political arithmetic

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political arithmetic (uncountable)

  1. (now archaic or historical) The demographic statistics of a country or state. [from 17th c.]
    • 1776, Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations:
      I have no great faith in political arithmetic, and I mean not to warrant the exactness of either of these computations.
    • 2012, Faramerz Dabhoiwala, The Origins of Sex, Penguin 2013, p. 221:
      The most basic effect of political arithmetic was namely to establish that a nation's strength depended above all on the number of inhabitants [...].