An Essay on the Principle of Population
By Thomas Robert Malthus
There are two versions of Thomas Robert Malthus’s
Essay on the Principle of Population. The first, published anonymously in 1798, was so successful that Malthus soon elaborated on it under his real name.
* The rewrite, culminating in the sixth edition of 1826, was a scholarly expansion and generalization of the first.Following his success with his work on population, Malthus published often from his economics position on the faculty at the East India College at Haileybury. He was not only respected in his time by contemporaneous intellectuals for his clarity of thought and willingness to focus on the evidence at hand, but he was also an engaging writer capable of presenting logical and mathematical concepts succinctly and clearly. In addition to writing principles texts and articles on timely topics such as the corn laws, he wrote in many venues summarizing his initial works on population, including a summary essay in the
Encyclopædia Britannica on population.The first and sixth editions are presented on Econlib in full. Minor corrections of punctuation, obvious spelling errors, and some footnote clarifications are the only substantive changes.* Malthus’s “real name” may have been Thomas Robert Malthus, but a descendent, Nigel Malthus, reports that his family says he did not use the name Thomas and was known to friends and colleagues as Bob. See
The Malthus Homepage, a site maintained by Nigel Malthus, a descendent.For more information on Malthus’s life and works, see
New School Profiles: Thomas Robert Malthus and
The International Society of Malthus.Lauren Landsburg
Editor, Library of Economics and Liberty
First Pub. Date
London: John Murray
The text of this edition is in the public domain. Picture of Malthus courtesy of The Warren J. Samuels Portrait Collection at Duke University.
- Chapter I
- Chapter II
- Chapter III
- Chapter IV
- Chapter V
- Chapter VI
- Chapter VII
- Chapter VIII
- Chapter IX
- Chapter X
- Chapter XI
- Chapter XII
- Chapter XIII
- Chapter XIV
- Bk.II,Ch.XI, On the Fruitfulness of Marriages
- Appendix I
- Appendix II
Of the Checks to Population in China and Japan.
Book I, Chapter XII
The account, which has lately been given of the population of China, is so extraordinary as to startle the faith of many readers, and tempt them to suppose, either that some accidental error must have crept into the calculations from an ignorance of the language; or that the mandarin, who gave Sir George Staunton the information, must have been prompted by a national pride, (which is common every where, but particularly remarkable in China,) to exaggerate the power and resources of his country. It must be allowed that neither of these circumstances is very improbable; at the same time it will be found that the statement of Sir George Staunton does not very essentially differ from other accounts of good authority: and, so far from involving any contradiction, is rendered probable by a reference to those descriptions of the fertility of China, in which all the writers who have visited the country agree.
According to Duhalde, in the poll made at the beginning of the reign of Kang-hi, there were found 11,052,872 families, and 59,788,364 men able to bear arms; and yet neither the princes, nor the officers of the court, nor the mandarins, nor the soldiers who had served and been discharged; nor the literati, the licentiates, the doctors, the bonzas, nor young persons under twenty years of age, nor the great multitudes living either on the sea or on rivers in barks, are comprehended in this number.
The proportion, which the number of men of a military age bears to the whole population of any country, is generally estimated as l to 4. If we multiply 59,788,364 by 4, the result will be 239,153,456; but in the general calculations on this subject, a youth is considered as capable of bearing arms before he is twenty. We ought therefore to have multiplied by a higher number. The exceptions to the poll seem to include almost all the superior classes of society, and a very great number among the lower. When all these circumstances are taken into consideration, the whole population, according to Duhalde, will not appear to fall very short of the 333,000,000 mentioned by Sir George Staunton.
The small number of families in proportion to the number of persons able to bear arms, which is a striking part of this statement of Duhalde, is accounted for by a custom noticed by Sir George Staunton as general in China. In the enclosure belonging to one dwelling, he observes that a whole family of three generations, with all their respective wives and children, will frequently be found. One small room is made to serve for the individuals of each family, sleeping in different beds, divided only by mats hanging from the ceiling. One common room is used for eating.
*94 In China there is besides a prodigious number of slaves,
*95 who will of course be reckoned as part of the families to which they belong. These two circumstances may perhaps be sufficient to account for what at first appears to be a contradiction in the statement.
To account for this population, it will not be necessary to recur to the supposition of Montesquieu, that the climate of China is in any peculiar manner favourable to the production of children, and that the women are more prolific than in any other part of the world.
