In-depth report: Population

Vision of Britain is an amazing resource for statistics, and those for population are very useful here. The population in Badingham is graphed here between 1801 and 1961, using census figures. It shows a population of 607 in 1801, rising to a peak of 866 in 1831. The population rose particularly fast between 1811 and 1821, remaining stable 1831-41 before declining fairly steadily to 558 in 1911, and, overall, falling more gradually to reach 454 in 1951 and diving a little to 369 in 1961.

The Badingham Parish Plan Report of 2013 contains estimated population figures to 2011, and suggests that the population dip continued on into the 1980s. Since then, the population has gradually built up again, and the census of 2011 recorded 489 individuals. This means that the population had essentially reached the same level as in 1931, when 490 individuals were enumerated.

Estimates of population prior to the introduction of the decennial census in 1801 are more difficult to produce as even where documentation is available it tends to record heads of household. Looking back to Domesday, the village was already large, with 56 households – 23 villagers and 33 smallholders – although it had lost £5 in value since 1066. Further details can be found on opendomesday.org. At the time, East Anglia was one of the most densely populated parts of the country.

It seems likely that, like other medieval settlements, there was a 14th century population decline associated with the Black Death.

Further evidence will be sought through the course of this study to extrapolate population figures from taxation records, parish and manorial records etc.

 

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3 thoughts on “In-depth report: Population

  1. I find these figures interesting, and rather unexpected. My interest in Badingham comes about because I am descended from James Cracknell, who was a tailor. He was born in Laxfield, but his first three children (that I know of) were born in Badingham – in 1834, 1835 and 1837, and it seems reasonable to assume that he was now working as a tailor there. By the time his next child was born in 1839 he had moved to London, and he worked as a tailor in London for the rest of his life. I had always thought he must have moved to London because there wasn’t sufficient work at home, but in fact your figues show that in the 1830s the population of Badingham was at its height. So why did he leave? Were there just too many tailors in Badingham?

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    • Hi Carole, thanks for your comment. There was only one other tailor listed in White’s in 1844. I wonder if he was simply drawn to London with a sense of opportunity for more or better business? The population in Badingham at the time was largely labouring on farms, so while the population was rising when he potentially moved there, they weren’t necessarily in the market for the type of clothes your James wanted to produce – perhaps he was looking for a better margin? While the population was high I suspect a great deal of them were children – perhaps he knew that things were changing and moved to an urban area before many others thought to go. An interesting question! Thank you for following my blog.

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      • Hi – I’ve just had a very quick look at the 1841 census returns for Badingham, and it does seem to be the case that there were a lot of children living there.

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