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Cohn MeEvedy and

Pichai4f Jones Atlas of


Ej 119 West 57th Street

Facts On File
New York, N.Y. 10019

Introduction 9
Note to the American Edition II
Published in Great Britain by
Penguin Books Ltd. and Allen Lane The Beginning 13
Copyright Cohn McEvedy and Richard Jones, 1978, 1979 Part I
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be
reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, EUROPE
electronic or mechanical, including photocopying,
recording or by any information storage and retrieval Overview 19
system, without permission in writing from the
Publisher. Area 2I The British Isles
Scandinavia 50 41
Library of Congress Cataloguing in Publication Data 3 France 55
McEvedy, Cohn. 4 The Low Countries 61
Atlas of world population history. 5 Germany 67
Bibliography: p.357 6 Poland 73
Includes index.
I. PopulationHistory. 2. PopulationStatistics. 7 Russia-in-Europe 78
3. PopulationCharts, diagrams, etc. I. Jones, 8 Czechoslovakia 83
Richard. joint author. II. Title. 9 Switzerland and Austria 86
tin 851.M32 312 78-16954
ISBN 0.87196-402-3 10
II Hungary
Romania 9295
12 Iberia 99
13 Italy 106
14 The Balkans 110
Printed in Great Britain IS The Islands (Cyprus, Malta, Iceland, the Azores,
Madeira and the Canaries) 115

Part 2
Overview 123
Area I The Near East 133
2 Russia-in-Asia 157
3 Mongolia 164
4 China 166
5 Korea 176 Part 5
6 Japan 179 OCEANIA
7 The Indian Subcontinent
8 South-East Asia 190 Overview 32!
Area I Australia 327
2 Melanesia 330
Part 3 3 Polynesia 334
4 New Zealand 337
Overview 207 Part 6
Area I The Maghreb 219
2 Libya 224 Appendix I Reliability 353
3 Egypt 226 Appendix 2 Historiograpliy 354
4 Ethiopia 230 General Bibliography 357
5 Somalia 234 Index 363
6 Sudan 235
7 The Sahel States 238
8 West Africa 24!
9 Equatoria. Zaire and Angola 247
10 East Africa 250
II South-Central Africa 254
12 Mozambique 256
13 Southern Africa 258
14 The Islands ofthe Western Indian Ocean 264

Part 4

Overview 271
Area I Canada 283
2 The Continental USA 286
3 Mexico 29!
4 Central America 294
5 The Caribbean Islands 297
6 Colombia. Venezuela and the Guyanas 302
7 Brazil 306
8 Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Paraguay 310
9 Argentina, Chile and Uruguay 313

The aim of this book is to provide figures for the population of each
country in the world at regular intervals through historical time. By coun
tries we mean the nations of the present day, their areas defined by the
frontiers of 1975. Throughout the book now at present and today mean
as of 1975.
The primary method of display is by graph. Every graph has the same
horizontal axis, a time base that runs from 400 BC to AD 2000. There are
two changes in this scale, one at AD 1000 and one at AD 1500. The vertical
scales are varied from graph to graph in order to accommodate popula
tions of different sizes.
The qualities of this type of graph are fairly obvious: the main deficiency
is that there is no reliable visual clue to changes in the rate of increase of a
population. Both the populations plotted in the graph opposite increase at
the same rate from 1500 to 1800 as the figures show, they double every
century but because one starts off at four times the size it appears to be
increasing faster.
The numbers labelling the population curves give the size of their
population in millions, i.e. 160 means 160,000,000. Numbers standing
alone correspond to the solid circles on the population curve and to dates
on the horizontal scale. When figures for 1875 and 1925 are given, as they
usually are, they are in brackets: the two populations in the graph, for
example, are shown as having populations of 270 million and 65 million in
All figures are rounded on the following system: below one million to the
nearest UI million, between one and 10 millions to the nearest 0~25 million,
between 10 and 20 millions to the nearest 05 million and between 20 and
100 millions to the nearest million. Above 100 million the rounding is to
the nearest 5 million, above a billion (the word is used in the American
sense of 10) to the nearest 25 million.
Figures below 01 million are not graphed at all.
Accompanying each graph is a commentary which attempts to put some
flesh on these bones. Figures are again in millions, ten million being written
as lOm and a hundred thousand as 0lm. There is no discussion in the
commentary of the sources for the figures quoted and because it is
Time 9
densities at which nomadic peoples lived and of the scope of neolithic
tedious to read prose that contains too many words like around, about, agriculture or medieval industry.
maybe, perhaps, could be, and might little indication of their reliab So even when there are no data that can be used to calculate a popula
ility. At the end of each commentary is a paragraph headed Primary tion figure we are far from helpless. There are always guidelines. For
Sources which gives a guide to the primary sources where they exist. A example, the fact that population doubled in most European countries
second paragraph headed Bibliography gives the most important secon between AD 1000 and 1300 can be taken as strong evidence for it doing so
dary sources. In the case of works that are referred to only once the in other European countries for which direct evidence is lacking. Indeed,
reference is given in full: where the book or article referred to appears in the family of curves in this book constitute a sort of null hypothesis in
several of the bibliographical paragraphs the authors name is marked with themselves. Consistency, of course, provides comfort rather than proof and
an asterisk and the full reference is to be found in the General Bibliography we wouldnt attempt to disguise the h)pothetical nature of our treatment
at the back of the book. of the earlier periods. But we havent just pulled figures out of the sky.
In some instances the populations of past kingdoms and empires are Well, not often.
given on supplementary graphs: a short explanatory paragraph usually
accompanies these. Their location is not always obvious: the Kingdom of
France and the Napoleonic Empire will be found under Europe Area 3
France but the Roman Empire is discussed and illustrated in Europe: NOTE TO THE AMERICAN EDITION
Overview, and the peak figure for the British Empire is on a graph which Population and area figures in this volume follow the European style of
compares the Chinese Empire with other top-ranking empires. The only notation. Thus, 3Om means 3.0 million. 6.76m k& means 6.76 million
sure way to find these historical asides is to use the index. square kilometers, or 2.61 million square miles following the standard
It has already been made obvious that the organization of the book is equivalence of 2.59 square kilometers per square mile.
geographical. The five main sections cover the continents: Europe, Asia,
Africa, the Americas and Oceania. For each continent there is a general
account labelled Overview. Then there is an area by area survey of the
continent with sub-division into countries. This means that there are huge
redundancies in the text. This has to be if each commentary is to stand on
its own, and it seems to us necessary that it should.
For this is essentially a reference book. It ought to be possible for an
enthusiast to read through the Overviews in a few sittings, but no one is
going to be able to read more than a few of the area surveys without
boggling his mind. One at a time is the way to take them.
Even cautious users may well find this a boring book; academics are
certain to find it irritating as well. There are many countries whose popula
tions are not known with any certainty today. When we start giving figures
for the dim and distant past, better-qualified hackles than ours are going to
We obviously feel the book worthwhile or we wouldnt have written it.
We have also become confident as the work has progressed that there is
something more to statements about the size of classical and early medieval
populations than simple speculation. The upper and lower limits imposed
by common sense are often much closer together than might be thought. In
fact, when all the various fuzzy approaches have been made, one is usually
left with an answer that is fairly certain within an order of magnitude.
History is a progressive study in that it does accumulate data. We are
beginning to get a good idea of the scale of society in classical times, of the
The Beginning

The first hominids appeared in Africa around 5 million years ago. The
main difference between them and their predecessors, the apes, lay in the
fact that they walked on two legs, for though apes can stand up if they
have to, they normally get about on all fours. The hominids by contrast
never used their hands for weight-bearing. Being reasonably intelligent
they soon found other jobs for these free hands, a process of discovery that
eventually culminated in tool-making, the distinctive activity of man. (It
seems to be no good having free hands unless youre as intelligent as an
ape. Bipedal animals lower down the vertebrate scale, like Tyrannosaurus
and the kangaroo, simply let their arms atrophy.)
The acquisition of programmes for the hominids new repertoire of
activities appears in the evolutionary record as an increase in brain size.
After 2 million years the cranial capacity had increased by 5000 from the
600 cc of the first hominid, Australopithecus, which is little more than the
500 cc of the gorilla, to the 900 cc of the primitive man named Homo
erect us (Pithecanthropus). The final increase to Honio sapiens current aver
age of 1,450cc appears to have taken place about 100,000 years ago.
The great apes of today are not very numerous. The gorilla population
has been estimated as about 70,000 on the basis of their known range and
field work suggesting an average density of one per km2. The smaller
chimpanzee lives at rather higher densities than this, say three or four to
the kmz. As the chimpanzee has a range near ten times that of the gorilla,
the total number of chimpanzees is probably well over the million mark.
These numbers can be taken as upper and lower limits for the
Australopithecine population of two or three million years ago with the
betting on the lower end of the range. (For ape densities see George
Schaller, The Year of the Gorilla 1965, pp. 104, 200.)
The appearance of the first man, Homa erectus, coincides with a great
extension of geographical range. Whereas Australopithecus had been
confined, so far as we know, to Africa, remains of Homo erect us have been
found from Europe to Indonesia. As it is unlikely that he had invented the
clothing and other cold-weather techniques necessary for living in the
Arctic (if he had, he would have discovered the Bering Straits and
America) we can estimate his total range as the Old World south of
latitude 50 north, minus Australia. This is roughly 68m km2. If a quarter was good progress, but the gain had been achieved almost entirely by
of this range was actually habitable and we take a figure for density of I extension of range and the limit of this process had now been reached.
per 10km2, we get a population estimate for Home credits of 17 million. Further advance would only be achieved via higher densities.
Why the figure of I per 10 km2 when the gorilla, an animal of roughly The way in which this was done was by shifting back along the food
comparable size to Home erectus, lives at densities ten times greater than chain: man discovered that, although there were only a few plants that he
this? The reason is that as the hominids evolved they moved along what could eat, he could get enough of them together to see him through the
ecologists call the food chain. All biological energy ultimately derives year if he planted them out himself This is the essential element in the
from the photosynthetic processes of plants: these are consumed by her~ change in the life styles that has been variously named the neolithic revolu
bivorous animals who are preyed on by carnivores. As each digestion and tion because anthropologists use it to divide the palaeolithic (Old Stone
re-synthesis has an efficiency of only a few per cent, a move from herbivore Age) from the neolithic (New Stone Age) and the agricultural
to carnivore status necessarily involves a decline in population per unit revolution because with the appearance of this food-producing activity
area. the food-gathering activities that had previously been mans only means of
Gorillas are pure herbivores; their days are spent literally munching subsistence became obsolete. The where and how of the agricultural
their way through the forest. Primitive man always retained some vegetable revolution are still hotly debated. Multicentric theories are gaining ground
element in his diet and often the vegetable element dominated. But when at the expense of the old idea of a single originating focus in the Near East.
opportunity offered, man was at least a 5000 carnivore. He had shifted However, we can step aside from this issue at least temporarily, for now we
along the food chain: he could not even digest the most abundant vegetable discard our global viewpoint and begin a continent by continent and area
foods such as grasses and leaves, and as a result his density must have been by area survey of the planet.
an order of magnitude lower than that of the gorilla.
This is a theoretical argument, but the densities it suggests I per 10
km2 of habitable terrain, 2 or 3 per 100 km of total area are supported by
the figures for human populations that have continued to live at a
palaeolithic level in modern times, most particularly the aborigine popula
tion of Australia.
We do not need to alter either our density estimate or our figures for
total population when Home credits yields to Home sapiens. Perhaps we
ought to bring the population figure down a bit after 75,000 ~c, when the
last Ice Age began and Arctic conditions clamped down on what had
previously been a comfortable part of mans habitat. But Homo sapiens
eventually learned to do what Homo crc U us never had: to live and love in a
cold climate. This had important results, for when the ice retreated bands
of hunters followed the herds of mammoths right into the Arctic Circle.
There they discovered the land bridge that existed in the Bering Strait
region at certain periods during the Ice Age. Perhaps as early as 25,000 Bc,
perhaps not until 10.000 BC. these hunters penetrated into North America:
certainly they spread across both Americas within a few centuries of the
second date. And well before this other pioneers had completed the journey
along the Indonesian archipelago to Australia.
The extension of mankind into northern latitudes and to the Americas
and Australia effectively doubled his territory. What with better weather as
well, the population in 10,000 BC was probably rather more than double
what it had been in 100,000 ac. So, as the ice caps finally melted away, the
human population must have been approaching the 4 million mark. This
Part One


Fig. I. I Europe. subdivision into areas


Ia England and Wales AND AUSTRIA
lb Scotland 9a Switzerland
Ic Ireland 9b Austria
2a Denmark II ROMAN IA
2b Sweden 12 IBERIA
2c Norway I 2a Spain
2d Finland I 2b Portugal
4a Belgium and Luxembourg I 4a Yugoslavia
4b The Netherlands I 4b Albania
5 GERMANY l4c Greece
6 POLAND I 4d Bulgaria
7 RUSSIA-IN-EUROPE I 4e Turkey-in-Europe

The following islands are grouped under the heading Area IS

ISa Cyprus I Sd The Azores
I Sb Malta l5e Madeira
15c Iceland 151 The Canaries
9-6m km2
Europe (excluding the islands of Area 15)


The first Europeans, t unters of the Old Stone Age, never amounted to
more than 100,000 at the best of times; at the worst specifically during the
cold phases of the last lee Age there were considerably fewer than that.
500 0 The ending of the lee Age offered the chance of escape from this depressing
pattern: during the better weather of the following mesolithic period (10th
6th millennia nc) numbers rose past the previous best, finally inching up to
the quarter million mark. Then came the great leap forward, the neolithic
revolution of the 5th millennium. This carried the total over the million. It
also created the first important distinction between styles of settlement, for,
whereas the food-gatherers of the Old Stone Age had rarely achieved den
S sities as high as 01 per km2, the New Stone Age food-producers ordinarily
lived at densities of I per km2. By the time these agriculturalists had
completed their colonization of southern and western Europe say by 3000
BC the continents population was more than 2m.
II During the next millennium the various developments which together
raised society into the Bronze Age began to infiltrate Europe from the Near
East. The entry point was Greece, the transmission was by sea and the end
result was not only another increase in numbers but another change in the
pattern of distribution. The increase in numbers was steady, if slow by
modern standards: by 2000 BC the European total had reached 5m, by
200 1000 nc lOm. The change in distribution was due to the Mediterranean
countries disproportionately large share in the increase. Their greater pros
perity was probably a reflection of the fact that the agricultural improve
ments of the era had been developed in the Near East and worked best
where the climate was most similar, but there will also have been a reinforc
ing effect from the development of the Mediterranean as a natural
100 highway. Whatever the cause, by the end of the Bronze Age in 1000 BC, the
80 density of population was higher than the European average by a factor
-I of 3 in Greece and more than 2 in Italy (Fig. 1.3). This is the demographic
background to the emergence of classical society.
II Greece set the pace. Between 1000 BC and 400 BC the population of
Europe doubled, increasing from lOm to 20m: in the same period the
Q0 00000000000000000000
~ 000000000 0k) 010010010010
~ CO t~ ~ 0)
population of Greece tripled, reaching a final total of 3m. This was an
o 0 . . amazing figure for the era. It goes a long way towards explaining why
Fia I 7 Furnn~ ennilnenial total
Inhabitants per km
Inhabitants per km
5 or more 19 or more
lOto 18
25 to5 4 average 9
4average 25
1-25 to 2-5 45 to9
less than 1-25 less than 4~5

Fig. 1.3 Europe. population densities in 1000 aC Fi . 1.4 Europe, population densities in AD 200
in the north of Europe there are iast tracts of land that hare never been signi
ficantly populated. This ,,,akes det,sitv figures for Norway. Sweden. Finland and
Russia-itt-Europe meaningless and thei are left out of thtc ;.ap and the other ,,iaps
like it. Averages are fbr the area .chown. which amounts to 37m kit;2

Greece so tiny on the map was able to rebuff, counter-attack and which eventually expanded to include the entire Mediterranean basin.
finally, under the leadership of Alexander the Great, conquer the far larger Success fed on itself: as the tribute of four dozen provinces flowed into the
Persian Empire: it had the manpower. It also had the problems that go metropolitan area, Italian population densities rose past the best Greek
with population densities at the Malthusian limit: pointless squabbling at figures. By AD I there were 7m people in Italy and this at a time when all
home punctuated by lemming-like rushes abroad. Alexanders success in Europe only contained 31m.
conquering Asia Minor resolved the situation. The population of the The Roman Empire prospered until AD 200, by which time it had some
homeland had already stopped growing: now, as the pull of privileged 46m subjects, including 28m of the 36m people in Europe (Fig. 1.5). This
opportunity abroad was added to the push of overcrowding at home, it was the high spot. It was followed by a slump which got steadily worse
actually began to fall. Between 300 ec and AD I numbers dropped from over the next four centuries. Numbers followed the economy down, with
3m to 2m: the density of settlement fell from more than 4 times the the European total dropping to 26m by AD 600 25~ less than the AD 200
European average to less than twice. peak. The decline was general, which at first sight suggests that it could
Even as Alexander set out for the east the focus of interest in Europe was have been caused by a deterioration in the climate. This is not really a very
shifting west, to Italy. This was the boom country of the years immediately likely explanation. It is clear that the drop in population was greater in the
before and after 300 nc and the beneficiary of the boom was the city at the Mediterranean countries than in the north of Europe, which is the opposite
centre of it, Rome. In conquering the peninsula and its 4m people Rome of what one would expect to happen if the weather got colder. It looks very
created a political unit that completely outclassed all others in Europe. The much as though classical society had simply over-expanded and that the
immediate consequence was war with the only other major power in the retreat was a reaction to this. Whatever the cause the new trend had
west Mediterranean. Carthage: the end result was the Roman Empire, dramatic results. The Roman Empire declined and fell, classical civilization

20 21
Fig. 1.6 Europe, population densities in AD 1300

Fig. 1.5 Population of the Roman Empire and of the paris of Europe outside the
Empire in AD 200. Each symbol represents In, people

crumbled away and in its place a new society began to form, the reudal
society of the medieval period.

