Population of Hartley - Hartley-Kent: The Website for Hartley

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Population of Hartley

Domesday Book 1086

We know that people have lived here since at least the Iron Age, but it is not until the Domesday Book of 1086 that we  can get an idea of how many people lived in our parish.

The Domesday Book was ordered by King William the Conqueror to find out just what he had conquered and how much was owed  him. For Hartley the book lists 9 villeins (better off farmers), 6 cottars (poorer farmers) and 3 slaves. The usual  assumption is that all the slaves are listed, but only heads of households for the other inhabitants. Scholars suggest  a multiplier of 4 for these people, using this the population in 1086 would be about 63.


The Years 1100 - 1700

Throughout England the population continued to grow, reaching a peak shortly after 1300. It is probable that more people lived in Hartley then, than at any time since up to the 19th century. The Black Death, which arrived in England in 1348, and returned twice in the 1360s is thought to have carried off up to half of the population. If this is true for Hartley then around 200 people lived here in the first half of the 14th century, a number it would not reach again until the 19th century.

In 1377 the authorities introduced a poll tax of 4d (1p) per head of all adults over the age of 14. In Hartley 53 people paid the tax. Allowing for evasion (40%) and children (40%), it would seem that around 90 people were now living here.

Henceforth there are no reliable population figures for Hartley until the 17th century, but nationally the population continued to fall until the 1480s. The next big upswing was the century from 1540, when the population nearly doubled nationally to 5 million. However Hartley's population appears to have been largely static. For we have three separate sources for the 17th century, all of which point to around 90-100 people living in the parish. In 1664 there were 21 households which paid the Hearth Tax, making a population of about 90 based on the average size of household of 4.3 then. Two years later the poll tax was tried again, and Hartley paid 109 shillings. Most people paid a tax of 1 shilling (5p) a head, but a few paid more, so it is difficult to be certain, but it is indicative of over 100 people in Hartley. Finally in 1673 was the Compton Ecclesiastical Census, where each rector was asked to list the number of Anglicans, Roman Catholics and Non-Conformists (over the age of 16?) in their parish. In Hartley there were 71 Anglicans, which would again point to a number in the 90s overall.


18th Century

The surviving parish registers for Hartley begin in the 18th century, and we can gain some estimate of the population from the baptism register. The national birth rate was about 35 per thousand, and while the figures below are clearly an inexact science they do show an upward drift of population in 18th century Hartley and the last quarter's figure is close to the census. They are also very close to the actual figure from the 1801 census.

Estimated population of Hartley based on number of births

Years
Baptisms
Average p.a.
Estimated Population
1713-1737702.8080
1738-17621094.36125
1763-1787913.64104
1788-18121244.96142
Population since 1801
Finally we reach the era of the census and from now on we have accurate figures for Hartley's population every 10 years. For Hartley the population rose rapidly after Smallowners Limited bought the land and sold it off in smaller parcels from 1912.  Longfield's trigger for growth was the coming of the railway in 1872, while Ash remained fairly constant until New Ash Green was built.  Fawkham has remained largely rural, with only a small amount of post-war building.

The apparent paradox that the housebuilding in the c19th resulted in only small changes in the population, is probably explained by the fact that farm labourers formerly lived in the main farm house before separate cottages were built.

In recent years the population of the area has been declining.  The population of the Hartley/Longfield/New Ash Green urban area was 17,234 in 1991, 16,442 in 2001 and 16,029 in 2011.

The urban area includes the three parishes, but excludes Longfield Hill and the rural parts of Hartley and Ash.  One effect of this decline has been a redrawing of the county council electoral divisions where West Kingsdown has been added to the former Hartley/Ash/Fawkham division.

However, since 2011, Kent County Council has estimated in 2012 that the population of the Hartley and Hodsoll Street ward has increased by 40, and New Ash Green by 100.  The biggest increase of all is Longfield and Southfleet - up 130.

