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November 10, 1945

Foreign Letters

JAMA. 1945;129(11):760-762. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860450046015

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LONDON  (From Our Regular Correspondent)Oct. 6, 1945.

The Threatened Decline of the Population of Britain  In March 1944 a royal commission was appointed to investigate the course, causes and consequences of British population trends and to make recommendations on population policy. During fortnightly meetings over a period of eighteen months the commission has taken practically all the general evidence needed, but some further investigation on family size remains to be done with a sample census of 10 per cent of the 14 million married women in Britain. At the outbreak of war in 1939 it appeared that the British population would soon begin to decline. The chief factor was the fall in the average size of the family, which began in the decade of 1870. Until then married women had on an average more than 5 children. By 1930 the number was down to about 2, which made no

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