Europe began to find its new style and put on some demographic weight
again in the 8th century. From the Dark Age nadir of 26m the popula
tion rose to reach 30m by the opening years of the 9th century and 36m
equal to the best level achieved in the classical period by the year 1000.
From there it moved on up and as it did so its rate of increase accelerated.
In the 11th century numbers increased by rather more than a fifth, in the
12th by more than a quarter and in the 13th the peak century of the medie
val cycle by more than a third. The total at the beginning of the 14th
century was an unprecedented SOm.
This population was very differently distributed from the population of
classical times. The axis of the classical world had been Mediterranean, Fig. 1.7 Europe. percentage changes in population AD 2001300
22 23
lying along a line joining Greece and Italy. The axis of the new Europe was
continental: the major powers were grouped either side of a line joining
Italy and Belgium (Fig. 1.6). The Balkans in general and Greece in par
ticular were of little account.
It is clear that the peoples of North-West Europe had been multiplying
faster than the peoples of the Mediterranean. So had the peoples of East
Europe, though because densities there remained very low this is not ap
parent on the density map. Fig. 1.7, which shows the percentage increases
since the classical period, makes it obvious. The average for the
Mediterranean region (see Fig. 1.10 for the definition) works out at only
36c. For the North-West the comparative figure is l85~, for the East no
less than 285c. If these difterential rates of growth had been maintained
for another century or two Mediterranean Europe would have paled into
The growth rates were not maintained. A rural society can keep growing
only if it brings more land into use or works the land it has better. By 1300
Europe was unable to do either. Its technology was improving too slowly
to be of any help in the short run: all the land had its quota of people and
more. The consequences became apparent early in the 14th century. The
price of food rose, the nutritive state of the population deteriorated, mor
tality increased, the excess of births disappeared and the population graph,
whose trend had been so strongly upward for the previous 500 years, Fig. 1.8 The spread of the Black Deal/i in Europe 1347 53. On land the plague
suddenly levelled off. It was not a happy state of affairs the halt had been spread most readily in densely populated areas. Con verse4, the low-density zone of
the Balkans and southern Russia acted like afire-break, confining the disease to tile
imposed by sheer wretchedness but it was happier than the next act.
shores of the Black Sea and Aegean. Though the plague eventually got to Moscow it
In 1347 bubonic plague (causative organism Pasteurella penis) broke out did so via the Mediterranean. France, the North Sea and the Baltic, not by the direct
in the Crimea. It had been brought from Mongolia, where it was endemic, route up the Volga
by one of the caravans that travelled the ancient silk route and it was now
to strike a European population that had little resistance to any disease into every corner of Europe, though its progress was slower and less mur
and almost none at all to Pasteurella pestis. For if Europe had suffered derous in the thinly populated lands in the east and south-east of the
onslaughts of bubonic plague before, there had certainly been none for a continent (Fig. 1.8).
long time, and the lack of selective pressure over the intervening centuries Between a quarter and a third of the population of Europe died in the
had left the population genetically defenceless. The result was the exper epidemic of 1347 53. This relieved the population pressure and released the
ience that the chroniclers of the time called The Great Dying and which survivors from the Malthusian factors that had been preventing growth
historians today refer to as the Black Death. during the early 14th century. But though recovery was brisk, renewed
Plague is a disease that affects rodents, fleas and men. The ships of the epidemics probably of other diseases as often as plague kept scything
Middle Ages which brimmed with all three were ideal agents for transmis away the increase. By 1400 the population of Europe was more than 25,
sion, and the spread of plague from Kaffa, the European terminus of the below its early medieval peak the total being nearer 60m than 80m and
silk route, to the major ports of the Mediterranean was a matter of only a it was only at this point that the graph steadied again. In many countries
few months. Overland its progress was slower, but France, with one of the the fall was even more catastrophic than these figures imply, for the more
worst cases of rural overpopulation in Europe, provided a bridge between densely populated areas, such as Italy, France, England and the Low
the Mediterranean and the North Sea. By 1348 the disease was raging on Countries, had suffered a loss of nearer 33c than 25c. Correspondingly
both sides of the English Channel. From there it spread through the British the sparsely populated lands east of the Vistula suffered only minor losses,
Isles and Scandinavia to the east coast of the Baltic. In the end it reached soon recouped.
24 25
omically and demographically. The result is the notch in the population
The 15th century saw recovery become general throughout Europe: by
graph at 1625 50 (Fig. 1.2). What sorted the winners rrom the losers was
its end totals were back to the 1300 level in nearly every area. And from
the recovery phase. In Italy this was so feeble that it can almost be said not
80m in 1500 there was sustained growth to around lOOm in 1600 and
to have happened at all: the country was permanently demoted rrom its
after a hiccough in the years 162050, of which more later 120m in 1700.
position as a market leader. By contrast the Low Countries, the British
This rise was more firmly rounded than the medieval population boom.
Isles and France moved on to new levels of prosperity: their goods began
The economy, thanks to an improving technology and to the extra dimen
to dominate sales throughout Europe.
sion added by the discovery of the sea routes to Asia and America, was
The subsequent population picture is interesting. At first sight there is
stronger, more productive and more resilient. Moreover, at least some of
little difference between the early modern pattern (Fig. I.9a) and the
the hands that were surplus to the requirements or the countryside round
medieval one (Fig. 1.6). Allowing for the increase in mean density from 20
useful employment in the rapidly growing towns. It was a period of
per km2 in 1300 to 30 per km2 in 1750 the grouping is almost identical.
metamorphosis: Europe was becoming capitalist and imperialist, increas
Holland moves up to the top rank, Ireland to the second and Scotland to
ingly intent on winning more wealth and ready to search the rest of the
the third and that is all. However these changes do add up to a consistent
world to find it.
trend, a shirt northward along the Italy-to-Belgium axis. The point is well
In the medieval era there was a rough balance between the
made in the map showing the percentage increases achieved by each
Mediterranean trading community headed by Italy, and the Atlantic com
country between 1300 (the medieval peak) and 1750 (Fig. I.9b). This also
munity headed by the Low Countries. This balance was destroyed during
shows the continuing high growth in the East, which finally enabled this
the crisis or the first half or the 17th century. The crisis was a general one: it
region to overtake the relatively slow-growing Mediterranean community
included Europes worst war for centuries, the Thirty Years War of 1618
(Fig. 1.10). In fact the Russian Empire was now poised to push the
48, some very bad outbreaks of plague and a monetary upheaval that had
Kingdom of France from its traditional position as the most populous
been working up since bullion imports from the New World reached sig
state in Europe.
nificant levels in the I550s. Every country in Europe suffered both econ

Fig. I .9b Europe, percentage changes in population 13001750

Fig I .9a Europe, population densities in 1750

Inhabilants per km
46 or more
0 31to45
-4------average 30
16 to 30
IS or less

26 27
The next period is one of very high growth, far higher than any ever
Europe: subdivision experienced before. In just under 100 years numbers went up by 80,,
from 140m in 1750 to 250m in 1845. This was more than twice the
into regions previous record, the 36, increase of the 12th century. Moreover by the end
of the period it was clear that the rules of the game had changed: mortality
rates had dropped so far that unless and until there was a corresponding
drop in fertility the natural state would be one of continuing rapid growth.
Man had got his old enemies, famine and plague, on the run. He was fairly
launched into a new cycle, the modernization cycle, which was to bring not
only an unprecedented increase in numbers but an unprecedented im
provement in the length and quality of life.
Can we sort out exactly what happened? At first sight it looks easy
enough. Both the demographers and the economists graphs turn up at the
same time the second half of the 18th century and in the same place
the British Isles. Ergo, the demographic revolution and the industrial
revolution go hand in hand. But in that case how come that Ireland, with
no industrial revolution, had the highest multiplication rate of all? The
answer is that the boom started off as just a boom like any other: the things
that made it special the advances in health and wealth became impor
tant only after it was well established.
There could still be a link of sorts. Societies which have (1) a high density
of population for their time and (2) a high rate of increase seem to be better
Fig. 1.11 a Europe. populanon densities in 1845
East overtakes North-West /
temporaiily 1914& 1939
Inhabitants per km
76 or more
c9 51 to 75
4average 50
26 to 50
25 or less

Nbali-W~st bvehak~s
HMediterranean in 800

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
00 OtO
~ ~ 0
. -I


Fig. 1.10 29

-~ -a

4 p

Fig. 1.11 b Europe, percentage changes in population 17501845

at innovating than most. Fig. 1.12 makes the case: a succession of waves
mark the major surges of population in Europe and though there is no
suggestion that these represent anything but instabilities in the dynamics of
colonization they correlate well with cultural achievement. So it is possible
Fig. 1.12 Europe. demographic development 1200 B C AD 1800. The na re-fronts
that the tendency to generate booms for the crest of each wave to rise too represent rapid mulnftlicat ion to high leiels ofdensity high for the date in question.
high has helped the advance of science and technology. that is. There is an obvious correlation between these demographic surges anti social
It certainly didnt help the Irish. In 1845 as in 1750 they were still living advance. the first four haves mark the development of the classical culture of Greece
at subsistence level, the only difference being that in 1750 there had been and its spread through Italy: the next t,io the establishment ofthefrudal order in
3m of them while in 1845 there were 8-Sm. If allowance is made for the Western Europe: the final pair the appearance of the early capitalist society of the
0-Sm who had moved to other parts of the United Kingdom and the I m Netherlands and the beginning of the industrial revolution in England
who had emigrated to the United States the Irish multiplication rate works
out at more than 200~, comfortably greater than the l80~ of the runners- levels. Perhaps Sm people had left Europe between the voyages of
up in the growth table, England and Wales. The potato blight that arrived discovery and the year 1845: ten times that number left between then and
from America in 1845 put a terrible end to this runaway increase. For three the outbreak of the First World War. The two biggest contingents, each
successive years it destroyed the crop on which the Irish peasantry had roughly lOm strong, came from the British Isles and Russia. Germany,
become entirely dependent. A million died, a million more fled and the Italy and Austro-Hungary added Sm each, and even Scandinavia, with its
islands population began to drain away almost as fast as it had built up. relatively small population, contributed 25m. The USA, which benefited
Irelands disaster had no effect on growth rates elsewhere in Europe. The to the tune of 30m new citizens, was the main attraction, but Canada,
continent achieved, the same increase in the seventy years from 1845 to Latin America, Australia and (in the Russian case) Siberia received a flood
1914 as it had in the ninety-five years of the preceding period: 80,,. The of new settlers too. The steamship and the railway made movement on this
actual increment was 200m, the final total 450m. And both figures would scale possible: the promise of greater opportunity very largely genuine
have been SOm higher if emigration had not risen to quite unheard-of did the rest.
30 31
Inhabitants per km
129 or more
0 86 to 128
4average 85
43 to 85
42 or less

Fig. I. 13a Europe. population densities in 1914 Fig. 1.14 Europe, political divisions in 1845

Within Europe the shifts were in favour of the Protestant north. Ger
many joined England and Wales and the Low Countries in the top rank of
the density table; Italy dropped out (Fig. 1.1 3a). As for percentage increase
most countries managed a respectable rate all bar two are in the rank on
either side of the mean in Fig. 1.1 3b and of the two exceptions, Ireland
and France, the first was clearly a very special case. Irelands population
actually fell by 500, because emigration rates persistently outpaced natural
increase. France managed a rise but such a feeble one a mere 17, that
it slipped from second to fifth position among the powers of Europe (Figs.
1.14, 1.15).
Another way of looking at these changes is in the manner of Fig. 1.12
picking out the country that is showing rapid growth to a high level of
density. This approach suggests that Germany was now going to take over
from Britain as the most dynamic state in Europe. To a large extent this
expectation was fulfilled: German scholars and scientists set new standards
for the continent in the course of the later 19th century, while German
industry and technology outclassed the competition with increasing ease.
However, in terms of the division into Mediterranean, North-West and
East, it was the East which was the winner. As Fig. 1.10 shows, the period
ended with the East overtaking the North-West in absolute numbers and
Fig. 1.1 3b Europe, percentage changes in population 1845 1914 threatening to leave it right behind in the course of the next few decades.
Fig. 1.15 Europe, political divisions in 1914 Fig. 1.16 Europe, political divisions in 1975

This explains the paranoid element in contemporary German attitudes. If The East made up the lost ground in the inter-war period and by the
the achievements of the Wilhelmine era were accompanied by an amount opening years of the Second World War was out in front again. This time
of drum-banging and trumpet-blowing that was excessive even by the jin its loss was heavier than the other regions in every category. Of the l7m
goistic standards of the time, it was because of a lurking fear that the 20th soldiers who died most came from the East (Russia lOm, Germanys
century would turn out to be the century of the Slav not the German. eastern provinces and satellites lSm, Poland 0Sm TOTAL 12m), relatively
Germanys attempts to prevent this happening provide our final period few from the North-West (Germany 3m, U K O3m, France O2m TOTAL
1914 to 1975 with its main theme. Scared by the statistics of Russian 4m) and, once again, very few indeed from the Mediterranean (Italy 03m.
industrial growth the Germans precipitated Europe into the First World Yugoslavia O3m TOTAL 08m). The civilian deaths were in even greater
War in 1914. The four-year struggle cost the lives of 8m soldiers, with the disproportion, something like lOm for the East (including 45m of the Sm
North-West taking a slightly larger loss (Germany I7m, France l3m, Jews murdered by the Nazis) as against Im in the North-West (including
United Kingdom O75m TOTAL 375m) than the East (Russia l7m, 05m Germans and O3m French) and lSm in the Mediterranean (l2m of
Austro-Hungary l25m, Romania O3m TOTAL 325m) and the them Yugoslavs). The East also lost and the North-West gained the
Mediterranean emerging relatively unscathed (Italy O65m TOTAL O75m). 15m people who fled or were expelled from one to the other in the closing
But battle casualties are not the data of most significance to the demogra days of the war and the immediate post-war period. Add in a birth deficit
pher: much more important are rises in mortality due to malnutrition or sufficient to cancel out the usual natural increases and we get a fall of 35m
disease and birth deficits due to social and economic dislocation. Here the in the East as against no change or a small increase in the other two
North-West got off relatively lightly. In Russia on the other hand the regions. This puts the North-West ahead of the East again in Fig. 1.10, a
economy collapsed in 1917 and this collapse was followed by a revolution position it has retained, though by a diminishing margin, up to now.
ary struggle in which famines and epidemics carried off literally millions of Politically of course the East has moved way out in front, with Russia
people. What the exact mortality works out at is disputable: what is not is dominating the European scene as never before. Whereas in 1845 Russia
that there was a drop of about lOm in the East as a whole and that this was was in population rather less than twice as big as the next biggest power
sufficient to put the North-West region back in the lead. (which was France see Fig. 1.14) and in 1914 was still something under

34 35
three times as big as the next (which was Germany see Fig. 1.15), now it
is more than four times the number two (West Germany) and actually
Inhabitants per km bigger than numbers 2, 3, 4 and 5 added together (see Fig. 1.16). There are
186 or more two main reasons for the discrepancy between the regional and political
pictures, one being that Russia is an Asian as well as a European state and
124 to 185 its Asian population has grown very rapidly indeed, the other being that
4average 123
62 to 123 the second-ranking power, Germany, has been diminished in size and
divided in two.
61 or less
This brings us to the last pair of maps in the density and percentage-
increase series, Figs. ha and b. The density map is nice and simple: Italy
has rejoined the top rank, almost everyone else is in the third rank and only
poor old Ireland is in the fourth. The result is a straightforward picture of a
high-density strip running down the middle of a continent that is otherwise
populated at a relatively moderate and surprisingly even density. The per
centage-increase map is much more complicated. Of the three regions only
the Mediterranean shows a consistent trend; the other two present a jumble
of high and low rates that appear to make no sense at all. The upheavals
involved in the two world wars are responsible for a lot of this patchiness:
Czechoslovakia and Poland for example put themselves in the bottom
rank by expelling their German minorities in 1945; conversely Switzerland
Fig. 1.1 7a Europe, population densities in 1975 climbed quietly up to the top because no one interrupted her peaceful
progress. If allowance is made for this sort of thing (and a blind eye is
turned to the Netherlands) the map can be made to yield a believable
picture: low to moderate growth in the North-West, moderate growth in
the East and relatively strong growth in the Mediterranean. This is cer
tainly the way the growth rates of the past decade are averaging out and it
fits well with a theoretical expectation: the three regions are likely to slow
down in the same order they started up North-West first, Mediterranean
For of course the really important thing about Fig. l.17b is not its
patchwork look but the value for Europe as a whole, a mere 4O0~, just as
the really striking thing about European growth rates recently is not the
differences among them but the fact that almost all have fallen rapidly.
Compare the 191475 increase of 400 with the 8O0~ of 1845 1914 and it is
clear that the steam has gone out of the boom: look at the growth rates for
Germany, the United Kingdom and Belgium all now near zero and it is
clear that in some areas the modernization cycle is nearly over.
We should be thankful this is so and that it is happening so painlessly.
Earlier booms were brought to an end by a fall in living standards and a
rise in mortality rates. Now the mechanism is gentler: it is reproduction
rates that fall as children have to take their place in the hierarchy of
gratificationscars, hi-fis, colour TV sets and holidays abroad available
Fig. 1.1 7b Europe) percentage changes in population 191475 to the consumer society. This isnt what Malthus had in mind, but itll do.

