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XXI.—Summary of the last Census of Switzerland. By Prof. Paul Chaix, of Geneva, Corresp. F.r.g.s.
Addressed to and communicated by the Secretabt.
A Census has been taken of the population of Switzerland, the result of which gives 888,800 Catholics, 1,300,338 Protestants, about 2900 Jews—in all 2,190,258 inhabitants; of these 55,000 were foreigners, or ^ of the whole population. Several of the cantons have since published new accounts of their population; but a general census was never made until the month of March, 1850.
Extent, 1748 square leagues (the Swiss league is 4800 metres long), or 730 German square miles of 15 to a degree, or 2030 French square leagues of 25 to a degree, or 11,695 geographical square miles of 60 to a degree.
The largest cantons are Grisons, 301 square leagues (Swiss); Bern, 294 square leagues; Valais, 192; Vaud, 145; Ticino, 128; and St. Gall, 87.
The smallest are, Zug, 10; Geneva, 12; Schaff hausen, 13; and Appenzell, 18 square leagues (Swiss).
Proportion of Sexes.—It is a fact known by all statists that, on account of the greater mortality of males, the total number of females in a census is greater than that of the males. In England the proportion was 106 females to 100 males in the census taken in 1841. There does net exist in Switzerland so great a surplus of females, the proportion being 102 to 100 males; they would even be brought to equal numbers if an exact table of the absentees were procured, and added to the actual number of inhabitants. It is only in the cantons of Vaud, Bale-Campagne, Valais, and Bern, that the number of women is inferior to that of the men; an unexpected result, as a numerous military emigration takes place to Naples and other Italian states. In the other three cantons the result is caused by the absence of many girls who enter domestic service in the larger cities of Basel (Bale), Geneva, and Neuch&tel: from which it is obvious that for the same reasons the census in the latter cantons shows a proportion of 110 women to 100 men. That proportion is even 111J to 100 in the aggregate cantons of Grisons and Ticino, on account of the number of absentees, 16,801 men against 5250 women. In the cities the numbers are most unequal, Geneva having 15,664 women to 13,441 men; Zurich, 8855 women to 8185 men; Friburg, 4804 women to 4261 men; and Soleure, 2997 women to 2373 men.
Family Condition.—While the number of married people is to the whole population as 31 to 100, the two largest cities, Basel and Geneva (both Protestant), show very different proportions, there being ^jj, in Geneva, while there are & only in Basel. The most hilly cantons (all Catholics) have a much smaller proportion of married inhabitants: Lucerne jfc, Zug Friburg This may be taken as the result of Catholicism and not of poverty, as the proportion is $ in Glaris, a canton placed under the same circumstances, but a Protestant one.
Political Condition.—Vagrant paupers or vagabonds have no claim to citizenship, are a great burden, and are often ejected from one territory to another.
The cantons had been directed to give an account of the number of political refugees living in their territory, but very few answered the call—some because they were not afflicted with that plague; others from reasons better known to their political leaders; while some of the accounts forwarded may be considered as flagrant forgeries (Geneva, for example, only 79).
Increase of Population.—The cantons where the rate of increase is the slowest are Glaris and Ticino, where it is checked by large emigrations. Those In which the increase is most rapid are the following, which I give, together with the probable number of years in which the population may be doubled:—Basel, the city, 44 years; Neuchatel, 47; B&le-Campagne, 58; Appenzell, Inner Rhoden, 62; Zug, 67; Bern, 70; for the whole Confederation, 97 years; while in England the period would be 78; and in France, 118.
The laws affecting population, such as births and deaths, have been but partially studied, many cantons having long been under monkish rule, and very averse to anything like statistics. They have been the subject of a very clever paper, published a few years ago, on the population of Geneva, by Judge E. Mallet. It showed that in the city of Geneva the mean probable duration of life was 40T68 years at the age of 15; 37 • 5 years at the age of 20; 31 ■ 7 years at the age of 30; 28-8 years at the age of 40; 18 ■ 3 at the age of 50; 12*6 years at the age of 60; 8-3 years at 70; 5 ■ 2 years at 80; 3*7 years at 90; and 2' 1 years at the age of 95: a pretty good proof of longevity, and superior (from the age of 80 upwards) to that in the more healthy canton of Vaud.
In the absence of more extensive materials, Mr. Franscini has made a total of 312,545 births, and 247,622 deaths, collected, I regret to say, from very limited periods, in the etat-civil of 7 cantons (Thurgovia, St. Gall, Zurich, Solcure, Bern, Neuchatel, and Geneva), and exclusive of 8676 still-bam; which gives 127 births to 100 deaths. He has also, from a sum of 392,015 deaths collected in various cantons, made a table of mortality calculated on the number of 10,000-births.
Number of Survivors at the end of the
[See Table, pp. 316, 317.]
