Music and the Middle Class: The Social Structure of Concert Life in London, Paris and Vienna

By William Weber | Go to book overview

APPENDIX A
THE SIZE OF THE MIDDLE CLASS

Adéline Daumard has made several estimates for the Parisian middle class, conceived in varying ways and derived from different sources. Using the occupational census of 1847 she found that if all independent artisans be included in the class, it would comprise about thirty-five per cent of the population. Yet she also shows that these artisans were still marginal to the middle class as their social status was still identified with that of persons performing manual occupations. The breakdown of the cost of rents provides a better index of the size of the class. It shows a clearly distinguishable group of families who held twenty per cent of all rented units. Data of occupations yielded a somewhat higher figure. 1

The records extant of the Viennese census of 1847 present fragmentary information, but they do suggest that in Vienna the class was not much smaller proportionally than in Paris. The records show that the number of men over 20 in the Church, the bureaucracy, most economic professions, and selected liberal professions was 9.5 per cent of the population (40,348 out of 429,120). Thus the total population in the families of these persons certainly amounted to at least 19 per cent of the city's total production. Even at that, the census did not tabulate several fairly numerous middle-class groups: rentiers, technicians, and lawyers. 2

London's census of this period provides a weaker means of estimating the proportion of the middle class in the city's population. The one indicative figure it cites is that in 1841 fourteen per cent of the men over twenty were "capitalists, bankers, professionals, and other educated men". 3 The size of the number indicates that the London middle class was probably as high as that of the Parisian middle class since it excluded shopkeepers. A population study of England as a whole made in 1881 estimated that the middle class (including clerks but not artisans) made up 21.5 per cent of all employed males. 4 It is dubious whether, four decades before, the class in London had been much larger than that. While the capital city would be expected to have had a larger proportion than the country as a whole, the expansion in the middle class between 1841 and 1881 suggests that the national figure must have been closer to fifteen per cent at the earlier date.

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