36 37
thirds of them Algerians), the West Indies and the Indian subcontinent (commun
ities in the United Kingdom numbering O75m and Im respectively). Britains immi
grants differ from the rest in that they have full citizenship and are quite certainly
The recent inflow from the West Indies, North Africa and Asia has attracted a
great deal of comment in Europe, which has traditionally been a continent that
people emigrate from, not immigrate into. For the post-1914 period as a whole the
input figures are in fact relatively puny, certainly no more than a fifth of the output
total of 25m.

Europes Frontier with Asia

The line dividing Europe from Asia has traditionally been taken to run along the
Ural mountains and Ural river to the Caspian Sea and then along the Caucasus
mountains to the Black Sea. In 1958 the Russians officially adopted a new dividing
line: this runs along the eastern foothills of the Urals, not the crest, and along the
Emba river, not the Ural: from the Caspian Sea it follows the Kuma Manych
depression to the Sea of Azov. Whatever line you pick is going to be in Soviet
territory, so it seems reasonable to let Soviet geographers decide the issue: their
definition is the basis of the one used in this book. We have not followed the new
line exactly because census data are published by administrative departments and
more often than not these lie partly in Europe and partly in Asia. Rather than
engage in dubious calculations as to how many people in a particular department
live on each side of the line, we have taken the inter-departmental boundaries that
correspond most nearly to the inter-continental division. The republics (SSR and
ASSR) and provinces (Krays and Oblasts) involved are shown on Fig. 1.18.

Fig. 1.18 Geography of the junction bet ,reen Europe and Asia

Guest- Workers
One consequence of the difference in industrial maturity between North-West and
Mediterranean regions has been the build-up of a population of Mediterranean
guest-workers in the North-West, particularly in West Germany (where there are
I .4m, a third of them Yugoslavs, nearly a third Italians), France (I m, half of them
Portuguese, a quarter Spaniards and a quarter Italians) and Switzerland (O4m, three
quarters of them Italians). The idea is that all these people go home when their
contracts expire and at the moment most of them seem to. The prosperity of the
North-West has also attracted people from further afield, notably Turkey (O6m
guest-workers in West Germany), the Maghreb (O6m guest-workers in France, two-
EUROPE AREA 1 The British Isles
0-31m km2

la England and Wales 015m km

Until the 6th millennium ac England the Romans left at the beginning of the
was joined to the Continent and post 5th century they took their law and
Glacial man was able to Come and go order with them and left behind a com
as he pleased. If, as seems likely, he munity that was no longer capable of
preferred to come in the summer and organizing its own: Anglo-Saxon
go in the winter the population of the invaders poured in from Germany and
country will have been a seasonally the British were hustled westward.
fluctuating one, with its upper and lower Between the area of immediate German
limits slowly rising from zero a few success along the east and south coasts
hundred in the upper palaeolithic period and the area that remained under the
to a few hundred a few thousand in the rule of the natives now known as
mesolithic. Around 5500 Bc the rise in Welsh lay a no-mans land that may
sea level caused by the melting of the ice have amounted to a quarter of the total.
caps created the English Channel and The population will have fallen by an
put a stop to these fluctuations. The equivalent amount and at its Dark Age
population graph then steadied within nadir around AD 700 can hardly have
the 23,000 band. exceeded 0m: more than half will have
The arrival of the first farmers is been descendants of the 0tm Anglo
dated to about 3500 BC. By the end of Saxons who had landed during the per
the neolithic (2000 ac) the population iod AD 450550.
had grown to 50,000, by the Late Demographic recovery came as the
Bronze Age (1000 Bc) to 100,000, while Anglo-Saxons pushed the conquest to
in the Iron Age, when several waves of near completion, driving the Welsh into
immigrants from the continent brought Wales. By 800 the population was
with them a better system of agriculture, passing the Roman peak, by 1000 it
there was a relatively rapid increase was around t5m and by the time of the
from 02m (in 500 Bc) to 06m (in AD I). Norman conquest, l75m, of which the
Previously, farming had been more a Welsh accounted for rather less than
matter of stock-raising than ploughing: I0~.
now the plough became the farmers Population growth over the next six
most important tool and, in the south of centuries went in fits and starts. The per
the country at least, permanent villages iod 11001300 saw a big rise. This is the
became the normal pattern of occupa era of medieval expansion, with both
tion. acreage under the plough and total
The Roman conquest brought law population reaching record levels.
and order: the population increased, Indeed, the final figure of around 375m
finally reaching a peak of 08m in the seems to have been well over the
4th century AD. Unfortunately, when optimum for the agricultural technology
20th century the fall-off in the rate of
of the time, for, as more and more mar
ginal land was brought into use, both increase became more noticeable, the England and
productivity and standards of living fell.
Since the norm was little better than
population rise being of the order of one
third in the first half of the century; it
subsistence, the nutritional state of the will probably be only a quarter or less
population declined dangerously. By in the second half. That will still give
1300 the population was having diffi England and Wales a density of nearly
culty maintaining itself and before the 370 per km2.
bubonic plague had ever been seen in Since the early 19th century there has
England the stage was set for disaster. been considerable migration into and
As in Europe generally, the initial at out of England and Wales. Prior to 1950
tack of the plague, the 1348 9 epidemic the input was very largely Irish and
which is known (retrospectively) as the Catholic. The native Catholic popula 50
Black Death, killed something like a tion had gradually dwindled under the
third of the population. Further out repressive legislation that followed the
breaks through the remainder of the Protestant Reformation, falling from
century thwarted any recovery and by about 20, of the total in 1600 to little
1400 the population of England and more than 5, in 1700 and a bare I, in
Wales was down to 2Sm. It took the the t780s. The beginning of significant I
whole of the 15th century and perhaps Irish immigration dates to this period of
some of the 16th for the population to near zero native Catholic population, so
regain its pre-Black Death level and, the figures for Catholics after this date
though figures then broke new ground, can be taken as a measure of Irish immi
epidemics of one sort or another gration plus, as time passed, the natural
frequently placed the increase In multiplication of the immigrants. By
jeopardy. The final outbreak of bubonic 1850 the Catholic percentage was back
plague in England the Great Plague to 5,, (09m). by 1900 to 6~, (235m).
of 1665 was, in fact, less severe than and it is currently around 10, (Sm).
the plagues of 1603 and 1625 but was The Jewish community has a more
remembered as the Great Plague recent history. Following the pogroms
because it was the last in the series. in Russia during the 1880s there was a
Curiously, the absence of plague large influx of East European Jews into
brought little immediate change in the London and, though most of them
demographic situation, long-term popu merely used the city as a port of call on
lation growth in the late 17th and early their way to the New World! something
18th centuries being almost impercept like 03m had settled in England per
ible. Then, in the late 18th century, came manently by 1914. The present-day
the demographic revolution: the popu community numbers about 04m. 10
lation curve turned sharply upwards as While the Catholic and Jewish com 8
the processes of industrialization and munities grew, the Welsh were (in a lin 6
urbanization became explosive. From guistic sense) absorbed. At the begin
6lm in 1750 the population grew to ning of the 18th century Wales had still
92m in 1800 (a 50,, gain) and to l8m in been predominantly Welsh-speaking: by 2
1850 (a 100,, gain). There was only a the early 20th century the percentage
o o 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
slight slackening in the second half of of natives who only spoke Welsh had S ~
0 0 0 0 0 CO
0 0
0 CO
0 C,
0 it 0
the 19th century (when the growth rate fallen below 10,. 0 0 o1
was still over 75,, yielding a 1900 Up to the period immediately after 1975~
population figure of 33m), but in the the First World War, the various input
Europe Area Ia
figures for England and Wales were off
set by a far larger output. The actual
continent) created a positive balance of
about 0Sm and a present-day coloured
lb Scotland O08m km2

numbers are somewhat speculative, but community of approximately l75m

40c Caribbean, 6000 Indian. It was not until the 9th millennium BC by 5000, and this despite the fact that,
for the period 18501950 a total immi
The native English birth rate has been that the Scottish ice cap shrank enough during the same period, 75,000 Scots had
gration of about Sm was outweighed by
falling fairly steadily in recent years and for mesolithic man to move in, and even left their homes and settled in Ulster.
the emigration of some 8m, nearly all
projections for the year 2000 have been when he did his numbers were trivial The industrial revolution came to the
of whom went to North America or
progressively lowered. The current no more than a few dozen. The popula rescue. In step with the English. the
Australia. In the period from 1950 to
estimate is around 53m: the age struc tion rose to a few hundred in the Scots industrialized and urbanized, and
1962 (when stringent immigration con
trols were introduced) the situation was ture of the new commonwealth neolithic (3rd millennium BC) and per the countrys expanding economy was
reversed: immigration from the neW population suggests that their propor haps to 2,500 in the Bronze Age (2nd able to sop up the increase in a useful
tion of the whole will have risen to at millennium aC), but it was only in the way. The migration balance became
commonwealth countries (the
least 5~ by then. Iron Age that the figure finally reached positive, with 02m net arrivals from
Caribbean and the Indian sub-
the 100,000 mark. This population was Ireland during the period 180050:
almost entirely confined to the lowlands: agriculture became relatively so unim
the reason the Romans never made any portant that when the potato blight ar
Primary Sources rived it caused only a local demographic
attempts to occupy the Highlands was
British detnographers are lucky in possessing two exceptionally early surveys. the that there were not enough people collapse in the Highlands, not an overall
Domesday Book, compiled in the 1080s, and the record of the poll tax of 1377. there no matter how hard they were disaster as in Ireland. Nevertheless this
Continuous statistics get off to a much later and shakier start in the 16th century. flogged to support a garrison. check did mark the end of the real boom
which produced muster rolls.fiscal assessments and Thomas Cromwells instruction to In the medieval period the Scots times and after 1850 Scotland became a
parish priests to register baptisms, marriages and burials (1538). The first attempt to became a nation. For the first time the net exporter of people again. The
calculate the countrys population dates from the end of the next century, when population figures became considerable, population grew from just under 3m in
Gregory King came up with afigure of 5S,,i: lie based his calculations on the hearth- the half million mark being reached just 1850 to 4Sm in 1900, but the Sm mark
tax returns for 166282. before the advent of the Black Death was reached only in 1950, and since
The first official census was held in 1801. This and the next four in the decennial and regained by 1500. By the 17th cen 1960 there has been almost no growth at
series were supervised by John Rickman. During his period in office he also called in tury the country was even beginning to all. The net outflow during this time has
and analysed a sample of the material obtainable in the parish registers for the 18th get overpopulated, a trend to which the been of the order of 2m, representing a
century and produced retrospective figures back to 1700. newly introduced potato contributed, very high rate of emigration. Scotlands
The decennial census has been held on schedule since 1801 with a single exception, particularly in the Highlands. Between population, which was a fifth of
the wartime year of 1941. 1600 and 1700 numbers increased from Englands in 1700, is now only a tenth
two thirds of a million to a million, or its size.

Educated guesses for the earliest periods up to Roman times are given in Chapter 6 of Primary Sources and Bibliography
Grahame Clark, Archaeology and Society (1947). For the medieval period the stan
dard work is J. C. Russell, British Medieval Population (1948), though his Domesday As in England the decennial census was introduced in 1801 and apart from the war year
figures are now thought to be a bit low. For a discussion of she margin of error in 1941 has been taken regularly ever since. The pre-census material is sparse. there are
calculations derived from the Domesday Book and the 1377 poll tax records see no useful tax returns and even the parish registers, being voluntary, are not really
M. 1.1. Posian, The Medieval Economy and Society (1972). For the 16th century see J. reliable. Alexander Webster:, pioneer estimate of 1755 (for which see A. Youngson,
Cornwall. Economic History Review 23(1) 1970. Gregory Kings estimate is discussed Population Studies 15 (2) 1961) was based on parochial returns: the figure he came
and revised by Gloss in and Eversley. For the 18th century see Phyllis Deane up with was 1265m.
and W. A. Cole. British Economic Growth 16881959(1967). pp. 5,6. For the Roman For the medieval period see J. C. Russells British Medieval Population (1948). For
Catholic and Jewish communities in England see John D. Gay. The Geography of guesses at the prehistoric population levels see V. G. Childe, The Pre-history of
Religion in England (1971). Scotland (1935).
ic Ireland 0-OSm km

Irelands prehistoric population build By 1845 up to a quarter of the popula Scotland

up was proportionately slower than tion was without work and, during the
Englands. Starting from a few hundred winter months, almost without food.
in the mesolithic, the number is unlikely Since 1800, ISm people had emigrated:
to have risen to more than a few thous roughly Im to settle in the New World
and in the neolithic and 100,000 in the and 0Sm to work in the new factories in
Iron Age. Medieval growth was more England and Scotland.
impressive from 03m at the beginning The emigration from Ireland in the
of the 11th century to 08m by the end early 19th century was a movement
of the 13th century and in the early without precedent, but it was not
modern period the total finally reached enough to avert catastrophe. In 1846
the million. and 1847 the failure of the potato crop
At this point the English control over (due to blighting by fungus) turned
the island, hitherto nominal, became Ireland into a disaster area. By 1851 the 5.25?
both actual and bloody. Irelands sequence of famine years had caused at
refusal to follow England along the path least 075m excess deaths. For millions
of religious reform led to a series of there was but one hope escape to hap
ferocious wars in the course of which pier lands and the only positive feature
the north-east province of Ulster was in the situation was that the emigration
cleared of natives and planted with of preceding decades had established
100,000 Protestant settlers, mostly low outlets across the Irish Sea and Atlantic
land Scots. Ocean. What had been a stream now
Despite these upheavals, the Irish rate became a flood: during the years 1846
of multiplication was now sufficiently SI a million people left the stricken
fast to produce a doubling of the island and, although the threat of
population within the 17th century. And famine then receded, lack of work kept
the rate itself was rising: during the 18th emigration figures at a level that would
century it more than doubled (to 525m) have been considered incredibly high by
and at the growth rate then existing the all standards except those of the im
lOm mark would have been reached by mediate post-famine years- From 1851
1850. This was alarming. England, with to 1900 another 3m people left (making
its industrializing economy and its a total of Sm for the 19th century): the
rapidly growing cities, might be able to islands population fell from the 1845
absorb a comparable increase, but in peak of 85m to 4Sm in 1900.
Ireland neither industrialization nor In the early 20th century the fall in
numbers continued, a low of 425m 5?
urbanization had even begun: the extra
population would have to find its living being reached in 1930. Since then there
on the land. The potato, introduced in has been a slight recovery to 45m. Emi
the late 16th century. went some way gration, which in this century has
towards making it possible to sustain amounted to about ISm, has not been
the increase, for a field of potatoes can the only factor in this restabilization of
feed four times as many people as the the population: there has also been a fall
same area under wheat. Nevertheless, in fertility of a peculiarly Irish type, o
brought about by less and later mar o o
o 0
the history of early 19th-century Ireland CD t ~ 0) 0
was one of increasing impoverishment. riage. o o
I I 1975i
46 Europe Areas lb and J~
Since 1921 Ireland has been divided Protestant-dominated (but one third
between the almost entirely Catholic Catholic) U K province of Ulster in the The British Isles
Free State in the south (population in north (population increasing from
1921 75 stable at 3m) and the l25m in 1921 to Sm in 1975).

Primary Sources
Data adequate for a calculation of Irelands population begin only with the introduction
of a hearth tax in 1662. they were first so used by Sir William Petty in 1672. The first
proper census was carried out in 1821 and censuses hare been held decennially since
then with the exception of the years 1931. 1941 and 1951. During this period north and
south took their censuses separately, the north in 1937 and 1951 and the south in 1926,
1936, 1946 and 1956.

Pointers useful in estimating the medieval population of Ireland are summarized in
J. C. Russells British Medieval Population (1948). The period from the late 17th
century to the pre-famine peak is fully covered in K. H. Connells The Population of
Ireland 17501845 (1950): the table on p. 25 gives his final estimate for the period
1687 1841. For the mortality during the famine years see S. H. Cousens, Population
Studies 14(1) 1960.

00 0000
S 0000
5~ 000000~
~ 0


Europe Area I
EUROPE AREA 2 Scandinavia Scandinavia
l-l5m km

2a Denmark O-04m km2

2b Sweden O-45m km
(O-03m kmarablc)
2c Norway O-32m km2
(O-OIm km2 arabIc)
2d Finland O-34m km2
(O-03m km2 arabic)

The first clear case of overspill is the 24?

