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Population Growth Essay

630 words - 3 pages

In the eighteenth century, population growth in Europe skyrocketed. Until the 1700s the population was growing gradually at a rate of 0.5 to 1. However, due to famine, epidemic disease, and war in many years, prior to the 1700s, the birth rate was lower than the death rate. The rapid population increase had several different causes; the most influential causes were that more babies were being born, sanitation of water and sewage were better cared for, and less people were.
During the eighteenth century more opportunities for rural employment were available. These opportunities allowed women to marry younger and begin having children at a younger age (McKay 559). This allowed women to have more children for two reasons. First, women were able to have more kids before they got ‘old’ because they began having children earlier. Second, women were beginning to obtain some form of work, even if it was just for their husbands (561). This meant that they were either bringing very little, but still some, extra money or they were saving money for their husbands who now had one less worker to hire. This extra money would allow families to raise more children without significantly greater financial burdens. Additionally, the children would work at young ages; so, eventually it would be very beneficial to have more children who would be able to bring some income into the family (Sherman 227). Population growth begins with babies, so naturally the increase of babies being born would cause a more rapid growth in the population.
Surprisingly, advances in medical knowledge did not play as large of a part in the population boost as sanitation did. Sanitation and improvements in water supply and sewage systems contributed tremendously to the rapid increase of the populations. The sanitation of sewage systems and water supply helped reduce diseases such as typhus and typhoid (McKay 559). These improvements also helped prevent the spread of disease by...

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