• Without the knowledge of the true number of the people, as a principle, the whole scope and use of keeping bills of birth and burials is impaired; wherefore by laborious conjectures and calculations to deduce the number of people from the births and burials, may be ingenious, but very preposterous.

    Sir William Petty (1986). “The Economic Writings of Sir William Petty: Together with the Observations Upon the Bills of Mortality More Probably by John Graunt”, Augustus m Kelley Pubs