The Ice Age lasted longer in
Scandinavia than in any other part of migration by some of the Goths of C,
Europe, the peninsula emerging from Sweden to Germany in the last century
the ice only in the course of the 9th mil nc. Other Scandinavian clans followed -tOslo
lennium ac. A few thousand reindeer during the next 200 years and the
hunters moved in then. Behind them, in movement probably came to an end
the next millennium, came a rather more only when the fall of Rome an event in
numerous population of mesolithic which the continental Goths played a DENMARK
food-gatherers, and finally, around 5000 prominent part relieved population
ac, the first farmers. Denmark, the only pressure throughout the Teutonic .4 Copenhagen
sizable area immediately suitable for world.
agriculture, straight away became the The next time the lid blew off in a
demographic heavyweight among the much more spectacular way. By the end
Scandinavian countries. If there were of the 8th century AD the Scandinavians
150,000 people in the area by the time had developed Europes first really effici
the local Iron Age began in 500 Bc, two ent sailing ship, the square-sailed Viking
thirds of them will have lived in longship. This enabled them to export
Denmark: comparable figures for 200 their surplus population over an amaz
ac would be 400,000 and 5000. ingly wide area. The movement began
Since then two themes have charac with the Norse (Norwegians), who
terized Scandinavian population his established colonies in Scotland, nor
tory, the colonization of the north and a thern England, and the empty islands of
tendency to overspill. The two are the north Atlantic (the Faroes, Iceland
presumably related: in fair weather the and Greenland: see Area 15). The
land-hungry will have looked north, in Swedish adventurers, the Varangians,
foul overseas. Whether or not the travelled east; they sailed along the great
relationship is as simple as this or rivers of Russia to set up the prin
indeed whether it exists at all should cipalities of Novgorod and Kiev, and
become clear as more is learnt about traded and raided as far as the Caspian
Europes climate in the last 3,000 years. and Black Seas. The Danes concen
One bit of evidence that is to hand is trated on the shores of the English
that most of the emigration movements Channel. There they founded the Duchy o o 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
~ 0
0 0
tO 0
seem to have started from the northern, of Normandy (in the early 10th century) o2o~~l0 0 0- ~ ~ 0
more temperature-sensitive half of the and, after many attempts, finally F4 P1 1975~1
population zone. succeeded in conquering England
Europe Area 2
(1016). Altogether, we can reckon that present total of nearly Sm. There have
some 200,000 people left Scandinavia been dreadful setbacks within the over 5.5?
for good between the end of the 8th cen all success, most notably in 1697 when a
tury and the beginning of the 11th, of crop failure was followed by a famine in
whom perhaps half lived long enough to which 100,000 people, a third of the
tell their children how they sailed with countrys population, died. Recovery
Ragnar Lothbrok, Rollo or Sveyn took a generation. And though this was
Forkbeard. the worst ever loss it was far from the
The reflux clTects of the Viking last one: as late as 1867 8, of the
movement brought Christianity and population died following an exactly
better manners to Scandinavia which, in similar crop failure.
the years immediately before and after In modern times Scandinavias over
AD 1000, settled down into the three population problems have found a
kingdoms of Denmark. Norway and peaceable solution in emigration to the
Sweden. For a long time the Danish New World. Between 1815 and 1939 9?
kingdom was the most important of the there was a net outflow of 275m people,
three: it was the most densely populated of whom l25m were Swedes, 085m
(it still is), so it was relatively easy to Norwegians, 035m Danes and 025m
administer; it was also the biggest in Finns. Relative to size, Norways con
absolute numbers because its traditional tribution is much the largest, which is
boundaries included the southern part understandable given its traditionally
of Sweden and a fifth of its inhabitants. maritime outlook.
The gradual development of the north The populations of the Scandinavian
changed this picture. By the middle of states are homogeneous. In the far north
the 17th century the Swedes were strong some 20,000 Lapps. descendants of the
enough to force the King of Denmark to reindeer hunters of palaeolithic times,
give up his hold on the south of their still cling to the old ways. There are
country: by its end they outnumbered about a third of a million Swedish
the Danes 2 to I. In fact Swedes then speakers in Finland: they represent the
descendants of a colonizing wave that 4.5?
constituted half the population of the
area, more than ever before or since. crossed the Baltic during the period
Swedens relative decline in recent when Finland was under Swedish
times is a consequence of Finlands rise. domination. There are a similar number
Nowhere has the frontier of cultivation of Finns in Sweden but they are very
been pushed northward so dramatically recent immigrants attracted by the
as in Finland. The result of this is that greater economic opportunities of the
the 100,000 Finns of late medieval times Swedish labour market. All these minor
have been able to multiply up to a ities are tending to decline. 5?

Primary Sources

These are almost non-existent until the 17th century, when a start was made with
parish registration throughout the area. Denniark levied a poll tax (1660) and the
Norwegians compiled a muster roll (16646). In the 18th century all is light. National
collections ofparish registers are available from 1730 on. A proper census was taken in
Sweden and its dependency Finland in 1749 (the first ever held in continental Europe):
Denmark and its dependency Norway followed suit in 1769.
Europe Areas 2a-d
The Swedish and Finnish censuses were repeated in 1760 and hare been taken EUROPE AREA 3 France
regularly, usually quinquenniall.v. ever since. The Danish census was repeated in 1787,
1801 and 1834. and either quinquennially or decennially from 1840 on. The Norwegian O-ZSm km2
census nas repeated in 1801 and. with afrw irregularities, decennially from 1850 on.


For acceptable guesses as to the population of the Scandinavian countries in the 11th
century AD see the Cambridge Medieval History (Vol. 6 (1929). p. 367), and for France, with some 10,000 inhabitants in revive the old Gallo-Roman economy
Norway in the 14th century the * Cambridge Economic History of Europe (Vol. 4. the upper palaeolithic (c.15.000 BC), can and while they were evolving their own
p. 38). * Rus.celPs medieval figures seem too Ion to us. fairly be called the heartland of early feudal system of government the fall in
For the Danish poll tax of 1660 see .4. Lassen, Sc. Econ. HR. 14 (1966), for the prehistoric Europe. This position it lost population continued, It eventually bot
Norwegian muster rolls S. Dyrvik. Sc. Econ. HR. 20(1972), andfor the nhole area in when the climate improved: the popula tomed out at about 45m in AD 600.
this period H. Gille, in Population Studies 3(1)1949. tion in thc mcsolithic cra (c.7500 BC) What was gradually lost over the four
never grew beyond 50,000 and the centuries up to AD 600 was gradually
country entered the neolithic, food- recovered in the four centuries follow
producing stage considerably later than ing: by AD 1000 France once again had
most of its neighbours. By the end of the a population of 6Sm. This time it was at
first full millennium of the neolithic, in the beginning, not the end, of a phase of
3000 ac, numbers were up to 0Sm, by rapid growth. Despite an outflow of
2000 Bc the total was Im, by 1000 BC adventurous sons to England. Italy and
2m and by 400 BC 3m. But there were the Holy Land the second half of the
less people in France than in Italy, and 11th century produced a rise of a mil
they were less sophisticated too. The lion. In the 12th century the gain was
result was the Roman conquest of Gaul. more than 2Sm (for a total of l0Sm)
dramatically completed by Julius Caesar and in the 13th century more than Sm.
in the middle years of the last century The great cathedrals built in these years
BC. are memorials to this upsurge, which
Once accepted, Roman rule ushered carried the countrys population to 16m
in a prosperous phase during which by the beginning of the 14th century,
numbers increased to a peak figure of and perhaps a million more though
6Sm in AD 200. The turning point came after 1300 the rate of increase certainly
fifty years later when the Germans fell off very sharply by the time the
broke through the Rhine frontier and Black Death struck in 1348.
roughed up the Gauls in a way they Whatever the exact number it was too
never really recovered from. This disas high. The medieval cycle had reached its
ter, plus the measures the authorities Malthusian limit, with the mass of the
took to repair it, triggered off a reversal peasantry in poorer health than it had
of the previous trend with a fall in num been a hundred years earlier. This ex
bers to Sm by AD 400. plains why the toll exacted by disease in
At this point the western half of the the period 1348 1400 was so terrible.
Roman Empire disintegrated and the And terrible it was. Not only did a third
Franks, a German people from the of the population die in the initial pan
lower Rhine, moved in to become the demic of bubonic plague but repeated
areas new rulers. The Franks had attacks of this and other diseases in the
neither the wish nor the capacity to second half of the century turned this
temporary reduction into a new equili feeble. Moreover, in the second half of
brium point. Not till the opening years the 19th century, though the population
of the 15th century was there any sign of managed to rise to 41m, this increase France
sustained recovery, not till well into the was entirely due to the greater
16th century did the French population individual longevity that resulted from 62?
reach its 1348 level again. the improvement in health and general
Surpassing the previous best was only living standards.
part of the demographic achievement of Emigration has never played a signifi-
the early modern era: during the period cant part in French population history.
1550-1650 there was an additional gain The reason why numbers grew so slowly
of 30,, which took the population over was that the birth rate fell. Frenchmen
the 20m mark. Then there was a pause were, it goes without saying, approach
due partly to bad luck, partly to bad ing their traditional business with
management. The bad luck came in the traditional vigour, but to their cus
form of epidemics and famines, the bad tomary skills they now added a final
management was supplied by Louis flourish. Coitus inlerrupsus, it seems,
XIV. Out of sheer bigotry Louis ex became a national habit: fleeting pleas
pelled 02m of his hardest-working sub ures were not allowed to undermine the
jects, the Huguenots, while by his inces good life.
sant and ultimately unsuccessful wars he One of the results of this self-control
succeeded in temporarily ruining the was that by 1870 there were more
countrys economy. The reign that had Germans than Frenchmen. That same
begun in confidence and glory ended in year Bismarck wrested Frances
bitterness and poverty. traditional primacy from her. In the
After Louis death things soon picked First World War France showed that
up again, though the first sign that they she had enough guts and enough
were beginning to do so was a peculiarly allies to get it back, but the cost was
alarming one, an outbreak of plague at so high (l3m war dead and an equally
Marseilles in 1720. This was locally large birth deficit) that the country was
devastating it killed half the 80,000 actually weakened by its victory. There
people in the city but it didnt spread was a widespread feeling, abroad as well
beyond Provence, showing that the as at home, that France could not af
disease had lost some of its penetrating ford to sustain another such struggle.
power. In fact it turned out that as far And in the event her speedy defeat in
as Western Europe was concerned this the Second World War showed that she
was the plague bacilluss last throw: couldnt, or wouldnt. Defeat had its
there were no more epidemics after this price too 05m dead, a 025m birth
one. Right across the continent popula deficit but it was within the nations
tion figures began to rise, at first moder means.
ately then with unprecedented speed. After the war there was a remarkable

Frances population rose along with and quite unexpected upswing in the
the rest, though less rapidly. Indeed French birth rate. This, together with
and in this France is unique the new the arrival of 08m refugees from
cycle boosted numbers by a smaller per Algeria in 1962/3, pushed the popula
centage than had the medieval cycle. In tion totals towards todays figure of
isolation the figures are fairly impres 53m. Some 375m of these are foreign I~
C) 0
8 8 8
o~.fl 8
0 1.

0 0

0 ~

sive 29m in 1800, 36m in 1850. Com workers, specifically Italians, Spaniards, 1975
pared to the rest of Europe they are Portuguese and native Algerians, but as
56 Europe Area 3
France has had a substantial foreign Bretons and 03m Corsicans (of whom
community for a long time it was Im
in 1900 and 3m in the 1930s too much
only half live on Corsica): the most
interesting is the French share of the
Populations of
can be made of this element. Of the
native minorities and most important
Basque population in the Pyrenees
which amounts to 0lm o of 08Sm
(1)Roman Gaul - - -

are the 2m Alsatian speakers, the 2m (the rest being Spanish). (2)Kingdomof France - - -

60 (3)the area within the

Population of Gaul, the Kingdom of France, the French Empire and the
French Republic
boundaries of the

Roman Gaul was about 15. larger than modern France. the Kingdom of France at
present day French - -

its inception in the 10th century about 20,, smaller. Population figures need adjus
ting accordingly. By 1700 the gap between France then and now had narrowed to
l0~; in the 1760s it was near enough closed by the annexation of Lorraine and
The French Revolution was followed by the incorporation of Belgium into
France. Then followed the dizzying series of Napoleonic annexations which brought
the population of the Empire (not including satellites) to near 50m by 1812. All these
gains were soon lost again and in 1870 Alsace and Lorraine went too. The recovery 40
of these two provinces in 1918 by which time their population had doubled to 2m
brings the French frontiers to their present position. -Presentday

Primary Sources
Though Caesar gives some indications of the size oft/ic Celtic tribes in his Gallic War
the first overall data are fbund it, the hearth lax returns of 1328. Exactly iii at they add
up to is debatable for they only cover about half the pre.cent area and sonic of the
individual figures are demonstrably wrong (e.g. tile figure for Paris). The first reas
onably reliable esth,,ate was tnade by Vauban in 1697 1700 on the basis of data
specially provided by the provincial administrators: the ,naterial has been reworked and
~ 22
extrapolated recently to produce figures for the contemporan Kingdom (20;,i) and the
present area (22m). The first in the present series of censuses has held in 1801. ...~..,c.2O -
,5 .,
Civil registration as established in France only in /792, so for the interval bet teen
Vauban s estitnate and the 1801 census demographers have to rely on parish registers. ,~ -

These are reasonably reliable from 1667 on and a lot of work has been done on them in -f1~F- -KI GDOMOF -

recent years. Some registers also contain earlier ,naterial hut here it is difficult to know I-tfl ) , FRANCE
I I 4 12
how far it is reasonable to tnake the,,, the basis/br generalizations. 10
5.75 \5.75 8.5 8.25
Bibliography 6-f~7-~
- - -

The classic work oti the demographic history of France is E. Levasseur. La Population
Franaise (1889): it is still the best introduction to the subject, though it needs to he read
in conjunction with the relevant sections of * Beloch and Russell. There is nothing
,nuch to add to these at the prehistoric end the site-count method used by L.-R. S S
S S S S S 5 0 0 0 0 0
b) 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Nougier in Population 9. 2 (1954) is highly suspect and the figures it produces tnuch 0 0
n l975~~I
too large. For the 1328 hearth tax see the article by F. Lot in Bibliothque de lEcole

des Chartes 90 (1929): the figure for Paris 60,000 liearths at a time when the city
cannot hare contained many nope than 60,000 people is demolished (to most people ~c
satisfaction) by P. Bollinger in Revue Historique 216 (1956).
The best introduction in English to the population history of France since 1500 is the
group of articles by Henry, Goubert, Bourgeois-Pichat and Meuvret in * Glass and O-07m km
Eversley. A good recent summary of the massive work being done on parish registers of
the 18th century is contained in a Special Number of Population 30 (November 1975). 0-03m km (including Luxembourg;
There is a discussion of the Huguenat outflow in W. C. Scot Wile, The Persecution of
the Huguenots and French Economic Development (1970). The plague of 172022 is
4a Belgium area 2,600 km 2, 1975 population O35m)

the subject of an article by J.-N. Biraben in Glass and Revelle. The basic textbook on The population of Belgium in upper helped: situated at the centre of the
the period since 1800 is lid. Hither, H. Bunle and F. Boverat. La Population de Ia palaeolithic times (c.15,000 BC) can be emerging north European trade network
France (4th edn 1965). estimated at a few hundred at most: Belgium was the chief beneficiary of the
even in the mesolithic, around 8000 ac, medieval economic boom. Belgian
the number was still only a few thous weavers set the pace in the most impor
and. Settled farming, which first ap tant of contemporary industries, the
peared about 4000 uc, caused a jump clothing trade; Belgian entrepreneurs
to ten thousand and then continuing made the name of Fleming synonymous
growth to 30,000 (by the end of the with mercantile success. By 1300 the
neolithic), 100,000 (by the end of the population was l25m and the country
Bronze Age), and 03m (at the time of the most prosperous and densely
the Roman conquest). At its most pros populated in Europe.
perous, the Roman province (Gallia The Black Death put a stop to all this.
Belgica) may have held as many as 04m Under the recurrent attacks of plague
people. that characterized the second half of the
In the 3rd century came the first wave 14th century the population sagged,
of the Germanic tide that was soon to reaching a low of about 08m in 1400.
submerge Western Europe. The effect There was, it is true, an almost complete
on Belgium was immediate and disa recovery in the course of the 15th cen
strous. Many provincials fled to safer tury. But the country never regained its
lands and as the province emptied the old trading position. It was a faltering
Germans moved in. Half a century economy that the Spanish took over dur
before Rome fell the Germans were ing the reign of the Emperor Charles.
already masters of the northern half of Spanish rule was not a success. A
the country and the division between policy of religious persecution drove the
German-speakers (the present-day Protestants to the Netherlands and tax
Flemings) and Romance-speakers (the ation killed trade and initiative; the
present-day Walloons) was firmly estab result was that between 1550 and 1650
lished. there was no growth in numbers at all.
Recovery from the post-classical Towards the end of the 17th century the
population nadir which in Belgiums population total seemed to have stuck at
case was around 025m began in the not much more than lSm.
9th century. By the year 1000 the From these doldrums the country was
population was back to the best Roman rescued by the industrial revolution.
level and during the next three centuries Coal, iron and proximity to England all
the country notched up a rate of conspired to make Belgium the first con
increase that kept it at the top of the tinental country to undergo the indu
European growth league. Geography strial transformation and the first to feel

the demographic effects of this change. between Flemings and Walloons has
Between 1700 and 1800 the population been intensified in recent years by an
of the area nearly doubled and by 1900 influx of foreign workers. There are cur Belgium and
it was close on 7m. Since then growth rently about 025m of these, a third of
has been steady, except in war years. them Italians. The growth rate is no lon Luxembourg.
The 1975 population isjust over lOm. ger high: it is unlikely that the popula
The diversity of the Belgian popula tion will significantly exceed I Im in the
tion already divided (almost equally) year 2000.

