In Chapters 3 and 4 we looked at the history of population. First we noted the sustained increase in overall numbers and identified changes in the practice of marriage — most notably more universal and younger marriage — as the key mechanism by which this growth was achieved. In Chapter 4, though, we noted that many parts of Britain were not, in fact, able to maintain their expanding population and also noted that sustained demographic growth was accompanied by high levels of movement from some parts of the country to others. This chapter will look at the population once again, but consider the evidence from a new angle. We suggested in Chapter 4 that population drift was caused by different employment opportunities and, in particular, by the expansion of opportunities in some of the newly industrialising, coalfield districts. If this was indeed so, we should expect the employment profile of the country to gradually shift, reflecting the movement of labour out of farming and into urban, industrial employment instead. It is possible to consider this proposition more fully by looking in detail at patterns of employment, and the ways in which they changed throughout this period.
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