*96 The causes which have principally contributed to produce this effect appear to be the following:
First, the excellence of the natural soil, and its advantageous position in the warmest parts of the temperate zone, a situation the most favourable to the productions of the earth. Duhalde has a long chapter on the plenty which reigns in China, in which he observes, that almost all that other kingdoms afford may be found in China; and that China produces an infinite number of things, which are to be found nowhere else. This plenty, he says, may be attributed as well to the depth of the soil, as to the painful industry of its inhabitants, and the great number of lakes, rivers, brooks and canals, wherewith the country is watered.
Secondly, the very great encouragement that from the beginning of the monarchy has been given to agriculture, which has directed the labours of the people to the production of the greatest possible quantity of human subsistence. Duhalde says, that what makes these people undergo such incredible fatigues in cultivating the earth is not barely their private interest, but rather the veneration paid to agriculture, and the esteem which the emperors themselves have always had for it, from the commencement of the monarchy. One emperor of the highest reputation was taken from the plough to sit on the throne. Another found out the art of draining water from several low countries, which were till then covered with it, of conveying it in canals to the sea, and of using these canals to render the soil fruitful.
*98 He besides wrote several books on the manner of cultivating land, by dunging, tilling and, watering it. Many other emperors expressed their zeal for this art and made laws to promote it; but none raised its esteem to a higher pitch than Ven-ti, who reigned 179 years before Christ. This prince, perceiving that his country was ruined by wars, resolved to engage his subjects to cultivate their lands, by the example of ploughing with his own hands the land belonging to his palace, which obliged all the ministers and great men of his court to do the same.
A great festival, of which this is thought to be the origin, is solemnized every year in all the cities of China on the day that the sun enters the fifteenth degree of Aquarius, which the Chinese consider as the beginning of their spring. The emperor goes himself in a solemn manner to plough a few ridges of land, in order to animate the husbandman by his own example; and the mandarins of every city perform the same ceremony.
*100 Princes of the blood and other illustrious persons hold the plough after the emperor, and the ceremony is preceded by the spring sacrifice, which the emperor as chief pontiff offers to Shangti, to procure plenty in favour of his people.
The reigning emperor in the time of Duhalde celebrated this festival with extraordinary solemnity, and in other respects shewed an uncommon regard for husbandmen. To encourage them in their labours, he ordered the governors of all the cities to send him notice every year of the person in this profession, in their respective districts, who was most remarkable for his application to agriculture, for unblemished reputation, for preserving union in his own family, and peace with his neighbours, and for his frugality, and aversion to all extravagance.
*101 The mandarins in their different provinces encourage with honours the vigilant cultivator, and stigmatize with disgrace the man whose lands are neglected.
In a country, in which the whole of the government is of the patriarchal kind, and the emperor is venerated as the father of his people and the fountain of instruction, it is natural to suppose, that these high honours paid to agriculture would have a powerful effect. In the gradations of rank, they have raised the husbandman above the merchant or mechanic;
*103 and the great object of ambition among the lower classes is to become possessed of a small portion of land. The number of manufacturers bears but a very inconsiderable proportion to that of husbandmen in China;
*104 and the whole surface of the empire is, with trifling exceptions, dedicated to the production of food for man alone. There is no meadow, and very little pasture; neither are the fields cultivated in oats, beans or turnips, for the support of cattle of any kind. Little land is taken up for roads, which are few and narrow, the chief communication, being by water. There are no commons or lands suffered to lie waste by the neglect or the caprice or for the sport of great proprietors. No arable land lies fallow. The soil, under a hot and fertilizing sun, yields annually in most instances double crops; in consequence of adapting the culture to the soil, and of supplying its defects by mixture with other earths, by manure, by irrigation and by careful and judicious industry of every kind. The labour of man is little diverted from that industry, to minister to the luxuries of the opulent and powerful, or in employments of no real use. Even the soldiers of the Chinese army, except during the short intervals of the guards which they are called upon to mount, or the exercises or other occasional services which they perform, are mostly employed in agriculture. The quantity of subsistence is increased also by converting more species of animals and vegetables to that purpose, than is usual in other countries.
This account, which is given by Sir George Staunton, is confirmed by Duhalde and the other Jesuits; who agree in describing the persevering industry of the Chinese, in manuring, cultivating and watering their lands, and their success in producing a prodigious quantity of human subsistence.