4b The Netherlands O-03m km2

The population of the Netherlands a to increase at a steady rate throughout

few hundred in the palaeolithic era the early medieval centuries. By A D 1300
rose to prhaps 2,000 in the mesolithic the Netherlands contained more than
(7000 sc), 10,000 by the late neolithic 08m people, a respectable total if some
(3000 Bc) and 50,000 by the end of the what overshadowed by the l25m in
Bronze Age (1000 BC). By the early Belgium. But then the Netherlands
years of the Christian era the total was never held the same commanding posi
0-2m, a figure that is unlikely to have tion in the medieval European economy
altered significantly during the next half as did its neighbour to the south.
dozen centuries. The Frisians the The inferiority of north to south was
German people who occupied the area to some extent changed by the 14th-
of the modern Netherlands at this time century plague, from which the
established an amicable relationship Netherlands made a quicker recovery
with the Romans, whose direct control than Belgium. It was completely
was limited to the southern quarter of reversed in the 16th century, when the
the country: they played no part in the revolt against Spanish rule severed the
violent movements that led to the down two halves of the Low Countries for ii?
fall of the Roman Empire and remained good much to the advantage of the
outside the various kingdoms that the north. The new-born Dutch republic
barbarians erected in its place. In fact, became the economic wonder of the
these political events were of less signifi world: its flotillas grew into armadas
cance to the Netherlanders than the which monopolized the carrying trade
behaviour of the sea. Massive flooding of Europe and gathered into
appears to have taken place during the Amsterdam the wealth of the Indies and
5th century and the consequent loss of Americas. The Dutch standard of living
land will have offset any gains made became the worlds highest: this and a
over the previous centuries. policy of toleration far in advance of the
The next period of growth occurred in times attracted considerable immigra
the 10th century as part of the general tion from the southern Netherlands and
upsurge that carried Europe out of the northern Germany. The result was a
population leap from l2m in 1550 to a.
Dark Ages: the population of the o o
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Netherlands passed the quarter of a mil l9m in 1650. 0 0 ~
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 b~ 0 0 0 ~ 0 ~ 0 ifl 0
~ ~ t- ~ 0 0
lion mark in AD 1000 and it continued The Dutch economic miracle was CC.) oa
62 Europe Area 4a
the matched by increasing political commit for the year 2000 is of the order 35
Bet~ ments which eventually put a stop to I 6m.
of t
it 4
further expansion. Something under 2m
was a tiny population base from which
One plausible reason for the relative
high birth rate it is currently the hig
The Netherlands
has to wage war against the great powers of est in Western Europe is rivalry F
The Europe. By the late 17th century Dutch Iween the Protestant and Catholic cot
T prosperity was declining under a load of munities. Although Protestants ha
(ion taxation such as was inflicted on no dominated Dutch history there is n
other people, and population growth that much difference in size, especi
had ceased. The figure of l9m now, for in this century the Protestar
Dutchmen remained unaltered until have been losing ground to I
1750 and was only marginally exceeded Catholics. From 3 : 2 at the beginning
41 in 1800.
This was the period when a rapidly
the century the Protestant lead has
len to a current ratio of 5: 4. The role
industrializing Belgium recaptured the migration has been complex. Neat
The demographic lead. In 1800 Belgium and 025m Dutch nationals returned fri
Luxembourg had 32m people (against Indonesia after this erstwhile cole
ros~ the Netherlands, 2Im): in 1900 69m gained its independence; they were ft
(against 52m). In the 20th century, lowed by a similar number of Eurasiac
(30< however, the Netherlanders have over Other post-war immigrants total neal
Bro taken their rivals again, the 1975 figure 0Sm, but as over the same period me
of 135m being comfortably ahead of than Im Dutch have emigrated the
the southerners lOm. The growth rate suit has not been a change in overall nit
alte continues relatively high: the prediction bers but merely an increase in diversit
doz 16?

Primary Sources
witl Caesars account of Belgium yields afigure of 03m for the area within tile present
was frontiers. There are no useful data for the Netherlands north of the Rhine during
the period nor for either Belgium or the Netherlands during the Dark Ages. The post
viol begins to improve in the 13th century, by the 15th century the fiscal data are co
fall and nit/i the introduction of parish registers in the 16th century the material at t
out disposal of the historical demographer becomes as good as an) in Europe. Thereaji
bar the story is straightforward a population count was carried out by the Austrian autk
the: ities in Belgium in 1784 and several counts were made in both Belgium and I
can Netherlands during the French occupation (1795 1813). The union between the
beh halves of the Low Countries established after the Napoleonic wars lasted just k
apf enough to allow the taking of the first proper census in 1829. The Dutch have cent
5th the series every ten years as planned (switching to years ending in nought in 1920):
Ian, Belgians started a new series of their own in 1846 (switching to years ending in neat
ove in 1880).
the .2: -

Lips - --

Da 0,0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 00 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 00
o o 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 In o
in 0
0 0
in 0
in 0
Ne 00
62 Europe Area 4b
Bibliography EUROPE AREA 5 Germany
* Russell puts the Low Countries in 1200 at about a million. No one has directly 0-36m km
estimated the population at i/ic ,nedieral peak, though itis generally accepted that this
las at least equal to the population in 1500. All the data for the Netherlands froni 1500 West Germany O-25m km2
to the present day ha,e been fully worked up by Slither an Bath. whose figures for the East Germany 0-urn km2
area of the modern Netherlands are presented in his article in * Glass and Revelle and
at greater length hut still hi English in A. A. G. Bijdragen 12(1965). No one has as
yet done the same for the equally good Belgian material, though a quantitative lie,, of
Belgiwn s demographic history is contained hi the o,erallflgures for the Low Countries For the next four centuries the
When the last Ice Age came to an end
given by R. Mo/s in his contribution to the * Fontana Economic History of Europe
the few thousand hunters who were Romans prevented the Germans from
(Vol. 2. Chapter I). subtracting ran Bath c figure from Mo/s yields a series for the
roaming the North German plain fol expanding westwards and surplus
southern half of the Lou Countries cr~ shut/ar to that used by us.
lowed the reindeer to Scandinavia, leav Germans whole tribes of them
The recent tnaterial on migration to ctndfroni the Netherlands is tell summarized in
ing the country to various food- sometimes had to seek their fortunes
* Kosinski.
gathering groups of only marginally in the east. Then in AD 406 Romes
more sedentary habits. This mesolithic Rhine frontier collapsed. With the em
population gradually increased in size pire at their mercy (and the Huns at
until by the 6th millennium ac it num their heels) the Germans poured across
bered some 25,000. At this point the first the river, the most adventurous to found
farmers appeared. They came from kingdoms as far away as Spain and
the south-east, bringing with them the North Africa, the more prudent to carve
simple techniques which mark the out flefs from the nearer parts of Gaul.
beginning of the neolithic: they soon The dramatic success of this out-
made Germany an important centre for migration, the famous Volkerwanderung,
the further diffusion of the lndo did more than relieve population pres
European ethnic group to which they sure in Germany, it turned the east
belonged. Numbers rose to O3m by of the country into a demographic
3000 Bc (the end of the neolithic) and to vacuum. Slays from Poland soon
Im by 700 nC (end ol the Bronze Age). lapped over this area.
As the Indo-Europeans multiplied West Germany became part of
they differentiated. In Germany there Christian Europe when it was incor
was a polarization between the Teutons porated in Charlemagnes empire (AD
of the north (and Scandinavia) and the 800). Less than two centuries later it
Celts of the south (and Gaul). Either formed the core of the major political
because they were fiercer, or multiplying unit of the time, the Holy Roman
laster, or both, the Teutons had the Empire of the German Nation. The
Celts on the run from the start. By 58 Empire was, to put it mildly, a disap
BC when Julius Caesar arrived on the pointment, but the coincident demogra
Rhine there were few Celts left on the phic and economic upsurge was real
German side of the river and a Teutonic enough. Between 1000 and 1300 the
invasion of Gaul was imminent. Luckily population of Germany more than
for Caesar the 3m Germans of his day doubled, rising from under 4m to 9m:
were split into so many quarrelling everywhere old villages grew larger
tribes that he was able to defeat the few while new villages were founded where
who crossed over without too much previously there had been only virgin
difficulty: Celtic Gaul survived as a woodland and heath. The development
province of the Roman Empire. proceeded from west to east, borne on a
tide of migrating German peasantry emigration.The outflow increased as the
which was eventually to overwhelm the
Slays of the eastern part of the country
century progressed. By 1900 nearly 5m
Germans had left for the New World a
and restore the ethnic unity of the whole. figure that has been increased in this
This chapter of Germanys demogra century by a further l5m.
phic history was closed by the bubonic Even so, the growth in population 150
plague. By 1400 the population was was very fast. By 1914 the area within
down to 6Sm. Growth was resumed, at the present-day frontiers contained 53m
first with some hesitation, in the I 5th people. Urbanization and industrializa
century. By its end the population was tion enabled these millions to support
not far short of the previous peak of 9m themselves at a better level than anyone
and by the end of the 16th century the could have expected but nevertheless so
total was 12m. By the outbreak of the huge an increase was bound to strain
Thirty Years War in 1618 it was l3m. any society. That it had done so was
The demographic effects of the Thirty apparent in the political demand for
Years War have been the subject of Lebeusraum, one of the features that
much academic dispute. In some made Germany such a worry for her
instances the apparently catastrophic neighbours. The course was set for the
losses have been shown to be due to first of the two world wars.
short-term flight by people who Germany paid heavily in these con
returned to their homes when the armies flicts. The first cost I6m German lives,
moved on. And clearly it is dangerous to the second 3Sm (05m of them
generalize from the places where severe civilians). Curiously, the greater loss 80?
loss has been substantiated because the does not kink the population graph, for
war left parts of the country relatively it was offset by the arrival at the wars
unscathed. However it is generally ac end of 4m refugees from the East and
cepted now that there was a significant the Sudetenland.
drop in population in most areas. The The two states into which Germany
war did enormous damage to the econ has been divided since its defeat in the
omy and as a result the nutritional stan Second World War have very different
dard and health of the community were demographic courses. East Germany
undermined. Plague and other diseases has suffered a steady loss of population
struck repeatedly and harshly. By the to its more prosperous neighbour: this,
time hostilities ended Germany was a in a nation with a near-zero natural
sad place: its people were certainly much growth rate, has caused a fall in total
poorer and probably about 2m fewer. numbers from l85m in 1946 to l7m
By 1700 the losses of the war had today. The West German story is the
been repaired, by 1800 Germany was a opposite. As the economic miracle has
country of 18m people, and in the early unfolded, so people have been sucked
19th century, as the effects of the demo into the country from progressively fur
graphic revolution became apparent, the ther away. At first the strength of the
authorities began to talk of the prob pull was concealed by a continuing flow
lems of overpopulation. In some of the of refugees (another 6m since the im
more despotic principalities there was mediate end-of-the-war influx): then it
I -
00, 00000000000000000000
an attempt to force the birth rate down seemed that it could be satisfied by 00 fl 000000000 Ott, 0 tt) 0 U 0 U 0 UO
W 0 0) 0
by legislating against the marriages of movement mainly of Italians within cc) ,_~ 40
juveniles or paupers: more enlightened the EEC. But since the 1960s special
states did what they could to encourage arrangements have had to be made
Europe AreaS
to bring in guest-workers from present day figure of 62m. However, 175
Yugoslavia and Turkey. Altogether though the economy is still expanding,
there are more than 2Sm of these
guest-workers in West Germany today.
The increase in total population has
population growth appears to have
ceased and it may well be that in the
year 2000 neither West nor East
Populations of
(1)the Holy Roman Empire I
been in line with the expansion of the Germany will contain significantly more
people than they do today.
(2)the Kingdom of Prussia
economy a rise from 46m in 1946 to a 150
(3)the German Confederation
and German Empire of
Empires and Republics 1815-1918
The First German Reich was created in the 10th century AD by the Saxon emperors.
They brought under their rule an area corresponding to the modern states of 125
(4) inter-war Germany
Germany, Switzerland, Austria and the Netherlands plus the eastern borderlands of (5) the areawithin the
France, two thirds of Czechoslovakia and the northern two thirds of Italy. This
conglomerate, the famous Holy Roman Empire, originally had a population of
boundaries of the two
about lOm. It ceased to be an effective unit around 1200, by which time its popula present day German
tion had increased to 16m, However, it continued to have some political meaning
north of the Alps, so we have included a line on our graph giving the population of 100
this area over the period 13001800.
During the 18th century a new power emerged within the Empire. the Kingdom of
Prussia. During the 19th century Prussia entirely dominated the other states which
she assembled first into a Customs Union (1834), then into an Empire (1871), The
increment in the German population shown for 1850 is due to a purely admini jE--.---i.
strative act, the decision to count the eastern provinces of Prussia in with the rest:
previously they had been considered to lie outside Germany. The frontier was soon
advanced again, in 1866 at the expense of Denmark, in 1871 at the expense of
::::::E::z~___ zT~I
France. By 1914 the Empire had a population of 68m. -CONFEDERATION--i--- ff~(e4)
After the First World War Germany had to return Alsace-Lorraine to France and &EMPIREI-~ I
donate a considerable amount of territory to the new state of Poland: the initial
population of the Weimar Republic was reduced to~~Hitler annexed Austria in
1938 and nearly all Czechoslovakia in 1939: by the time he went to war he was 50 HOLY
master of a nation of/~i~llions.
EMPIRE (41),
ROMAN (less Italy, -
EMPIRE Switzerland & 32, 35, I
(less Italy)-
Primary Sources
ROMAN ______

There are al,nost no data on which to base a population estimate for Germany until ire 25 EMPIRE
reach the late Middle Ages. Then there are sonic tax records supplemented in the 16 i/i 20 Area within tne~
century by paris/i registers. The first enumerations were carried out in the 18th century 15 boundaries of the_
_?f~ ~
but of course relate only to individual states. This unsatisfactory fragmentation Has
brought to an end by the first pan-Germati census, held in 1853. There here repeat 10
two present day
German republics
.1,. I

censuses in 1861. 1867, 1871, 1875 and every five years front then utitil the end of the
empire. Inter-iiar censuses were taken in 1919. 1925, 1933 and 1939 and there were I
I rt
11,0 post-war censuses covering the ,ihole of Germany, the censuses of 1946 and 1950. s
8 0
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Since then West German, has held censuses in 1961 and 1970. and East Germany in 00 ,, ._. ., .-, .01
~ 1975~~I
1964 and 1971.
Bibliography EUROPE AREA 6 Poland
* Russell gile.c a series offigures for the late classical and medieval periods n/itch seen!
O-31m km
iery reasonable to us. His first figure is compatible with i/it range proposedfor the late
Iron Age by G. Mildenherger in Sozial- und Kulturgeschichte der Germanen (1972);
his pre-Black Death figure is in agreement hit/i that .cuggested kv Beloch in Die
Beriilkerung Europas in, Mine/alter. Zeitschrift fr Socialwissenschaft 3: 405423
(1900). Another series offigures. this tune covering the period 12001800. is given hi
the Jahrbuch fr Nationalbkonomic und Statistik 1935 (quoted kr Clark. p. 95).
For the early cetisuses hi i/ic itidiiidual German states see E. Keiser,
Bevolkerungsgeschichte Deutschlands (1938). pp. 20221 and 2913. For i/ic 19th Prehistoric Poland was a sparsely relatively mildly from the epidemic there
century see the syntheses in Sundbarg and the * Handworterbuch. populated land with no more than 5,000 was actually a shift of military power
There is a bibliography of the controversy 01cr the demographic effects ofthe TInny inhabitants in the mesolithic, 25,000 in in favour of Poland. By the late 15th
Years War hi D. V. Glass, Numbering the People (1973), p. 35. n. 72. No one has the neolithic and 100,000 in the Bronze century the verdict of the medieval
done a really satisfactory job on the 1St/i-century material. For earl) Prussia see Otto Age. By the beginning of the Christian centuries had been partially reversed.
Behre hi Geschichte der Statistik im Brandenburg-Prussia (1905) and in Ailgemeines era the population had risen to 05m, Germanys share of Polish territory and
Statistisches Archiv, Vol. iii(Tuhingen. 1914). ALco the * Handwrterbuch,pp. 6723. and by the 10th century, when the first population was reduced to less than a
Polish state appeared on the political quarter say 08m out of a total that
map of Europe, to l25m. Translated had recovered to the pre-plague figure
into densities per km2 these are very low of 35m. Nevertheless, the loss was con
figures a fact which explains not only siderable and looked like being perman
the late appearance of the Polish prin ent, for the process of Germanization
cipality but much about its subsequent was accelerating in the provinces over
history. which the Germans retained political
Medieval Poland was overshadowed control. There had been a significant
by its much bigger and socially more shift in the ethno-linguistic frontier.
advanced neighbour, the German In the 16th and 17th centuries
Empire. From the 12th century on, GermanPolish relations were relatively
German immigrants were moving into tranquil. Behind the scenes, however,
the western provinces of Poland in sig the old forces were building up again
nificant numbers and they soon set an and though Poland retained her position
economic pace that the natives could in the population league (between 1500
not match. During the early 14th cen and 1750 her population grew 75c to a
tury this process reached its inevitable total of 7m) she failed to develop the
conclusion: Germans of one sort or economic and diplomatic skills neces
another annexed Polands northern and sary for survival. Indeed, the Poles
western provinces Prussia, Pomerania, seemed to have a natural ineptitude for
the New Mark of Brandenburg and power politics. By the third quarter of
Silesia. Poland lost control of something the 18th century this ineptitude had
over one third of her population: say become almost an art form: all three of
l25m out of 3Sm. Polands neighbours, Prussia, Russia
The Black Death brought Poland a and Austria, were so thoroughly
respite from German aggression. At a antagonized that they agreed to sink
stroke it abolished the population pres their differences and partition Poland
sure that had been the main force between them. In 1795 the job was done
behind the Teutonic Drang nat/i Osten and, though a Duchy of Poland made
and as the thinly populated provinces a brief appearance during one of
remaining to the Polish state suffered Napoleons recastings of the political
Jewish community in Poland and the 35
map of Europe, at the Congress of
Vienna in 1815 there was no place for Poles understandably ruthless expul
the Poles. Of the l0m people living sion of Germans from the western Poland
within the present-day Polish frontiers provinces, now finally reclaimed for the
4Sm found themselves in Prussia, 4m in Polish state. Having been German-ruled
Russia and l5m in Austria. since the 14th century, 775m of the 9m
Depressing though the situation was, people in these provinces were now
the Poles did not lose heart; the German-speakers: between 1944 and
reproductive work they did in the 19th 1948 all of them fled or were expelled.
and early 20th centuries ensured the sur This outpouring was only partially off
vival of the Polish nation. Between 1815 set by the transfer of lSm Poles from
and 1914 total numbers expanded by a the eastern provinces simultaneously re
staggering 300. to reach a final figure annexed by Russia and the slow return
of 30m. The actual increase was even of most of the 3m Poles who had fled or
higher, for in the second half of this per been deported during the war years: at
iod no less than 36m Poles emigrated: 24m the population of the new Poland
26m to the USA, 02m to other parts of was no greater than it had been in 1914.
the New World, 04m to Germany, 03m Poland has made a rapid recovery
to Russia and 0lm to other parts of from the Second World War: the
Europe. population is at an all-time high of 34m
Whether or not this reproductive and though growth is now slackening
achievement had to have a Malthusian the total is likely to be at least 40m by
ending, the First World War found Poles the end of the century. Also flourishing
fighting on both sides and using their are the Polish communities abroad.
homeland as a battle ground. By the There are 6m people of Polish descent in
time it was all over the Poles had the USA, 04m in Brazil and 0-25m in
recovered their independence but the Canada. Despite repatriations there are
area within the present-day frontiers still about lSm in the USSR. Two
had suffered a population drop of 4m. other Old World communities are of
The Second World War was an even more recent origin, the 05m Poles in
greater disaster, not so much because of France being mainly inter-war migrants
the fighting (which claimed 05m dead) who worked in the coalfields and the
as because of the Germans meticulously 0l5m in England mostly Second World
planned extermination of the 3m-strong War ex-servicemen.

