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Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 11, Slice 8 "Germany" to "Gibson, William"

Itself a mere suburb of Gibraltar


inhabitants of Gibraltar are of mixed race; after the capture of the town by the British nearly the whole of the former Spanish population emigrated in a body and founded, 6 m. away, the little town of San Roque. Most of the native inhabitants are of Italian or Genoese descent; there are also a number of Maltese, and between two and three thousand Jews. The Jews never intermarry with other races and form a distinct society of their own. The language of the people is Spanish, not very correctly spoken. English is learnt as a foreign language and is rarely, if ever, spoken by the people in their own homes. Gibraltar being primarily a fortress and naval base, every effort, in view of war contingencies, is made by the authorities to prevent the natural increase of the population. Sanitary and building regulations, modelled upon English statutes designed with quite different objects, are administered with some ingenuity and not a little severity. In this way the house room available for the poorer classes is steadily reduced. The poor are thus being gradually pushed across the frontier into the neighbouring Spanish town of La Linea de la Concepcion, itself a mere suburb of Gibraltar, whose population, however, is nearly double that of the parent city. A large army of workers come daily from "the Lines" into Gibraltar, returning at "first evening gunfire" shortly after sunset, at which time the gates are closed and locked for the night. Aliens are not allowed to reside in Gibraltar
without a special permit, which must be renewed at short intervals. By an order in council, taking effect from November 1900, the like disabilities were extended to British subjects not previously resident.

The recorded births, marriages and deaths over a period of 23 years are as follows:--

+----------------+-------+----------+-------+ | Yearly Average.|Births.|Marriages.|Deaths.| +----------------+-------+----------+-------+ | 1883-1885 | 621 | 177 | 513 | | 1886-1890 | 603 | 167 | 514 | | 1891-1895 | 626 | 186 | 460 | | 1896-1900 | 641 | 201 | 498 | | 1901-1905 | 629 | 201 | 472 | +----------------+-------+----------+-------+

The numbers of the population from causes which have been referred to are almost stationary, showing a slight tendency to decrease. There are no available statistics later than those of a census taken in 1901, from which it appeared that the population then numbered 27,460, of whom the garrison and its families amounted to 6595, the civil population, being British subjects, to 17,818, and aliens resident under permits to 3047. The latter are chiefly working men and domestic servants.

_Constitution._--Gibraltar is a crown colony. Of local government properly so called there is none. There is a sanitary commission which is vested with large powers of spending and with the control of buildings and streets and other matters managed by local authorities in England. Its members are appointed by the governor. An appeal from their decisions, so far as they affect individuals, lies to the supreme court. Apart from the garrison and civil officials there are comparatively few members of the Anglican Church. The great majority of the people belong to the Church of Rome. The Jews have four synagogues. The Protestant dissenters have two places of worship, Presbyterian and Wesleyan. Education is not compulsory for the civil population, but most of the children, if not all, receive a fair education in private or private aided schools. The number of the children on the rolls of the private and private aided schools was in 1905: boys, 1504; girls, 1733; total 3237.

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