*106 The effect of such a system of agriculture on population must be obvious.
Lastly, the extraordinary encouragements that have been given to marriage, which have caused the immense produce of the country to be divided into very small shares, and have consequently rendered China more populous, in proportion to its means of subsistence, than perhaps any other country in the world.
The Chinese acknowledge two ends in marriage;
*107 the first is, that of perpetuating the sacrifices in the temple of their fathers; and the second, the multiplication of the species. Duhalde says, that the veneration and submission of children to parents, which is the grand principle of their political government, continues even after death, and that the same duties are paid to them as if they were living. In consequence of these maxims, a father feels some sort of dishonour, and is not easy in his mind, if he do not marry off all his children; and an elder brother, though he inherit nothing from his father, must bring up the younger children and marry them, lest the family should become extinct, and the ancestors be deprived of the honours and duties they are entitled to from their descendants.
Sir George Staunton observes that whatever is strongly recommended, and generally practised, is at length considered as a kind of religious duty; and that the marriage union as such takes place in China, wherever there is the least prospect of subsistence for a future family. This prospect however is not always realized, and the children are then abandoned by the wretched authors of their being;
*109 but even this permission given to parents thus to expose their offspring tends undoubtedly to facilitate marriage, and encourage population. Contemplating this extreme resource beforehand, less fear is entertained of entering into the married state; and the parental feelings will always step forwards, to prevent a recurrence to it, except under the most dire necessity. Marriage with the poor is besides a measure of prudence, because the children, particularly the sons, are bound to maintain their parents.
The effect of these encouragements to marriage among the rich, is to subdivide property, which has in itself a strong tendency to promote population. In China there is less inequality in the fortunes than in the conditions of men. Property in land has been divided into very moderate parcels, by the successive distribution of the possessions of every father equally among his sons. It rarely happens that there is but one son to enjoy the whole property of his deceased parents; and from the general prevalence of early marriages, this property is not often increased by collateral succession.
*111 These causes constantly tend to level wealth; and few succeed to such an accumulation of it, as to render them independent of any efforts of their own for its increase. It is a common remark among the Chinese, that fortunes seldom continue considerable in the same family beyond the third generation.
The effect of encouragements to marriage on the poor is to keep the reward of labour as low as possible, and consequently to press them down to the most abject state of poverty. Sir George Staunton observes, that the price of labour is generally found to bear as small a proportion every where to the rate demanded for provisions, as the common people can suffer; and that, notwithstanding the advantage of living together in large families, like soldiers in a mess, and the exercise of the greatest economy in the management of these messes, they are reduced to the use of vegetable food, with a very rare and scanty relish of any animal substance.
Duhalde, after describing the painful industry of the Chinese, and the shifts and contrivances unknown in other countries, to which they have recourse in order to gain a subsistence, says, “Yet it must be owned, that, notwithstanding the great sobriety and industry of the inhabitants of China, the prodigious number of them occasions a great deal of misery. There are some so poor that, being unable to supply their children with common necessaries, they expose them in the streets.” **** “In the great cities, such as Pekin and Canton, this shocking sight is very common.”
The Jesuit Premare, writing to a friend of the same society, says, “I will tell you a fact, which may appear to be a paradox,
*115 but is nevertheless strictly true. It is, that the richest and most flourishing empire of the world is notwithstanding, in one sense, the poorest and the most miserable of all. The country, however extensive and fertile it may be, is not sufficient to support its inhabitants. Four times as much territory would be necessary to place them at their ease. In Canton alone, there is, without exaggeration, more than a million of souls, and in a town three or four leagues distant a still greater number. Who then can count the inhabitants of this province? But what is this to the whole empire, which contains fifteen great provinces, all equally peopled? To how many millions would such a calculation amount? A third part of this infinite population would hardly find sufficient rice to support itself properly.
“It is well known, that extreme misery impels people to the most dreadful excesses. A spectator in China, who examines things closely, will not be surprised that mothers destroy or expose many of their children; that parents sell their daughters for a trifle; that the people should be interested; and that there should be such a number of robbers. The surprise is, that nothing still more dreadful should happen; and that in the times of famine which are here but too frequent, millions of people should perish with hunger, without having recourse to those dreadful extremities, of which we read examples in the histories of Europe.