The Kingdom of PolandLithuania (13851772), Post-Partition Poland (177393),

Congress Poland (18151914) and Versailles Poland (192039)
One of medieval Polands reactions to German aggression was to unite with
Lithuania. at that period master of much of European Russia. In its initial form this
Polish Lithuanian state covered about Im km2 and contained some 7m people: in
the early 16th century it lost 02m km2 and a corresponding amount of its popula
tion. The lost area was recovered at the beginning of the 17th century only to be lost
again in mid-century and more with it. The final version of PolandLithuania 000000000000 0~> 0 inc IOQ 100 in
~ in t- m a,
covered 075m km2 and contained 75m people in 1650, rising to 12m in 1772, the 00 OJ
year of the first partition. This reduced the area of Poland to little more than 1975

74 Europe Area 6
0Sm km2 and its population to Sm. Two more partitions (1793 and 1795) and the j
Polish state vanished completely.
Russias share was greatly increased at the Congress of Vienna in 1815. when the
Populations of VERsAILLES4~
central block of provinces, which later became known as Congress Poland, was
handed over to her. Congress Poland covered 127,000 km2: its initial population of
(1) Poland-Lithuania ~ POLAND~ 1
4m increased to 14m over the next century. Versailles Poland, the sovereign slate (2) Congress Poland ~

that was created in 1920, was much bigger than this. Though Ihe Germans yielded
little, the collapse of Russia allowed the Poles to gain a very favourable frontier in
(3) Versailles Poland
the east. As compared to present-day Poland, Versailles Poland was considerably (4)the areawithinthe
larger in size (390,000 km2) and had a slightly larger population (27m in 1920 and
35m in 1939). However, it was less Polish it included m Russians in the east and boundaries of the - 1
left out 2m Poles in the west. It was only alter the Second World War that Poland
recovered its original, medieval geography and a truly homogeneous population. 25
present day Polish Z

state -

Primary Sources
Estimates of Polands population before the 14th centun are based on nothing more
- -I I
i/ian general ideas about likely densities, For the 14th century there are some tax rolls,
though whether they provide an adequate basis for even the crudest esthnate is debat 20 , I
able (see * Russell. pp. 1469). The first really definite figures definite not necessarily
being the same thing as accurate are those produced at the time of the 18th-century
partitions. For this period,for the whole of the 19th century and the first decades of the
20th there are statistics collected and issued by the partitioning powers Prussia,
Austria and Russia.
The reappearance of the Polish state at the end of the First World War nas followed 15
by the holding of the first national census (1921). Since then there have been censuses in
1931, 1946 and decennialli since 1950.

The Poles are in the process of producing a ,nulti-vohtn,e history ofthe population of
their country which, when complete, should contain more than anyone would want to
EEEEEEjZ1t~/ t

know on the subject. The only volume available so far is K. D:ienonski and L.
Kosinski, Rozwoj i Rozmieszczenie Ludnosci Polski w XX Wieku (Growth and
Distribution of Polands Population in the 20th Century), Warsaw, 1967. Table 26
on p. 130 gives figures for the area within the present-day frontiers during the period
19001950. Until the appearance of the remaining volumes in the series the best overall
account and one that has the ac/rant age of being available in English translation is
contained in the History of Poland by Aleksander Gie s:tor et al. (1968). a volume
which pays particular attention to demography.
3 ~

00 ~.00000000000000 000 0 0 0
00 fl 000000000 Og, 0 in 0 0

mm 1975

EUROPE AREA 7 Russia-in-Europe

4-77m km Russia-in-Europe

Russia is proverbially vast. European of the whole area, while the nomads
Russia alone is as big as all the other (who did not have exclusive possession
countries in Europe put together and of the south) amounted to less than a
though it has never contained anything sixth.
like half Europes population the scale is Numerical advantages are not in 120
such that even very low population den themselves conclusive. In the medieval
sities add up to imposing totals. The era, when cavalrymen were worth many
mesolithic population can hardly have times their number of foot soldiers, the
been less than 50,000, the overall nomads always gave at least as good as
population in the 3rd millennium (the they got. The Mongols, who in the early
middle of the neolithic period) less than 13th century became the overlords of
05m, while the figure for the close of the the whole Eurasian steppe, did much,
Bronze Age (when perhaps half the much better than this. In 123740 their
country had become acquainted with armies swept across central and south
the idea if not the practice of agricul ern Russia massacring everyone who did
ture) will have been over the Im mark. not immediately surrender, and many of
Not much above this point growth those who did. Kiev, the traditional
slowed down. Development continued capital of the Rus state, was erased from
much as before in the middle third of the political map and the whole tract of
the country, but the arrival of the Scyths land associated with it went out of cul
and their flocks in the south (in the 8th tivation. As a result the peasant popula
century nc) meant that this area the tion of Russia which had multiplied up
steppe zone now became fixed in the to about 75m just before the storm
low-density pattern associated with pas broke dropped back below 7m.
toralism. The result was the threefold The 14th century brought another set
division that was to characterize Russia back in the shape of the Black Death.
for the next 2,000 years: nomads on the Because of the low population density
steppe (first the Scyths. then the Runs, the plague did not have the same impact
then the Turks and Mongols), peasants as elsewhere in Europe, but the pest and
in the central third (the cradle of the the Mongols together added up to much
Russian race), nothing up in the north the same final effect: they kept the
(bar a few Finns). Inevitably the population below the 13th-century max
Russians who tilled the soil came to out imum lOm for the whole country
number the steppe peoples who merely until the late 15th century. But with the
used it for grazing their animals. By AD 16th century the whole picture changed.
900, when the Varangians created the The first musket shots announced the
first Rus state, the Russians (at 25m) end of the nomads military advantage,
constituted two thirds of the population the peasants moved back on to the

78 Europe Area 7
steppe and the resurgent Rus state, now the middle of a period of war and disas 330
synonymous with Moscow, started to ter that temporarily brought the Rus
advance its southern frontier in
methodical fashion. By 1600 only the
sian populationjuggernaut toa halt. Even
so the total effect of 2m war dead, 14m
Populations of 325?

Tartars of the Crimea lay outside other excess deaths (mostly due to mal (1) Kievan Russia - -

Moscows control and though they

lasted as a political entity until 1783 the
nutrition and disease in the later stages
of the Civil War), 2m emigrants and a 300
(2) the Principality of
south had become a predominantly
agricultural area well before the end of
lOm birth deficit was only to put the
1925 population back to the 1910 level.
Moscow and the - -

the 18th century. The population figure Stalin and the Second World War be Empire of the Czars - - -

of 36m in 1800 80, greater than the

20m of a century earlier reflects the first
tween them were to do about double
this amount of damage. The military
results of this. The main effect came in death roll reached a staggering lOm
(3)the USSR ~255
thenextcentury, when the south made the (many of them must have been

major contribution to an overall popu originally prisoners of war who did not
lation growth that was truly explosive. survive their captivity or, at least, did
Russias population increase in the not return from it), other excess deaths
19th century was so bignear enough totalled l5m and the birth deficit has USSR
200, that it transformed the Russian been calculated at 20m. This time the
countryside from a condition of under- population of European Russia was cut 200 -- -I
population to one of overpopulation. back to its 1905 figure. I.
Emigration to Siberia (Sm in the period The post-war recovery has been more 180
18701914) and the New World (3m in
the same period) siphoned off some of
than complete. The present population
of 160m is the largest ever, and though
the surplus peasantry but it was the the rate of increase is now slackening
towns that had to take most of the over it should reach 190m by the end of !i
flow. As a result Russia finally acquired the century. The great majority are
(mostly in the decades on either side Russians by race but there are some
of 1900 when the annual increment considerable minorities: notably lOm
reached 2m) the demographic compo Turks of one sort or another (mostly
nent needed to make a modern state, an Tartars). Sm Lithuanians and Latvians, -EMPIRE4
urban proletariat. This was the sector 3m Estonians and Finns, 2m Jews, Im
100 . -II
from which the Soviets emerged and Poles and Im Germans. Among the
from which V. I. Lenin, against all ex Russians themselves one should perhaps I
pectations, was able to create the distinguish between Great Russians
Bolshevik Revolution of October 1917. (more than 60j, Ukrainians (30,) and 7O$~.
The Bolshevik Revolution occurred in Belorussians (less than 10,)


Russian and Soviet Empires 30 KIEVAN RUSSIA of MOSCOW -

The first Russian state, the principality of Kiev, contained about three quarters of
the population of the area. It soon split into several separate principalities which at
their high point, just before the Mongol conquest of the mid 13th century. had a
total population of some 7-Sm. In the late 15th century the Princes of Moscow 0000000000000000000000
~ fl 000000000 0 0
CO ~ 0
t- iO 0
~ ~ 0100
Q 0
managed to create a new political grouping. The population of the area they con
trolled roughly speaking the northern half of the country grew from 7m in 1500
to 14m in 1700. The rise was almost entirely due to natural increase, the only new EUROPE AREA S Czechoslovakia
territories added to the realm being sparsely inhabited lands in the south-east.
Ol3m km2
The decline of Poland in the 17th and 18th centuries gave the Tsars the opportun
ity to advance westward and add some better-populated provinces to their empire.
By 1800 they controlled an area equivalent in population to the present-day territory
of the USSR in Europe. By 1815 they controlled an even larger area and a popula
tion in European Russia alone of 44m. This number tripled over the next 100 years.
reaching 65m in 1850, lO7m in 1900 and 133m on the eve of the First World War.
The Asian part of the Empire grew even faster: from 3m in 1815 to Sm in 1850, 26m
in 1900 and 37m in 1914. Upper palaeolithic man in Czecho present name. From now on the Czechs
The USSR in its inter-war form started off with a population of l35m (95m in slovakia probably numbered less than (in Bohemia and Moravia, which
Europe). This had increased to him (II Im in Europe) by 1939, when the annexa 1,000, mesolithic man no more than together form the western two thirds of
tion of the Baltic States and half Poland boosted the total to 194m. On the eve of the about 5,000 and it was not until long the country) and Slovaks (in Slovakia,
German invasion in 1941 the figure was near enough 200m. after the introduction of farming that the eastern third) form the overwhelm
the total population reached 50,000. ing majority of the population.
During the Bronze Age (25001000 ac). At the best of times the departure of
Primary Sources numbers rose to 200,000, while the last the Germans and the arrival of the
millennium BC saw a relatively rapid Czechs and Slovaks would have caused
The first tax records sufficient to provide an indication of the pop ulation of the Russian
increase to a figure not far short of a a dip in the population graph. Coming
state date from 1678/9; firm figures begin with Peter the Greals enumeration of
million. as they did in the Dark Ages the
taxable male subjects in 1722. Repeat enumerations hence the tern, revisions i,ere
At this point the historical record movements caused a sharp drop to a
carried out in 1762. 1796. 1815. 1835 and 1859. The first and only full census of the old
begins. The country lay just beyond the low of 07m in AD 600. But by the year
Russian Empire was carried out in 1897: the Soviet authorities hare taken censuses in
boundary of the Roman Empire and did 1000 the loss had been recovered and for
1926. 1939, 1959 and 1970.
nol directly experience the pax romana the three centuries following, the boom
Calculating population figures for present-day European Russia from the revisions
but it certainly benefited from the pros period of the medieval population cycle,
and the pre-Second World War censuses involves besides subtracting the population
perity the Romans brought to central there was rapid growth to a new peak of
of the Asian parts of Russia from tile global figures adding and subtracting popula
Europe and shared in the general 3m.
tions on the nester,, frontier so as to bring this line into the post1945 position. The
increase in population that took place in The process of clearing and coloniz
adjustments needed are large, bitt so Ic the Russian population, and the errors inherent
Free Germany in the 1st century AD. ing new land, which went on all over
in the process are not sitch as to afflict the overall picture significantly.
The Marcomanni of Bohemia (western Europe at this time, was spearheaded in
Czechoslovakia) and the Quadi of the Czech area by German immigrants:
Bibliography Moravia (central Czechoslovakia) were they brought their superior skills to
reckoned among the strongest of the both countryside and town and all along
The population of Kievan Russia is discussed in Russell (p. 100) and that of 16th- German tribes: the population of the the perimeter of Bohemia established
century Muscoy in Carsten Goehrk~s Die Wustungen in der Moskauer Rus (1968; country as a whole will have reached a themselves as a substantial minority
see particularly p. 258). For the 17th, century see Borish Pushkarev c calculations as peak of l25m by AD 250. the Sudeten Deutsch. Their arrival em
quoted in Volume 5 of George Vcrnadskys History of Russia (1969). p. 745; for the For the era this was substantial over phasized the political incorporation of
period frotn Peter the Great to the first Soviet census Frank Lorhnerc The Population population and represented a significant Bohemia and Moravia in the German
of the Soviet Union (1946). The results of the two most recent censuses are ,iell set out component in the demographic pressure Empire just as the relative absence of
in Paul E. Lydolph, Geography of the USSR (2tidcdn, 1970). that was to be one factor in the fall of Germans from the eastern, Slovak, third
Rome. In the early 5th century. when of the country reflected the fact that this
this event finally occurred, the pent-up area lay beyond the imperial frontier.
energies of the Germans were dis Czechoslovakia seems to have suf
charged in an out-migration that lered less from the Black Death than the
emptied the Czechoslovak area and al rest of Western Europe. Though growth
lowed its repeopling with the Slav immi was halted, reversed and resumed in a
grants who have given the country its pattern not so dissimilar from that of
the continent as a whole, the fall in Slovaks to other parts of Greater
numbers was relatively slight and the
medieval peak comfortably exceeded by
Hungary (by 1910, 5, of all Slovaks
lived in the Hungarian capital,
the year 1600. By that date the Czech Budapest). Both Czechs and Slovaks
and Slovak populations totalled about also left for the New World in droves.
4Sm, This figure proved to be another something like 2m between 1850 and 30
isolated peak, however, for it was in 1914.
Bohemia that the notorious Thirty The Czechoslovak state established .
Years War broke out (in 1618) and here after the First World War experienced
that it did its worst damage. By the time far less emigration. However, the rate of
the peace of 1648 was signed the popula natural increase fell off so sharply dur
tion had shrunk by a fifth by a quarter ing this period that the population had
only risen to t44m by 1939. The Second 25
in Bohemia and it was not till the end
of the century that the antebellum World War drastically lowered even this
levels of population were regained. figure. Those of the Sudeten Germans
The 18th and 19th centuries were a who did not flee when the Russians
period of accelerating growth. The liberated the country were soon ex
population rose from 45m in 1700 to pelled by the new Czech government:
675m in 1800 and l225m in 1900. And altogether 24m people moved out,
natural increase was even higher than reducing the 1945 population to a figure
these figures indicate. Because of the of 122m no greater than the popula
limited economic opportunities in their tion of 1900. Since then the loss has
homelands. Czechs migrated in great been made up but little more than that:
numbers to other parts of Greater at 146m the present population total is 15.
Austria (by 1910, 8, of all Czechs lived only marginally greater than the pre-war 15
in the Austrian capital. Vienna) and figure.

