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According to the returns of the Calcutta census of January 1872,
the number of children not exceeding one year of age is as follows:—
Analysis of the figures.
In examining these figures it will be observed that the male births invariably preponderate; thus—
54 5 per cent, of the births reported are males. 48-4
56"8 „ of children under one year of age are males
If we carry on our analysis into the great divisions of the population we find that of Christians—
,, the census of January 1872 .
We find that of Hindoos—
„ the census of January 1872
We find that of Mussulmans—
■ In 1871 ... ... ... 65-4 per cent-of the births reported are males.
„ 1872 ... 544
„ the census of January 1872 ... 75'3 „ of children under one year of age
And that of others in which are included Chinese, Jews, Parsees, &o.—
In 1871 ... ... ... 42'9 per cent, of the births reported are males.
1872 ... ... ... 33*3 „ (i H ii
„ the census of January 1872 ... 75 0 „ of children under one year of age
53-5 per cent, of the births reported are i
50'8 „ of children under one year of ago
Proceeding to another point, and limiting ourselves to the two principal classes of the community, it may he noted that of the whole population of Calcutta according to the late census—
65 0 per cent, are Hindoos.
And that this percentage is almost exactly maintained among the population from twelve years to forty years of age (Hindoos 61-7 per cent., Mussulmans 309 per cent.), within which limits all the people who get children may be said to fall.
But according to the record of births, while—
In 1871 ... ... 66'3 per cent, of the whole are Hindoos.
„ 1*72 66-9
,, 1871 only ... 23'4 „ „ „ Mussulmans,
and „ 1872 ... ... 23 8 „ „ „ „
In the census also of January 1872 no less than 70 2 per cent, of children not exceeding one year of age are Hindoos, while only 203 per cent are Mussulmans.
Applying, moreover, one more test, and contrasting the census with the vital returns, we find that the census gives 714 Christian children under one year of age to 523 births reported in the previous year; 5,555 Hindoo children to 3,427 births; 1,612 Mahomedan children to 1,212 births; and 28 children of other classes to 7 births. The total number of children under one year of age according to the census of January 1872 is 7,909; the total number of births reported by the Municipality in the previous year is only 5,169.
Lastly it would appear that for the past four years the number of births recorded is on the steady decrease, and that in the last year, 1872, the decrease is enormous; the total number in each class of the community being smaller than it has been in any year since these figures began to be collected.
The general result of these calculations show that the birth statistics of the Calcutta Municipality are ac£ratUe"" birth tMiMe* VhM7 untrustworthy. The consistent and
large preponderance of male over female births is full of suspicion and throws discredit on the whole. It can admit of no satisfactory explanation. The preponderance is most marked in the case of Mussulmans. The inconsistencies of the birth statistics with the census returns are fatal to the accuracy of the former. They show plainly that a large proportion ef births, and in particular of Mahomedan births, are suppressed. At the same time some conspicuous blunders in the census are made apparent. Many girl-babies have evidently not been entered in the census, and among Mahomedans at least 25 per cent, have not been entered. The returns of boy-babies may perhaps be trusted.
The Municipality registers show only four or five thousand births in Calcutta per annum; if the returns were accurate, it is estimated that they would show about eight or nine thousand.
Last year's report set out with considerable fullness the defects in
the system of emigration and the meaEmomixiw To The ooio.ro. sureg taken to remedy thege ^ go faf
as lay in the power of this Government. Emigration has this year been very active, and on the whole conducted on more satisfactory terms.
The principal features in the returns are the great increase in „ ,, . . the number of emigrants despatched
Despatch of emigrants in 1871-72. ij.i_wM.-i i • j _i u
to the British colonies, and the addition, by convention made with Her Majesty's Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, of the Dutch colony of Surinam to the places which draw upon India for agricultural labour. During the years 1870-71 and 1871-72 the annual despatch of emigrants was but little over 8,000. In the past year it rose to 17,171; Demarara alone taking 6,087, Mauritius 5,262, Trinidad 3,850, Jamaica 1,562, and Surinam 410. These figures represent the number of souls embarked. Simultaneously with this development of emigration the terms offered by the colonies to their imported labourers have been put upon a clearer and surer basis than heretofore, a minimum rate of wages being now provided by law in nearly all cases. St. Vincent offering lower terms than any other colony, and guaranteeing no minimum rate of wages, was unable to get labour. As regards Surinam the terms offered are fair enough, following as closely as possible those provided for British Guiana.
Of course with such an increased demand for labour, the number Recruiter! °^ recruiters has been largely in
''' creased, viz. from 171 to 258. The
system of preliminary inquiry into character before granting license insisted on by the Lieutenant-Governor has resulted in fewer cases of cancelment for misbehaviour, only nine in all being reported during the year. His Honor is nevertheless far from being satisfied that the recruiters as a class are under proper control, or are generally a reliable body of men. It is believed, however, that the Emigration Agents are now themselves impressed with the necessity of getting more trustworthy servants, and it may be hoped that through their co-operation, and with some amendment of the Emigration Act (VII of 1871), a greatly improved state of things will be possible.
The great majority of the emigrants come from the North-West .. ... . . Provinces, Oudh, and Central India.
A ationahty of emigrants. i „ r- r> J \ i 11 i i
12,594 ot the whole number despatched having been recruited there. Behar comes next, sending 3,412; while Bengal Proper only contributed 925, and of these most were picked up in Calcutta or its neighbourhood. The whole of Eastern Bengal sent only 40 emigrants into the dep6ts. The classes who emigrate stood thus as to numbers (souls, not statute adults,) :—
(Brahmins and high castes ... ... ... 2,521
£rm! ::: ::: ::: tffi
(.Low castes ... ... ... ... 5,309
Mussulmans ... ... ... ... ... 2,910
Christians ... ... ... ... ... 8
The successful results of the voyage to Demarara under steam have „ . , led the Lieutenant-Governor to pro
Vovages under steam. ,, . i iir,
pose that no restriction should be placed on full-powered steamers as to the time of year at which they may take emigrants. So far the experiment shows that the voyage may be made by them in half the time taken hy sailing vessels and with very little mortality. In some of the voyages by sailing ships this year the mortality was excessive, while it is much feared that one ship which sailed in January has been lost with all hands; but the complete returns for 1872-73 have not yet heen received.
The figures for 1871-72 were received after last year's report was
Mortality in depot and on voyage. published. The following is a State
ment showing the mortality among coolies in dep6t, the average time of detention in depot, the mortality on the voyage, and the average duration of voyage, during the years from 1869 to 1872.