The census allows us to look at the age distribution of the Seaton Ross population in each of the census years from 1841 to 1911.
There are several ways of displaying this, and to make any conclusions easy to make, they are all displayed here!
Firstly, the data as a table:
The point to note here, is that the coloured blocks show age decades where numbers are lower than expected. This theme continues in the graphs below:
These eight histograms each show the age distribution of the population at a given point in time, ten years apart.
Points to note are that the vertical axis scale decreases from 0-180 for the first four histograms to 0-140 for the last four. This is because the number of young children has decreased. There are far more children as a proportion of the population in the earlier years.
The second point is that the age decades where numbers are lower than expected stand out. Addressing in particular the one coloured in light blue: This starts with 20-30 year olds in 1881 and feeds through to later censuses as that generation ages. The most likely cause of this is the agricultural depression of the late 1870s and 80s. Many left the land at that time, but inevitably it was the most mobile – those old enough to leave independently but young enough not to have settled down – basically those still in their 20s. Hence the reduction in those aged 20-30 remaining in the village. For more details of this agricultural depression see here.
The final graph brings these number together and both the higher number of children in earlier years and the age decade with lower numbers can be seen: