not know the reason. The statistics collected by Mr. Coghlan show that the fall in the birth rate in Australia and New Zealand, taken together, is such that there are annually fewer births by nearly 20,000 than would have occurred if the rates prevailing as late as ten years ago had been maintained.* New South Wales furnishes a striking example. A curious fact is that the decline was found in every class, among people of every shade of opinion, except among women of Irish birth. As the proportion of women of Irish birth is fast decreasing that element in maintenance of the birth rate will soon disappear. Large as is the area of the Australian continent Mr. Coghlan thinks it is impossible that its people will become truly great under the conditions affecting the increase of population which now exist. Immigration has practically ceased to be an important factor, the maintenance and increase of the population depending on the birth rate alone, a rate seriously diminished and still diminishing.