“It cannot be said in China, as in Europe, that the poor are idle, and might gain a subsistence, if they would work. The labours and efforts of these poor people are beyond conception. A Chinese will pass whole days in digging the earth, sometimes up to his knees in water, and in the evening is happy to eat a little spoonful of rice, and to drink the insipid water in which it was boiled. This is all that they have in general.”
A great part of this account is repeated in Duhalde; and, even allowing for some exaggeration, it shews in a strong point of view to what degree population has been forced in China, and the wretchedness which has been the consequence of it. The population which has arisen naturally from the fertility of the soil, and the encouragements to agriculture, may be considered as genuine and desirable; but all that has been added by the encouragements to marriage has not only been an addition of so much pure misery in itself, but has completely interrupted the happiness which the rest might have enjoyed.
The territory of China is estimated at about eight times the territory of France.
*117 Taking the population of France only at 26 millions, eight times that number will give 208,000,000; and when the three powerful causes of population, which have been stated, are considered, it will not appear incredible, that the population of China should be to the population of France, according to their respective superficies, as 333 to 208, or a little more than 3 to 2.
The natural tendency to increase is every where so great that it will generally be easy to account for the height, at which the population is found in any country. The more difficult as well as the more interesting part of the inquiry is, to trace the immediate causes, which stop its further progress. The procreative power would, with as much facility, double in twenty-five years the population of China, as that of any of the states of America; but we know that it cannot do this, from the palpable inability of the soil to support such an additional number. What then becomes of this mighty power in China? And what are the kinds of restraint, and the forms of premature death, which keep the population down to the level of the means of subsistence?
Notwithstanding the extraordinary encouragements to marriage in China, we should perhaps be led into an error, if we were to suppose that the preventive check to population does not operate. Duhalde says, that the number of bonzas is considerably above a million, of which there are two thousand unmarried at Pekin, besides three hundred and fifty thousand more in their temples established in different places by the emperor’s patents, and that the literary bachelors alone are about ninety thousand.
The poor, though they would probably always marry when the slightest prospect opened to them of being able to support a family, and, from the permission of infanticide, would run great risks in this respect; yet they would undoubtedly be deterred from entering into this state, under the certainty of being obliged to expose all their children, or to sell themselves and families as slaves; and from the extreme poverty of the lower classes of people, such a certainty would often present itself. But it is among the slaves themselves, of which, according to Duhalde, the misery in China produces a prodigious multitude, that the preventive check to population principally operates. A man sometimes sells his son, and even himself and wife, at a very moderate price. The common mode is, to mortgage themselves with a condition of redemption, and a great number of men and maid servants are thus bound in a family.
*119 Hume, in speaking of the practice of slavery among the ancients, remarks very justly, that it will generally be cheaper to buy a full-grown slave, than to rear up one from a child. This observation appears to be particularly applicable to the Chinese. All writers agree in mentioning the frequency of the dearths in China; and, during these periods, it is probable that slaves would be sold in great numbers for little more than a bare maintenance. It could very rarely therefore answer to the master of a family, to encourage his slaves to breed; and we may suppose, in consequence, that a great part of the servants in China, as in Europe, remain unmarried.
The check to population, arising from a vicious intercourse with the sex, does not appear to be very considerable in China. The women are said to be modest and reserved, and adultery is rare. Concubinage is however generally practised, and in the large towns public women are registered; but their number is not great, being proportioned, according to Sir George Staunton, to the small number of unmarried persons, and of husbands absent from their families.
The positive checks to population from disease, though considerable, do not appear to be so great as might be expected. The climate is in general extremely healthy. One of the missionaries goes so far as to say, that plagues or epidemic disorders are not seen once in a century;
*121 but this is undoubtedly an error, as they are mentioned by others as if they were by no means so unfrequent. In some instructions to mandarins, relating to the burying of the poor, who have in general no regular places of sepulture, it is observed that when epidemic diseases prevail, the roads are found covered with bodies sufficient to infect the air to a great distance;
*122 and the expression of years of contagion
*123 occurs soon after, in a manner which seems to imply that they are not uncommon. On the first and fifteenth day of every month the mandarins assemble, and give their people a long discourse, wherein every governor acts the part of a father who instructs his family.
*124 In one of these discourses, which Duhalde produces, the following passage occurs: “Beware of those years which happen from time to time, when epidemic distempers, joined to a scarcity of corn, make all places desolate. Your duty is then to have compassion on your fellow-citizens, and assist them with whatever you can spare.”
