12 MARCH 1892, Page 16


[To THE EDITOR OP THE "SPECTATOR."] SIR,—In your last week's review of the Magazines for the month, you quote from Sir R. Temple's essay on the popula- tion of India, in the Fortnightly, to the effect that "over the whole area the population is not too thick, only 150 to the square mile." This is correctly quoted ; but if you will refer to p. 462 of " Whitaker's Almanack," you will see that Sir R. Temple or his printer has fallen into a considerable mistake. Over India, including the feudatory States, the density of population exceeds 185 to the square mile ; in British terri- tory, exclusive of these States, it exceeds 230. Has Sir R. Temple made the mistake of dividing the population of British India by the area of the whole of India, inclusive of the Native States territory ?

May I draw attention to another statistical error in Sir R. Temple's article ? He thinks that the relief to the population given by emigration and migration may amount to one-third of a million annually,—emigration accounting for, "say, fifty thousand annually," and migration for "a quarter of a million annually." As a matter of fact, the average emigra- tion in the last ten years has amounted to less than fifteen. thousand a year ; while of the quarter a million a year who migrated, perhaps three-quarters went over to Burmah or Ceylon, as the case may be, only for the season, returning in a few months, just is Irish labourers come over to England during harvest. It is clearly a mistake to say that the Indian population is relieved yearly to the extent of the number of ' those who cross the water, irrespective of the proportion of the number who return. The relief by emigration and migration can hardly be estimated at over seventy-five- thousand a year.—I am, Sir, &c., H. A. Hamm