Emigration.—This is not exactly known for the whole Confederation. The Protestant emigration is chiefly directed to the States of Illinois, Ohio, and Missouri, while the Catholics have formed settlements in Brazil and Algiers. From official accounts 919 persons, or J'j part of the population, left the canton of Glaris in the 2 years 1845 and 1846. The mean annual emigration from the Grisons is 5J5 of the population; ^ in St. Gall; j.)8 in Bern; ^ in Argovia. The number is not exactly known for Bern; 9345, which I have inscribed for the absentees from that canton, being the result of returns of but the half of the parish, the other having made no returns. Some people think it might have reached double that number.
Foreigners.—The number of foreigners was, in 1837, 55,000, or^\ of the population; from the last census it is 68,941 according to Mr. Franscini, and 70,804 according to my own observation, which is an increase from to jj, of the population. It may be thought curious that there should be a difference of 1863 between us on such a matter-of-fact subject. My account is the sum of all the returns made by several cantons; they do not agree in one single case with those given by Mr. Franscini, chief of the Home department of the Confederation. How it happens that these numbers have all been reduced by going through the offices of our federal administration, is still more difficult to understand, than their silence respecting the number of political refugees in our country.
Beligion.—The difference between the two religions is exactly the same now as it was in 1837, viz., Catholics 40^, per cent., Protestants 59T*5 per cent, of the whole population; but the distribution has undergone important changes in the several cantons: thus, while the Protestants have undergone no increase in the Grisons, and a trifling one in Vaud and Neuchatel, the Catholics, compared with what they were 14 years ago, are now 7 times more numerous in Zurich, times in Bale, 5 times in Schaffhausen, double in Vaud and Neuchatel. In the Grisons they have increased from 32,455 to 38,039; in Geneva, from 22,000 to 29,764; while in this last canton the Protestant population has decreased from 36,666 to 34,212. Here the country is deserted by the old Protestant stock of the children of the land, disgusted with the present state of things; on the other hand, the gap is filled by the admission of numerous batches of Catholic foreigners to the rights of citizens. Judge Mallet has besides made it obvious, that without the large ijiflux of Catholic foreigners the city of Calvin is doomed to contain, in a given number of years, a majority of Catholics, as, by earlier and more improvident marriages, the average result of each marriage is 4 children for the Catholics, and less than 3 for the Protestant population. By a similar process (the result of an isolated position), the city of Basel, another stronghold of Protestantism, is threatened with a change of population.
Jews are not yet allowed to reside in most of the Catholic cantons, and I even remember the time when their children could not be admitted into our public schools without much trouble.
Population of Towns.—In Basel, a city of great extent, it was only 15,040 in 1779, 14,778 in 1780, 16,674 in 1815, 21,219 in 1835, 22,199 in 1837, and was 27,313 in 1850. St. Gall had 8118 inhabitants in 1809; industry has made it 9430 in 1836, and 11,234 in 1850. Zurich, for the same reason, has advanced from 6439 in 1743, 8222 in 1792, and 6111 in 1810. to 8339 in 1836, 14,243 in 1837, and 17,040 in 1850. The population of Bern was only 11,191 in 1785, 16,378 in 1809, 22,422 in 1837, 25,158 in 1848, and 27,558 in 1850. La Chaux-de-Fonds, in the mountains of Neuchatel, is another town raised by industry from 2643 inhabitants, in 1764, to 5703 in 1824, 6404 in 1830, 8481 in 1836, 11,713 in 1848, and 12,638 in 1850. That industry has spread to other parts of the same canton, such as the Vale of Travers, the Vale of Ruz, and especially the town of Le Locle. By the census of 1848 it was found there were 363 jewellers and 9067 watchmakers in the whole canton; and, in the following year, 195,795 watches were entered and assayed in the special offices. Although Lausanne is not a place of trade, its population has also risen from 8818 in 1798, to 14,126 in 1828, and 15,007 in 1836 (out-parishes included); it was 14,500 in 1850, besides 8136 in the out-parishes or banlieue. In Geneva the increase has been slower: in 1693, 16,111 inhabitants; in 1698, 16,934; in 1721, 20,781; in 1781, 24,810; in 1789, 26,140; in 1812 Napoleon rule had lowered it to 24,158; in 1822, 24,886; again, in 1828, 26,121; in 1834, 27,177; in 1837, 28,003; in 1843, 29,189. Then came the revolution of 1846, which put a stop to the increase, the population having been found to be 29,108 in 1850 within the walls. But a political measure decreed the levelling of the fortifications, and the addition of about 2000 inhabitants of suburban population, besides two other suburbs left outside; total, 36,618. The Catholic population is now 8717 only within the walls, having increased more than two-fold in 7 years, while the Protestant Genevese population is reduced to 13,398.
Before I dismiss the subject I am compelled to point out to you, Sir, numerous discrepancies :—1st. The sums of the populations under the heads of Sexes and Family Condition agree well together, but they do not agree with the sums given under their Political and Religious Condition. The so-called official figures, given by the member of the federal Home department, do not agree with the so-called official returns which 1 had before collected from most of the cantons,