It is probable that the epidemics, as is usually the case, fall severely on the children. One of the Jesuits, speaking of the number of infants whom the poverty of their parents condemns to death the moment that they are born, writes thus: “There is seldom a year, in which the churches at Pekin do not reckon five or six thousand of these children purified by the waters of baptism. This harvest is more or less abundant according to the number of catechists which we can maintain. If we had a sufficient number, their cares need not be confined alone to the dying infants that are exposed. There would be other occasions for them to exercise their zeal, particularly at certain times of the year, when the small-pox or epidemic disorders carry off an incredible number of children.”
*126 It is indeed almost impossible to suppose that the extreme indigence of the lower classes of people should not produce diseases, likely to be fatal to a considerable part of those children whom their parents might attempt to rear in spite of every difficulty.
Respecting the number of infants which are actually exposed, it is difficult to form the slightest guess; but, if we believe the Chinese writers themselves, the practice must be very common. Attempts have been made at different times by the government to put a stop to it, but always without success. In a book of instructions before alluded to, written by a mandarin celebrated for his humanity and wisdom, a proposal is made for the establishment of a foundling hospital in his district, and an account is given of some ancient establishments of the same kind,
*127 which appear to have fallen into disuse. In this book the frequency of the exposure of children and the dreadful poverty which prompts it, are particularly described. “We see,” he says, “people so poor, that they cannot furnish the nourishment necessary for their own children. It is on this account that they expose so great a number. In the metropolis; in the capitals of the provinces and in the places of the greatest commerce, their number is the most considerable; but many are found in parts that are less frequented, and even in the country. As the houses in towns are more crowded together, the practice is more obvious; but every where these poor unfortunate infants have need of assistance.”
In the same work, part of an edict to prevent the drowning of children runs thus: “When the tender offspring just produced is thrown without pity into the waves, can it be said that the mother has given or that the child has received life, when it is lost as soon as it is begun to be enjoyed? The poverty of the parents is the cause of this crime. They have hardly enough to support themselves, much less are they able to pay a nurse and provide for the expenses necessary for the support of their children. This drives them to despair; and not being able to bring themselves to suffer two people to die that one may live, the mother, to preserve the life of her husband, consents to sacrifice her child. It costs much, however, to the parental feelings; but the resolution is ultimately taken, and they think that they are justified in disposing of the life of their child to prolong their own. If they exposed their children in a secret place, the babe might work upon their compassion with its cries. What do they do then? They throw it into the current of the river, that they may lose sight of it immediately, and take from it at once all chance of life.”
Such writings appear to be most authentic documents respecting the general prevalence of infanticide.
Sir George Staunton has stated, from the best information which he could collect, that the number of children annually exposed at Pekin is about two thousand;
*130 but it is highly probable that the number varies extremely from year to year, and depends very much upon seasons of plenty or seasons of scarcity. After any great epidemic or destructive famine, the number is probably very small; it is natural that it should increase gradually on the return to a crowded population; and it is without doubt the greatest, when an unfavourable season takes place, at a period in which the average produce is already insufficient to support the overflowing multitude.
These unfavourable seasons do not appear to be unfrequent, and the famines which follow them are perhaps the most powerful of all the positive checks to the Chinese population; though at some periods the checks from wars and internal commotions have not been inconsiderable.
*131 In the annals of the Chinese monarchs, famines are often mentioned;
*132 and it is not probable that they would find a place among the most important events and revolutions of the empire, if they were not desolating and destructive to a great degree.
One of the Jesuits remarks that the occasions when the mandarins pretend to shew the greatest compassion for the people are, when they are apprehensive of a failure in the crops, either from drought, from excessive rains, or from some other accident, such as a multitude of locusts, which sometimes overwhelms certain provinces.
*133 The causes here enumerated are probably those, which principally contribute to the failure of the harvests in China; and the manner in which they are mentioned seems to shew that they are not uncommon.
Meares speaks of violent hurricanes, by which whole harvests are dissipated, and a famine follows. From a similar cause, he says, accompanied by excessive drought, a most dreadful dearth prevailed in 1787, throughout all the southern provinces of China, by which an incredible number of people perished. It was no uncommon thing at Canton to see the famished wretch breathing his last, while mothers thought it a duty to destroy their infant children, and the young to give the stroke of fate to the aged, to save them from the agonies of such a dilatory death.
