Pioneers Had More Children

People living in different places "breed" at different rates. Reasons put forward are level of income, education of women and access to contraceptives. Family size has also changed at various places in history. The adventurous ones who ventured far and wide had more children than those who remained in established urban centers. This is particularly the case for British and French settlers in North America.

Resources were more plentiful in new unsettled regions. For example, buffalo and native animals could easily be shot and eaten on the spot. New settlers were also healthier, being active for most of their lives. An examination of Canadian records since 1608 shows that couples on the outer edge of expansion had 20 per cent more children than those remaining in established regions. They also married younger. The pioneer contribution to the gene pool was four time greater than those who settled in populated areas. Church records were the main data source. If the number of illegitimate children were known the gene pool contribution could have been even higher.

Human growth in new expanses of virgin land is consistent with plant and animals. Weeds grow vigorously on new accessible land. Larger plants soon take hold as do small animals. The small animals also attract larger animals. Over time as life becomes denser reproduction rates decline. Saying that pioneers in the West grew like weeds is close to the truth. The spread of Mankind across the globe is no accident. It seems to be an evolutionary imperative.
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