11 JANUARY 1873, Page 3

The French correspondent of the Times forwards a summary of

the French Census which is very disheartening, France has declined in population during the last five years. She was in 1868, 38,067,094, and is now 36,101,921, a loss of 1,965,173. Out of this number 1,628,238 were ceded with Lorraine and Alsace, leaving 336,935 as the loss apparently caused by the war, or the excess of deaths over births. The loss is, however, greater than this, for France, though she increased but slowly, should at her normal rate have gained 300,000 in the five years, and these also have disappeared. The war was too brief to have caused such a mortality, and it would seem probable that. increasing wealth increases the reluctance of the French peasant to marry or rear children, and that the death-rate is actually gaining on the births. The mortality among children, we should add, great everywhere, is exceptionally great in France, owing to the practice of the middle-classes of putting out children to nurse. The nurses do not kill them, but they cannot and do not pay them the minute individual attention they require.