Primary Sources
A considerable amount of primary material exists for Czechoslovakia for the pre
census period. but his difficult to obtain an adequate idea of it in the West. Bohemia
shares in the general European pattern of taxation counts existing from the late Middle 10
Ages, and parish registers from the late 16th century. Summaries survive of a 1702
count of all people over the age often. The picture for Moravia is less sat isJhcrory. the
earliest taxation data being 17th cent urv. Both Bohemia and Moravia were covered hr
the Austrian military census of 1754 and the subsequent revisions, and by the series of
true censuses starting in 1857 (see Austria). In Slovakia there is almost nothing to go
on prior to the military census which, because of Hungarian objections to the 5
procedure. was not taken in this area till 1784. Since the creation of the czechoslovak 4
state, censuses have been held in 1921. 1930, 1947 (Bohemia and Moravia only), 1948 3
(Slovakia only), 1961 and 1970.
There is a useful sumtnarv of the demographic history of Czechoslovakia in Demek and 00-~ 0 0 0 0 0 Q 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 0.0
0 0

Steide. Geography of Czechoslovakia (1971). The earlier sources are surveyed kt V. 00

0 1
- tea
Husa in Colloque (p. 237). The tnaterial for the Czech lands from 1754 ott is usefully 1975
su,,itnarized in too articles in Annales de demographie historique. 1966 and 1967.
Europe AreaS
EUROPE AREA 9 Switzerland and
O-12m km2
9a Switzerland O-04m km

Switzerland, which vanished entirely Population in medieval times fol

under the Alpine ice cap during the last lowed the general European trend.
Ice Age, remained an unpromising There was a period of increase, cut back
in the 14th century by the Black Death, 25
environment even when the glaciers
retreated to the mountain tops. A few the loss being recovered in the course of
family-sized bands will have penetrated the 15th century. The 16th century was
the country at the end of the upper marked by the introduction of another
palaeolithic and a few hundred people social division, this time in the sphere of
found a living by the lakes in the religion. Roughly 60, of the Swiss were
mesolithic. but significant population to end up on the side of the Reformed 20
of the country began only with the faith, another proportion that has
introduction of agriculture in the 5th stayed much the same through the cen
millennium ac. By the year 4000 we can turies.
think in terms of a population of 15,000 In the late medieval and early modern
and a growth rate sufficient to double periods, Switzerland was, by the stan
the population every millennium. When dards of the era. overpopulated. The 15
Caesar entered the country the Celtic cantonal governments tackled the resul
Swiss, the l-Ielvetii, numbered 250,000. tant unemployment and balance of
All over the Roman Empire there was payment problems by arranging to
a progressive drop in population in the provide mercenary armies for anyone
3rd and 4th centuries AD. Switzerland willing to pay for them. The solution
(Raetia), a much-raided frontier was certainly Malthusian. for it has
province, suffered a very severe drop been calculated that between 1400 and
and when the Empire finally fell in the 1815 a million young Swiss died in other
early 5th century the land was nearly peoples wars, a loss that was ten times 7.5?
empty. At this point the Alemani moved greater than the loss by orthodox emi
in, making the eastern two thirds of the gration. Fortunately, from the mid 18th
country German-speaking. As the century on, the country was industrializ
inhabitants of the western fifth and of ing sufficiently rapidly to render the ex 5
the southern slopes of the Alps con port of live Swiss by either method un 4
tinued to speak the late Latin languages necessary: indeed by the late 19th cen 3
which were to evolve into French and tury immigrants were as numerous as
Italian respectively, Switzerland has emigrants. As a result, the proportion of
been a multi-lingual area ever since. The aliens resident in Switzerland reached
ratio between German. French and 1500 in 1914, and though the figure

Italian speakers, roughly 70 20: 5 (plus dropped to 50, during the inter-war
another 5 for the rest), has proved slump it has since risen again to 15,,
remarkably stable. and more. The present-day prosperity of

86 Europe Area 9ti

Switzerland has been at least partly won force (mostly Italian) sandwiched be 35
by an underprivileged immigrant labour tween the Swiss and their machines.
Primary Sources and Bibliography
Apart frotn Julius Caesar ~s exaggerated accoutit of the Helretii (368000 before he CZECHOSLOVAKIA
dc/eared then,. I 10,00(1 afierwards). data usefid /br the estimation of Switzerlands 30
population begin to appear only in the 14th centuri. The firs? official estimate, a suriet
of partsh registers. was made in 1798, the first actual enumeration in 18368 and the
first in the present series of decennial censuses in 1850.
All the data bearing on the size of the ,nedieial popitlation haie been ,,orked up k
Wdhehn Bickel. whose figures from 1300 on are quoted in Kurt B. Mayers The
Population of Switzerland (1952), a hook which aMa covers the rest of the demo
graphic htctor of the cowitry.

9b Austria O-08m km2

Austria is a mountainous country and indicating significant expansion in both

its population density has never been the intensity and extent of cultivation:
high: total numbers amounted to only population tripled, reaching 2m by the
20.000 in 3000 BC, when farming com early 14th century. Austria had justified
munities had already been established in its place on the map of Europe.
the lowlands for more than a thousand The 14th-century crisis reduced
years, and the Bronze Age was nearly Austrias population by a third, a loss
over before the population reached which was not recovered until the early
100,000. Even when respectable figures 16th century. Growth then resumed, the
were attained 05m in the late Iron 25m mark being reachcd by the end
Age, on the eve of the Roman conquest of the 16th century and marginally
of 15 ~c: 06m during the 2nd century exceeded by 1618. when the Thirty
Years War began. Austria escaped ,n a .1) 0
AD when the Roman province had its
best years they were not sustained. As direct devastation in this conflict but it 8?
the Empire declined numbers fell back could not escape the economic disloca
to 0Sm and after its fall they went as tion and outbreaks of plague that ac
low as 04m. companied it: once again numbers fell
The immediate post-Roman centur back and thc 17th century ended with
ies the Dark Ages saw Slays. the population no greater than it had
Germans and Hungarians fighting each been 100 years earlier.
other for possession of Austria. In the This slow-quick-slow pattern was
end the Germans came out on top, a repeated in the modern period. The rise
result that is marked by the formal estab from 1750 to 1850 was 45,,, which
lishment of the Austrian state in the sounds reasonable but was a lack-lustre
10th century. The subsequent upturn in performance compared to the overall
European increment of 90,~ From 1850
0-.0 OOtflO
the countrys fortunes was dramatic, 00
New villages appeared everywhere. to 1900 things went much better, the mm
88 Europe Area 9b
increase of 50,, matching the European has actually shrunk from 2m in 1918
average. Here immigration from the
outlying provinces of the Hapsburg
to lSm today. The citys cosmopoli
tan and polyglot image has also gone.
Populations of
Empire to Vienna, its capital, was an The Nazis eliminated the countrys last (1) the Austro -Hungarian - - -

sizable minority, its 0-Sm Jews,

important factor. Conversely, when the
Hapsburg conglomerate was dismantled leaving Austria with a population that
Empire and - - -

after the First World War, Austria lost

impetus. The population gain since then
is remarkably homogeneous: it is
now 90,, Catholic and 99,, German-
(2) the area within the
has been barely a million and Vienna speaking. boundaries of the - - -

present day Austrian - -

The Austro-Hungarian Empire

state r
In 1526 the Hapsburgs of Austria inherited Silesia, Bohemia, Moravia and as much
of Hungary as they could keep the Turks out of. The population of this bloc was not
far short of 7m, a total which rose to II in with the liberation of all Hungary at the
end of the 17th century. A further boost, to about 18m, came from the acquisition of
a motley collection of new territories Belgium, Milan, Sardinia and the southern
third of Italy during the war of Spanish succession (170113). Over the next few
years the Italian provinces underwent a confusing series of changes, most of them 40
unfavourable, and in 1742 Prussia annexed Silesia: however, Austrias share in the
partitions of Poland (177295) brought in sufficient new people to raise the popula R-~~~
tion of the Empire to a new peak of 24m. 35 1
Napoleon had it in for Austria and in his heyday the Hapsburgs were forced to
renounce their Belgian and Italian provinces. The loss of Belgium proved perman
ent, but large parts of Italy were awarded to Austria at the Congress of Vienna
i ~

(1815), and this territorial recovery plus an accelerating rate of natural increase EMPIRE

carried the imperial population to a new high of 35m by 1850. The rate of increase
now became so fast that the loss of the Italian provinces to the forces of the risor 24~

gimento caused only a small kink in the population graph. By 1914. on the eve of the
war that was to prove its death knell, the Empires population was 52m.
Primary Sources and Bibliography
From 1754 on the course of Austria s population history is sure for sufficient data are
available to bridge the gap between the official population estlinate ,nade in that year
and 1857, the year of the first proper census. The imperial authorities took a second
census in 1869 and a decennial series in the years 188019 10. The Republic has taken 10
censuses in 1923, 1934 and decennially since 1951. ~ -

Before 1754 there is abnost nothing: we can only assume that the demographic 8
patterns followed our general rules and make estimates on that basis. 6
Figures for the years 1754 1973 for !fte area of modern Austria are given in 4 -I
Statistisches Handbuch fr die Republik Osterreich, 1973. For the Austro-Hungarian Present day AUSTRIA
Etnpire in the 18th cent ut; see R. Gurtler Die Volkszahlungen Maria Theresas und
Joseph lls (1909), and in the 19th-century Sundbarg and the Handworterbuch.
o o 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 o o o o
0 0 0 0 0 in o in o 0~~ 0

1- a
mm 1975
EUROPE AREA 10 Hungary
O-09m km2 Hungary

In the prehistoric period Hungarys medieval European community and the

population grew from the few thousand population of the area had begun to
who lived there in the mesohthic to increase.
100,000 in the neolithic and some Medieval Hungary, though Increasing
300,000 in the Iron Age. Recorded his in prosperity with each generation,
tory begins with the Roman conquest of remained by European standards a
the western half of the country in 9 Bc. relatively underpopulated country- As
This half, which contained two thirds of such it suffered less severe and less
the population, became the province of lasting damage than the rest of Europe
Pannonia and the River Danube, which during the 14th-century pandemic of
divided it from the relatively empty eas bubonic plague known as the Black
tern half, the frontier of the Empire. Death- By 1500 the population had
The frontier held till the 3rd century reached a record level of l25m- On the
AD. Then barbarian invasions brought
horizon however was a new threat, the
successive waves of depopulation and Ottoman army, which was to prove a
repopulation as the original inhabitants harsher brake on population growth
fled and were replaced by wandering than the plague bacillus. The Ottomans
tribes of Germans, Huns or Slays. The followed their easy victory at Mohacs
demographic nadir was probably (1526) by occupying half Hungary: by
reached during the Avar supremacy in failing to occupy the other half they
the 7th century AD. The Avars, like the condemned it to the even worse fate of a 21?

Huns, were full-blown nomads from no-mans land in what now became an
Central Asia and as such liked to keep unending struggle between Cross (as
their grazing land free of peasants. In represented by the Hapsburgs of
their day Hungary probably contained Austria) and Crescent for the Balkans.
no more than 200,000 people, half of While in the rest of Europe there was
them Avars and their dependants, half steady growth, the population of
of them frightened peasants of debat Hungary barely held steady at the pre
able ancestry. Mohacs figure.
Hungary received its definitive These dark days ended with the
repopulation at the end of the 9th cen Turkish failure before Vienna in 1683
tury when the Magyars, a people of and the subsequent liberation of
Finnish stock but Turkish habits, ar Hungary by the Austrians. The 18th
rived from the Russian steppe. A century was one of rapid growth, a sort
hundred years later the Magyars had of catching-up performance that more
abandoned paganism and pastoralism in than doubled the population. There was SOJ~O~ocoooJ~U,
S no 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
a slight slowing-down in the rate of 10 t- 0 0
favour of Christianity and settled cul o o _-. ,-,
tivation, Hungary had joined the increase in the early 19th century, then, 1975~~1
92 Europe Area 10
allotting to the new state only impec
alter 1850, the growth rate picked up
again as Hungary became involved in cably Magyar areas- As a result EUROPE AREA 11 Romania
the pan-European processes of urban although there are no Romanians in O-24m km2
ization and industrialization, Taken as a Hungary there are l-5m Magyars in
whole the 19th-century growth rate Romania. An attempt to reverse the
matches that of the I 8th. verdict of the First World War during
Hungary has not done so well in this the Second proved abortive, and after a
century. Though the dismemberment of temporary expansion at the expense of
the Kingdom of Hungary at the end of its neighbours Hungary resumed its
the First World War was carried out Versailles frontiers. It had lost 0-Sm
dead in the process, a heavy blow for a With the introduction of agriculture in year 1200 was probably little greater
according to virtuous principles it is the 6th millennium ac Romanias than it had been in 200. However, for
difficult not to feel that people who had country ol9m people. Moreover growth
in the post-war period has been very population rose sharply from its Romania as a whole the figure was up a
picked the winning side, like the mesolithic level of some 10,000 to more bit: Transylvania was beginning to share
Romanians, did better than people who slow: the 1975 population is only 10-Sm
and the projection br the end of the than 100,000. By the Iron Age the total in the rising prosperity of the Hungarian
had sided with the Central Powers. number of inhabitants must have been
century no more than lIm. Kingdom of which it was politically a
Hungarys ethnic purity (it is now
around 0-75m, of whom three quarters part -
homogeneously Magyar) was created by
will have lived in Dacia, as Transylvania In the late 13th century the nomad
was known at this time. The other half tide finally ebbed, peasants returned to
Primary Sources and Bibliography of Romania, Transcarpathia, was part the steppe and the history of modern
ob the Scythian realm, an empty world Romania begins. The Romanians say
See under Roniania. ob occasional herdsmen and even more that the colonists on this occasion were
occasional family camps: its only descendants ob the original Romanized
agricultural settlements were a couple of inhabitants of Dacia still speaking a lan
Greek colonies on the coast and a scat guage of Latin type (which Romanian
tering of villages along the southern and undoubtedly is) and now emerging from
eastern fringes of the Carpathians. their Carpathian refuges after a thous
The distinction between settled and and years of total obscurity. Most his
pastoral lands remained much the same torians, on the other hand, incline to
during the Roman period (AD 106270), the view that the Romanian speakers
during the German occupation of the (Vlachs) came from south of the
Carpathian area (270370) and the Hun Danube where there is no doubt that
supremacy (370470). Following this the Latin-derived languages had continued
Slays moved in and for the first time the in use throughout the Dark Ages.
Transcarpathian steppe received a Whatever their origins, the Vlachs made
sprinkling of peasants. Despite razzias a success of their colonization; the
by whichever nomadic tribe was tempor population of Transcarpathia began to
arily dominating the Russian steppe, increase rapidly and, despite a dip in the
this Transcarpathian peasantry survived curve following the Black Death, the
until the second half of the 11th century, figure for Romania as a whole was over
when the Patzinak Turks, driven 2m by thc first quarterof the 16th century.
westward by the Cumans, moved into The Turks of the steppe may have
the area- In the presence of the Central withdrawn from Romania for good but
Asian Turk no settled life was possible. by the 15th century the Ottoman Turks
From then until the end ob the 13th cen were advancing from the south, The
tury Transcarpathia was desolate again, Romanian principalities, Transylvania,
the preserve of the nomad and his Wallachia and Moldavia, became
flocks. As a result its population in the Ottoman protectorates, a condition
which exposed them to both Turkish ex dants of the German colonists who had
ploitation and Christian assaults. Econ settled in Transylvania as far back as
omic and demographic growth was the 13th century, 075m Jews and no less Romania
stunted and remained so until the 18th than l75m Magyars.
century. Then came comparative peace Romania is one of the few European
and a quickening national pulse. Both in countries that have retained a high rate
Transylvania (liberated by the Austrians of increase in the 20th century: the 1975
at the beginning of the century) and figure is nearly twice that for 1900 and
Transcarpathia (increasingly protected the projection for the year 2000 is 25m.
from Ottoman exploitation by the The population is more uniform than it
Russians) the population more than was at the beginning of the century: the
doubled between 1700 and 1800. It was Jewish community was all but an
to double again in the 19th century. By nihilated during the Second World War:
the time of the creation of the modern there are less than half a million
state of Romania at the end of the First Germans left and though there are still
World War the population had reached I5m Magyars they now amount to less
13m. Not all of them were Romanians: than 7, of the population instead of
the population included 075m descen over 10,,.

Primary Sources and Bibliography

Since i/ic end of the First World War the Ro,nanians have field censuses in 1930, 194),
1948. 1956 and 1966. the Hungarians in 1920. 1930. 1941, 1960 and 1970. During the
inter-war period Hungary had the same frontiers as today but Ro,nania as on
siclerably larger. afigure for the 1930 population oft/ic present Roman/an area is given
in Fru,nkin,
For i/ic period prior to i/ic First World War i/ic data are best considered under
the headings not of Hungary and Ro,nania hut of Ciscarpat/na (Hungary and
Transtlvania) and Transcarpat/iia ( Wallachia and Moldaiia).

ciscarpathia * Be/or/is guess at i/ic population iii Pannonia 47 per km2 needs
reducing to 3 or so for Ciscarpathia as a nho/e. This is act uall; the density proposed by
Kovaesics ( Colloque, pp. 249ff) for AD 900. Kovacsics surrey covers i/ic medieval
and earl; modern periods: lie quotes ;,hat figures are available, though these do not
really amount to nut/i before i/ic expulsion oft/ic Turks. 77w earliest Austrian e,iuiner
ation (a gross u,ic/erestiniate) nas carried out in 1715: i/ic first accurate returns are
those of 1787. In 1857 there as a proper census. another folloned in 1869 and a
decennial series corers i/ic years 1880 to 1910. i/ic area ofmodern Hungary
arc not too difficult to cci ractfroni tlwse Austriati censuses: a series starting in 1840 is
given iii Al. Pecsi and B. Sarfalii. The Geography of Hungary (1964).

