By infrastructure is meant that part of the national wealth which does not directly serve either the creation of material goods or their consumption, but which is called upon to secure--on the given level of economic development and conforming to the requirements of the technology available--the flow within what might be termed the 'vascular system' of the processes of production, distribution and consumption. Under this definition, infrastructure is, on the one hand, a part of the stock of accumulated material capital goods, and, on the other hand, it includes the working capacity of the labour force, their skills and creativity, i.e. the available human capital. The cooperation of material and human capital serves the production of material goods and the well-being of the population by providing services, in the broad sense of the term, through theiflows. The scope of infrastructure is defined to include the following: distribution of energy; water supply and sewerage; transport, communications and warehousing; distribution and catering; housing; municipal services; repairs; public security; health care; education and cultural services; banking and insurance; and administration and justice.
This chapter draws upon an international comparison of infrastructure during the century from 1860 to 1968.1 The present examination begins with 1860 and ends with 1950. The comparative examination of infrastructure relies on a broad international data base, but its compilation demanded the extraction of statistics published for a variety of different purposes, their incorporation into a system suited to the requirements of the research, and their analysis. Because one of the objectives in assembling the data base was to compare the infrastructure of as many industrially developed countries as possible, only five components were examined, viz. transport; communications; housing supply; health care; and educational and cultural services. It is assumed that these five components are representative of the relative levels of the entire infrastructural____________________