The Jesuit Parennin, writing to a member of the Royal Academy of Sciences, says, “Another thing that you can scarcely believe is, that dearths should be so frequent in China;”
*135 and in the conclusion of his letter he remarks that, if famine did not, from time to time, thin the immense number of inhabitants which China contains, it would be impossible for her to live in peace.
*136 The causes of these frequent famines he endeavours to investigate; and begins by observing, very justly, that in a time of dearth China can obtain no assistance from her neighbours, and must necessarily draw the whole of her resources from her own provinces.
*137 He then describes the delays and artifices, which often defeat the emperor’s intentions to assist, from the public granaries, those parts of the country which are the most distressed. When a harvest fails in any province, either from excessive drought or a sudden inundation, the great mandarins have recourse to the public granaries; but often find them empty, owing to the dishonesty of the inferior mandarins, who have the charge of them. Examinations and researches are then made, and an unwillingness prevails to inform the court of such disagreeable intelligence. Memorials are however at length presented. These memorials pass through many hands, and do not reach the emperor till after many days. The great officers of state are then ordered to assemble, and to deliberate on the means of relieving the misery of the people. Declarations full of expressions of compassion for the people are in the mean time published throughout the empire. The resolution of the tribunal is at length made known; but numberless other ceremonies delay its execution; while those who are suffering have time to die with hunger, before the remedy arrives. Those who do not wait for this last extremity crawl as well as they can into other districts, where they hope to get support, but leave the greatest part of their number dead on the road.
If, when a dearth occurs, the court do not make some attempt to relieve the people, small parties of plunderers soon collect, and their numbers increase by degrees, so as to interrupt the tranquillity of the province. On this account numerous orders are always given, and movements are continually taking place, to amuse the people till the famine is over; and as the motives to relieve the people are generally rather reasons of state than genuine compassion, it is not probable that they should be relieved at the time, and in the manner, that their wants require.
The last cause of famine, which is mentioned in this investigation, and on which the writer lays considerable stress, is the very great consumption of grain in making spirits;
*140 but in stating this as a cause of famine, he has evidently fallen into a very gross error; yet in the Abbé Grosier’s general description of China this error has been copied, and the cause above mentioned has been considered as one of the grand sources of the evil.
*141 But, in reality, the whole tendency of this cause is in a contrary direction. The consumption of corn in any other way but that of necessary food, checks the population before it arrives at the utmost limits of subsistence; and as the grain may be withdrawn from this particular use in the time of a scarcity, a public granary is thus opened, richer probably than could have been formed by any other means. When such a consumption has been once established, and has become permanent, its effect is exactly as if a piece of land, with all the people upon it, were removed from the country. The rest of the people would certainly be precisely in the same state as they were before, neither better nor worse, in years of average plenty; but in the time of dearth the produce of this land would be returned to them, without the mouths to help them to eat it. China, without her distilleries, would certainly be more populous; but on a failure of the seasons, would have still less resource than she has at present; and, as far as the magnitude of the cause would operate, would in consequence be more subject to famines, and those famines would be more severe.
The state of Japan resembles in so many respects that of China, that a particular consideration of it would lead into too many repetitions. Montesquieu attributes its populousness to the birth of a greater number of females;
*142 but the principal cause of this populousness is, without doubt, as in China, the persevering industry of the natives, directed, as it has always been, principally to agriculture.
In reading the preface to Thunberg’s account of Japan, it would seem extremely difficult to trace the checks to the population of a country the inhabitants of which are said to live in such happiness and plenty; but the continuation of his own work contradicts the impression of his preface; and in the valuable history of Japan by Kæmpfer these checks are sufficiently obvious. In the extracts from two historical chronicles published in Japan, which he produces,
*143 a very curious account is given of the different mortalities, plagues, famines, bloody wars and other causes of destruction, which have occurred since the commencement of these records. The Japanese are distinguished from the Chinese, in being much more warlike, seditious, dissolute and ambitious: and it would appear, from Kæmpfer’s account, that the check to population from infanticide, in China, is balanced by the greater dissoluteness of manners with regard to the sex, and the greater frequency of wars and intestine commotions which prevail in Japan. With regard to the positive checks to population from disease and famine, the two countries seem to be nearly on a level.