Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 60.djvu/115

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107
IMPORTANCE OF STATISTICAL IDEAS.

ropean countries and of peoples of European origin during the century just passed, especially the increase of the English people and of the United States, along with the comparative stationariness of the population of one or two of the countries, particularly France, at the same time. The growth all round is from about 170 millions at the beginning of the century to about 510 millions (excluding South American countries and Mexico); while the growth of the United States alone is from a little over 5 to nearly 80 millions, and of the English population of the British Empire from about 15 to 55 millions. Germany and Russia also show remarkable growth, from 20 to 55 millions in the one case and from 40 to 135 millions in the other—partly due to annexation; but the growth of France is no more than from 25 to 40 millions. Without discussing it, we may understand that the economic growth is equally if not more remarkable. The effect necessarily is to assure the preponderance of European peoples among the races of the world—to put aside completely, for instance, the nightmares of yellow or black perils arising from the supposed overwhelming mass of yellow or black races, these races by comparison being stationary or nearly so. The increase of population being continuous, unless some startling change occurs before long, each year only makes European preponderance more secure. Equally it follows that the relative position of the English Empire, the United States, Russia and Germany has become such as to make them exclusively the great world powers, although France, for economic reasons, notwithstanding the stationariness of its population, may still be classed amongst them. When one thinks what international politics were only a hundred years ago—how supreme France then appeared; how important were Austria, Italy, Spain, and even countries like Holland, Denmark and Sweden—we may surely recognize that with a comparatively new United States on the stage, and with powers like Russia and Germany come to the front, the world is all changed politically as well as economically, and that new passions and new rivalries have to be considered.

The figures also suggest that for some time at least the movements going on must accentuate the change that has occurred. According to the latest figures, there is no sign that either in France or any other European country which has been comparatively stationary has any growth of population commenced which will reverse the change, while a large increase of population goes on in the leading countries named. This increase, it is alleged, is going on at a diminishing rate—a point to be discussed afterwards—but in the next generation or two there is practically no doubt that the United States will be a larger international factor than it is, both absolutely and relatively, and that Russia, Germany and the English people of the British Empire will also grow, though not in such a way, apparently, as to prevent the greater relative