France is a good counter-example. Its birth rate dropped dramatically in the mid-18th century, before industrialization. The GDP per capita increased. In England, the population continued to rise. It took another century for GDP per capita in England to match that of France, and that's taking into account the industrial revolution. (France industrialized later, and still has an excellent GDP per capita.)

Maybe higher populations are associated with rising wealth, but there is no reason to believe it is cause and effect, especially since one really has to measure wealth per capita, and one really should keep track of the income distribution as well. The industrial revolution in England actually lowered living standards for most people until the 1850s and the Chartist movement.


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