Population of Hartley and neighbouring parishes 1801 to date
Numbers in brackets by Hartley represent the number of households
YearHartley
Longfield
Ash & RidleyFawkhamNotes

PopHousesPopPopPop
18011512399519149
181118530100500157
182116131113579168
183118234125628204
184119942128758277
185122643162793249
186124149188688233
187125252189736262
188125464328697237
189127264498705232
190128467617672276
191127861824669231
191333691-101n/an/an/a
31 January 1913.  KCC were ordered to conduct a census by the Department  of Education as part of a grant application (TNA ED21/7661). When asked why there was such an increase since  2.4.1911, Rev Bancks replied that about 30-40 houses had been built in the past year
1916n/a106n/an/an/a
Kent Messenger 28.10.1916 - 92 out of Hartley's 106 houses contributed to collection for soldiers' comforts.
1921568139861673302
1931839226925768357
19391,247350n/an/an/a
This is based on the National Register compiled on 29.9.1939. The  population in Hartley had been swelled by a number of evacuees from the  Woolwich area. On 1961 boundaries Hartley pop 1,319
19511,2554061,1511,087379
On 1961 boundaries Hartley pop 1,298
19561,810n/a1,620n/an/a
KCC file on proposed sewerage scheme for Hartley and Longfield CKS ref C/A11/15/128.
19612,3887681,807994
529
Boundary changes - about 20 houses at the top end of Ash Road tranferred from Ash to Hartley parish.
19713,773n/a2,3191,842551
19816,9422,2502,2415,569560
19915,6372,0794,9077,576512
Boundary changes - part of New Ash Green transferred from Hartley to Ash parish.  Small number of properties in Hartley  Bottom Road area transferred from Longfield to Hartley parish.  New Barn added to Longfield Parish.
20015,3952,1454,8667,070539
20065,457n/a5,0626,903
621
20115,6202,2594,9196,641578
20165,461n/a5,2886,737540
MIgration

Births and deaths are of course only one of the factors that affect population.  The other is migration to and from Hartley.  Today, because of the age profile of Hartley's population, the area is dependent on inward migration.  In 2017, Hartley and Hodsoll Street ward had 40 births and 106 deaths.  

The 2011 census asked for details of where each person was living a year earlier.  Of the 5,835 inhabitants of Hartley and Hodsoll Street ward, only 372 (6.4%) had changed address within the previous year.  Most (315) had moved to Hartley and Hodsoll Street from elsewhere in the UK, 39 had moved within this area, while 18 had come here from outside the UK.  Data of the origin of migrants within the UK is only available at district council level, but the figures for Sevenoaks bear out anecdotal evidence that a lot of newcomers to Hartley have come here from Dartford and South East London (the top 3 origins for Sevenoks and Bromley, Dartford and Bexley).

Going further back in time some details on migration can be obtained from using the census returns and the electoral registers.  From 1885 most male heads of households who weren't on poor relief were eligible to vote.  The annual electoral registers also often mentioned where they had been living a year before if within Dartford constituency.  Analysis of those entitled to vote between 1885 and 1907 suggests that people moved more frequently then.  On average every 6 years as opposed to 16 years now.  Perhaps this is not surprising in an age where employment rights were practically non-existent, and where tenants, who made up the vast majority of households, also had much fewer rights.  This is reflected today in the fact private tenants stay much less time in a property on average than freeholders.

About a sixth of the 60 or so households in Hartley changed every year in the period 1885-1907.  Then people tended to move shorter distances, about 30% of moves were within Hartley itself, with about as many again from our three neighbouring parishes of Longfield, Ash and Fawkham.  The fewer migrants from urban areas might be explained by the rural nature of Hartley's economy then.

The table below gives details of where people lived before they moved to Hartley.  To compile this table I have had to rely on the evidence of sources such as the census, electoral registers and parish registers.  In 28 out of the 228 cases where people had common names this was not possible.  In some cases the former abode might not be the most recent one, where the only only evidence I could find was the previous decennial census.




Moved from
1885 -
1889
1890 -
1894
1895 -
1899
1900 -
1904
1905 -
1909
Total
Hartley (elsewhere in)
19
12
18
9
5
63
Ash (including Stansted)
7
4
3
10
4
28
Fawkham
4
1
2
5
2
14
Longfield
2
1
5
5
0
13
Dartford (incl Stone, Wilmington, Bexley, Crayford)
5
0
2
3
2
12
Gravesend  (incl Northfleet, Southfleet, Higham)
1
6
5
2
1
15
Horton Kirby  (incl Darenth, Sutton at Hone)
1
2
1
2
0
7
Meopham (incl Nursted,  Luddesdown)
2
2
2
0
1
7
Wrotham (incl West  Kingsdown, Trottiscliffe)
1
2
1
2
0
6
Kent (remainder of)
3
2
2
2
2
11
London
2
4
3
3
3
15
UK (other than Kent or London)
1
2
3
2
1
9
Not known
10
7
6
3
2
28
Grand Total
58
45
53
48
24
228

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