NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN (ALMOST)
8th March, 1906 : The British Empire occupies one-fifth of the land surface of the globe and has a population of 400,000,000, according to a Government Blue Book of 300 pages, published today and on sale at three shillings and five pence. Statistics were collected and analysed by the English Local Government Board. India reported some 300,000,000 people, while the Falkland Islands counted a mere 2,253 inhabitants.
The survey shows the rapidity with which the Empire expanded in the latter part of the last century. At the time of the last census in 1861, the Empire occupied eight and a half million square miles. For twenty years there was very little change; then between 1881 and the end of the century more than three million square miles were added, chiefly in the west, east and southern Africa.
In some territories, notably Western Australia, Malaya and Hong Kong, a shortage of white women is reported. In India, there is an excess of Indian males, but this may be because the men “regard women as of no importance” for census purposes.