Now we know that the gross increase in Arakan and Tenasserim in these 29 years was 385,000 souls, from which, allowing the natural increase during that period to have been 75 per cent, on the original population, we may deduct 127,500 on that account, and this will leave us 257,500 souls, as the emigration from Pegu and the other native Burman States into British Territory ; and if we compare Pegu (including Martaban) fairly estimated in 1826, with Pegu (including Martaban) even in 1855 (three years after it came into our possession, during which period its population is believed to have risen from 588,000 to 719,640), we find it with nearly 50,000 less population at the latter than at the former period. This is an astonishing result when placed against the immense progress of the British territories in its immediate neighbourhood.
16. The very scanty ratio of population to area, which it is believed Burma has, within historical periods, always had under native rule, is almost certain proof that the actual natural increase is very low, or rather has been very low ; yet it has very great capacity for supporting human life ; and we have been able in tracing the British occupation of Arakan and Tenasserim, far less productive countries, to provide for a natural increase in them of 75 per cent, in 29 years, and even then have a large surplus population. Had Pegu during the same period, with its greater advantages, increased at the same proportion, it should have been possessed of a population of more than one million souls when it came into our hands. Instead of this, we find its population to have retrograded, and there can be no reasonable doubt that the people who should have enriched the Native State were drawn into British Territory.
17. Having thus brought up these Provinces to 1855, we shall now trace their progress since that period. The Province of Pegu, as has been said, came into our possession in 1852, but making allowances for the distressed condition of a country after a campaign, and for the imperfect returns, accidental to a newly-organized Administration, we may pass over the years up to 1855, and from that date commence our deductions.
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