Transearpathia The evidence prior to i/ic first Ro,naniati enumeration. that of /859, is
ie;iened hi Stefn Pascu in Colloque, pp. 283 4 It amounts to io more than a ,fw
incomplete tax roTh for the period from i/ic late 161/i century oti and though these give S S ~ 5
oj o~
S S 52 5

~ 0
5 0
0 0
0 0 0 0
0 0
0 0 0
an idea of rates of grout/i i/ic) ;ie/d figures fuir total population that are far too Ion. 00 ,oa
m ~ 1975_I
Even i/ic cowit of 1859 underestimated i/ic population by about 1000. Reliable figures
Europe Area II
begin with the quinquenniah censuses held between 1884 and 1899. The best figures for
the 19th century as a whole are those calculated by sundbdrg: the gap between them
and the beginning of the First World War is covered by the census of 1912. O-59m km
Approximate figures for the area of modern Ro,nania can be obtained by adding one
third of the figure for Ciscarpathia to the figure for Transcarpathia.
O-50m km2
- (including the Balearic Isles but ex
12a Spain cluding the Canaries)

The palaeolithic artists who produced their culture. They revitalized both the
the later Spanish cave paintings came agriculture and the urban life of the
from a population that is unlikely to south.
have exceeded 5,000. Numbers grew to Though the Arabs did not conquer all
50,000 with the improvement in climate Spain they had things pretty much their
during the mesolithic period (8th millen way till the early 11th century: two
nium BC) and then to some OSm with thirds of the country was under Moslem
the introduction of farming (4th millen rule by then and Moslems numbered
nium BC). By the beginning of the 08m, or a fifth of the total population.
Bronze Age (2000 BC) the total was lm, In the later 11th century the Christians
by its end (1000 BC) 2m, and by the time of the north recovered, in the 12th as
the Romans established control over the the countrys population rose past the Sm
area in the last century ac it was 4m. mark they re-established themselves as
The Roman Empire had a couple of the dominant element politically. This
good centuries during which Spains local change in the balance of power is
population multiplied up to Sm, then, in an aspect of an important European
the 3rd century AD, it got into a bad event, the shift in the demographic
economic scene. As a result population centre of gravity from the Medi
figures began to slip back everywhere, terranean littoral to the Atlantic (see
Spain included. In the early 5th cen Fig. 1.10, p. 28). As far as Spain is
tury, when Rome was sacked and the concerned the 13th century was the one
Empire fell apart, the downward trend that clinched it. The last important
accelerated. The Barbarian Invasions battle of the reconquista. the Christian
were not directly responsible the num victory at Los Navos de Tolosa, was
ber of Germans who settled in Spain for fought in 1212 and in the population
example was probably greater than the boom that followed (and which
number of natives they despatched but increased total numbers from 55m to
the classical Mediterranean economy 7Sm) the Moslem component was ex
was now on its last legs and could n..~ cluded. By 1300 Spain was definitely
longer support anything like the num part of Christendom again.
bers it had in the past. Conversely if The medieval boom came to a sticky
there is any significance to the fact that end in the Black Death, which cut the
the arrival of the Arabs on Spains door number of Spaniards back to 5Sm. In
step at the beginning of the 8th century the early modern period this loss was
coincides with the first signs of recovery recovered, while accidents of inheritance
in the peninsula, it lies not in the num in Europe and of discovery on the high
ber of Arabs, which must have been tiny seas turned Spain into a world power.
(30,000 at most), but in the vigour of By the middle of the 16th century

the 75m inhabitants of the Spanish 44 and 61,, respectively, compare un
kingdoms were the mainstay of the favourably with the 50,, and 116,,
Hapsburg Empire. which controlled achieved by Europe as a whole. In the
more ihan 20 of Europes 90 millions 20th century the Spanish rate of growth
and 9m of the l2m natives in the New has accelerated: the gain of 84, in the
World. first three quarters comfortably exceeds
The Hapsburgs were proud of the the European average of 63,,. In politi
fact that they used their power in the cal terms this could be seen as a suc
cause of Catholic uniformity. In doing ccss for Spains leaders, who kept the
so they were certainly in accord with country out of both world wars: however
Spanish sentiment which had applauded the Civil War of 19369 cost over 05m
the expulsion of the countrys 150,000 lives, proportionately as big a loss as
Jews in 1492 and was to be equally ap that suffered by the United Kingdom in
proving when the last 250,000 Moslems the First and Second World Wars put
received the same treatment in 1609 14. together. Probably the best way of look
But the policy was wrong. The ing at the increase is as a catching-up
Protestants of the north of Europe had operation by a community that, in terms
cut loose from the old ways of doing of social evolution, had fallen unneces
things and were getting richer all the sarily far behind its neighbours.
time: if Spain couldnt beat them (which Emigration from Spain has a long his
she couldnt) she ought to have joined tory but its net effect is difficult to quan
them. But the choice was made for tify. Probably only 100,000 people left
Catholicism and a Mediterranean orien the country to settle in the New World
tation. Consequently the country was so (mostly Mexico) in the 16th century.
badly hit by the economic crisis of the However, what with shipwreck, disease
early 17th century during which the and death in battle we can guess that the
population dropped back to 7-5m net loss must have been at least twice
again that by the time it had recovered this. By the end of the 18th century the
it was hopelessly behind. At the begin cumulative total must be reckoned at
ning of the 18th century, without so more than Im and we know that a fur
much as a by-your-leave, Spains allies ther 2m left in the 19th century (most of
and enemies took over her empire and them for Argentina, Cuba or Brazil). In
divided it up among themselves. this century the outflow to the New
Spains population increased during World has been about Im while a fur
the 18th and 19th centuries but did so ther Im have gone to Europe and North
relatively slowly: numbers were only Africa. How many of this last group will
I I5m in 1800 and 185m in 1900. The return home in the long run remains to
increments, which are equivalent to be seen.

O09m km2
12b Portugal (excluding Madeira and the Azores)
A pattern of prehistoric development mesolithic and to a few tens of thous 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 ~ 000000000 OtO 0 tO 0100100100
similar to Spains took Portugal from a ands after the establishment of farming 00
eJ,co~00ao,,tO CO




population of a few hundred in the late (3000 ac). By the time of the Roman ~ l975~

palaeolithic to a few thousand in the conquest there were 04m people in the
100 Europe Area i2a
area, a number that rose to nearly haifa grow again there was little economic jus
million by the end of the 2nd century tification for this. To escape the life of
A D. From there to a third of a million at rural drudgery that otherwise faced Portugal
the Dark Age low point, 06m by AD them some 2m Portuguese emigrated to
1000 and l25m by 1300 is a relatively Brazil in the period 17001950: this out
better performance than average; in flow held the increase in the homeland
fact it puts the country as is only right down to a factor of 4 over this period as
in the Atlantic rather than the against a European average of 5.
Mediterranean category. Following the Second World War
The Atlantic was to be Portugals emigration rose to new heights. Another
highway to success. In a sustained pro 03m people left for Brazil. government
gramme of exploration through the 15th settlement schemes in Africa built up
century, Portuguese seamen mapped out the white populations of Angola and
the Cape route round Africa to India: in Mozambique from less than 02m to
the 16th century the rewards flowed in. more than 06m, while the spontaneous
The new-found wealth supported a 6O~ movement of workers to France created
rise in the countrys population (to 2m), a resident Portuguese population there
an increase achieved despite the very of 0 5m. The subtractions were sufficient
considerable manpower drain a net to prevent much increase in the numbers
loss of 125,000imposed by the new at home: between 1950 and 1975 the
overseas commitments. population only managed to increase
After 1600 most of the fizz went out from just under to just over Sm. Now
of this situation. The Dutch elbowed that the African settlers are all hurry
their way into all the best routes, leaving ing home and job opportunities for
Portugal with only Brazil and a ram foreigners in France are contracting,
shackle collection of outposts that had Portugals population must start to go
little rhyme, reason or profit to them. In up again faster than this. It is likely to
the homeland numbers slumped (to be nearer 9m than Sm by the end of the
l75m in 1650), recovered (to 2m in century.
1700) and though they then started to

Primary Sources
Population estimates for Roman Iberia are better founded than most, for Pliny
(Natural History III, 2328) has preserved the results of a census taken in Galicia (the
north-west corner) at the beginning of the Christian era: his figures are equivalent to a
density of 10 per km. For the medieval period there are records of various hearth
taxes the earliest a Catalonian one of 12815 but these pose a lot ofproblems: how
many people lived in a house, how many houses were excluded, how does one area
compare with another? The first documents that even pretend to be complete are much
later a Portuguese tax roll of 15278, two Castilian ones of 1541 and 15914. and 21
one for Navarre of 1553 and even they are full of d(fficulties. Not till 1717 were all
1 -
the Spanish kingdoms assessed in the same way at the same time.
The first direct counts in Spain date from the late 18th century specjfically 1768, 00
1787 and 1797: it is generally considered that they left out about l0~ of the popula o~ 0
00 _JD~
tion. The first absolutely reliablefigures were not obtained till the census of 1857. Since
then there have been censuses in 1860. 1877, 1887. 1897 and every ten years from 1900 1975

102 Europe Area 12b

on. The Portuguese series is: 1801, 1821. 1835. 184!. 1854. 1858, 1861. 1864, 1878.
1890. and then decennial/i.

* Russell, who endorses Beloch .cfigure of 6mfor the earl) Ro,nan period. carries his
sur we i through to medieval times with a complete sequence of estimates: as usual he
dips a hit loner in the Dark Ages than we do. Braudel has a usefid discussion of the
different 16th-century estimates: he final!) conies to the conclusion that Spain had a
population of about 8,,; and Portugal one of about In; at the time. By contrast Mols in
his cotitribution to * Cipolla favours I !3m for Iberia as a whole at the same date. For
the 17th centurl see the *Cambridge Economic History of Europe. Vol. 4:for the
18th cent u, M. Livi Bacci in Population Studies 22(1)1968 (summary in Glass and
Re relIc).
General works that pay particular attention to the demographic factor are J. Vicens
Viies An Economic History of Spain (1969) and A. H. R. de Oliveira Marques
History of Portugal (1972). For tnigrat ion figures see * Reinhard and * Kosinski.

Europe Area 12
O-30m km Italy

Milan Venice
Throughout the later prehistoric period apocalyptic scale, brought the popula Genoa CAtJCASIA

Italy was the second most densely tion to a 6th-century nadir that can be
populated country in Europe (the first estimated at around 3-Sm. .
being Greece): we can think in terms of During the early Roman period the 50 Florence
0-Sm people by 3000 BC, Im by 2000 Bc northern third of the country had been
and 2m in t000 BC. In the early tron the peninsulas underdeveloped area. It
Age around 700 BC the rate of increase caught up in the imperial heyday and by
quickened: by 400 Bc the area contained the time Italy emerged from the Dark Rome
4m people and when Rome succeeded in Ages it was the north that was setting
unifying the peninsula (which it did in the pace. Indeed it set the pace for 40 -~~~~~ S -
the fifty years on either side of 300 ac) Europe as a whole: by the 12th century
the manpower at its disposal im it had become the most economically
mediately made it the leading power of advanced part of the continent. Its two
the Mediterranean world. And success major seaports. Venice and Genoa,
fed on itself: as tribute and slaves flowed almost monopolized Europes trade
in, Italys population rose to reach Sm with the Levant, while the goods and
by the end of the Punic wars (200 ac) services generated by them and by such
inland cities as Milan and Florence were ~ILY
and 7m by the beginning of the imperial
period (AD I). the essential elements of the medieval
Seven million was more people than trading network. As part of this upsurge
the Italian farmer could feed and it was Italys populaton passed the best
only because Rome now commanded
the resources of the Mediterranean
Roman levels in the course of the 12th
century to reach a total of lOm by the
basin and could bring in wheat from end of the 13th. II
North Africa (particularly Tunisia and In Italy as elsewhere in Europe the
Egypt) that such a figure could be sus Black Death cut the population back by
tained. Even so the situation was a vul a third. However the economic base
nerable one and when the Roman remained unimpaired, recovery during
Empire got into trouble, which it did in the 15th century was steady and by the 10
the mid 3rd century AD, Italys popula early 16th century the figures for most 8
tion was among the first to register a areas were as high or higher than the
pre-Black Death equivalents. The set 6
decline. With the complete admini
strative collapse that followed the back that took place at the beginning of 4
Barbarian invasions and the sack of the 17th century was more sinister fdr 2
Rome in the early 5th century the de it reflected the economic consequences
cline became precipitous. Finally of the discoveries of Columbus and 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Vasco da Gama the shift of Europes 0 t ~

Justinians reconquest, which was ac 00
companied by famine and plague on an economic centre away from the $4 1975i

106 Europe Area 13

Mediterranean to the Atlantic and away Italians emigrating as young adults Bibliography
from Italy to the Low Countries. The often returned to Italy when their work The controversies over the interpretation of the Rotnan statistics are reviewed atid
Italian standard of living began to de ing days were over. A fair summary is resolved in P. A. Brunt. Italian Manpower 225 BC AD 14(1971). For the period AD
cline. At the end of the 17th century the that over the years 1881 1936 the net 5001450 see J. C. Russells contribution to the Fontana Economic History of
population was little larger than it had effect was a reduction of about 6m in Europe, Vol. 1. The perioclfi-om 1500 on is covered by Julius Beloch in his monutnen
been at the beginning, the country as a the total for Italy. Or! to put it another tal, posthumously published Bevolkerungsgeschichte Italiens (3 votc.. 1937, 1940.
whole a great deal poorer. way, the population on the eve of the 1961). A summary of his figures. adjusted for the area of modern Italy, is gilen itt
In the 18th century the population did Second World War, which was 44m, Cipolla s contribution to * Glass amid E,ersle,.
begin to increase again. The situation would have been 50m if there had been
remained unhealthy, however, for the no emigration at all.
increase was greater in the countryside The pace of industrialization has
than in the towns: Italy, which had once
had the most urbanized and sophis
quickened in the 20th century and as a
result the Italian standard of living
J~J~ ~ (~.)
ticated population in the continent, has greatly improved. However. Italy,
seemed to be in danger of becoming a though homogeneous in terms of ~
rural slum. In the early part of the 19th religion and language, remains in econ
century the trend was much the same: omic terms two nations to this day: the
then industrialization and emigration north is thoroughly European. the south
began to alleviate the situation. Indus almost North African. Internal migra
trialization, which was almost entirely tion is as yet only mitigating not closing
restricted to the north, allowed Italy to the gap between the two. Sicily, for
recover a little of its former economic example, with near enough 10,, of the
status. Emigration helped too, though area and population of Italy, is respons
the quantitative aspects of this are more ible for only 5,, of the gross national
than usually difficult to assess because product.

Primary Sources
As might be expected, ,?iore pop ulation figures have survived for Roman Italy i/ian for
an) other part of the classical world. But though it could i.e/I be true i/tat the census of
Rotnan citizens was an institution as old as Route itself the Romnans believed it the
earliest extant figures, which purport to relate to the 6th century ac, are merely
notional and anyhow refer to too small a part of Italy to be of much moment. By the
late 3rd century cc the available figures ore far ,nore interesting, being consistent,
believable and covering most of the peninsula. Front this date until the death of
Augustus in AD 14 there is sufficient information available for us to chart the popula
tion of the country with confidence.
For the late Roman period there are to reliable data, The hiatus lasts through the
Dark Ages and up to the establishment of the first of the Renaissance archives in the
12th century. All Italian city states in the Renaissance period collected demogta
~ the form.of direct
~ means all the data surv e,but hc16thcenutry~~..p,e,p,~ce
again in a position to make a reasonable estimate of the countrj~v.population. There-
after. despite the political fragmentation of the country, the course of the population
graph is sure, if tedious to calculate. The first in the present series of decennial censuses
followed immediately on the unification of the country in 1861.
108 3~ I~f ond o~fti ~orr~
EUROPE AREA 14 The Balkans
O-55m km2 The Balkans
14a Yugoslavia O26m km2
14b Albania O-03m km
14c Greece O-13m km2 60
14d Bulgaria 0-urn km2
14e Turkey-in-Europe O-02m

Because agriculture came to Europe population explosion that was carrying

from Asia via the Balkans! the Balkan its share of the Balkan total over the
peoples were the first Europeans to ex half-way mark and the absolute figure
perience the neolithic transformation. past 2m. State-sponsored emigration
As early as 5000 ac the areas mesolithic created a Greek overseas population
population of 25,000 had been replaced (excluding lonia and Cyprus) of not less
by a peasant society numbering 025m than OSm, but completely failed to halt
and over the succeeding millennia the the rise in numbers at home. By the mid
total grew last enough to bring it to 2m 5th century the Greek peninsula and
in the course of the later Bronze Age archipelago contained 3m people 60,, ~1
(13th century BC). of the Balkan total of Sm.
By this time Europe had imported a Classical Greece an alpha-plus
second art from Asia. the art of writing. society on any ranking fits snugly into
The entry point was Greece, the script the idea that overpopulation brings out
that evolved was the Linear B that the the best in people. For the Greeks at the
Greeks used for their accounts, and time the situation was less comfortable:
from these it is obvious that their society there were few places for would-be
had reached a degree of sophistication colonists to go that werent already fully
that puts it on a level with the contem occupied, and taking other peoples
porary civilizations of the Near East. places meant war of the sustained sort
Greece was far in advance of the rest of that the Greeks were least good at. After
the Balkans, let alone Europe. a fact a few false starts the military set-up
that we can be sure was reflected in the needed was evolved by the Macedonians
population distribution, If 2m people and in the spectacular career of the
lived in the Balkans in 1250 BC, Im of Macedonian King Alexander the Great
them lived in Greece. the Greek demographic crisis found its
The Greek colonization of Cyprus solution. As a result of Alexanders vic
dates to this period of prosperity, the tories the whole of the Orient as far as
colonization of lonia to the next phase India was thrown open to Greek settle 10
the first Greek Dark Age. During this ment. Greeks became the rulers, the 8
little-known period literacy was lost defenders and the bureaucrats of Egypt 6
and, given the degree of social disinte and Asia Minor: the population, the
gration suggested by this fact and by the problems and the achievements of the
archaeological record, the population homeland began to dwindle. 21
may well have fallen back a bit. If it did Greek numbers continued to fall
throughout the last three centuries BC, .1000 80 ~ 000000 0 0
it certainly rebounded. When the clas 0 0
sical period opened in the 7th century which was a period of slow growth else 0
m 1975~l
BC the country was in the throes of a where in the Balkans. By the days of the

Ito Europe Area 14

Roman Empire Greece contained only By this time the Ottoman Empire was
2m people out of a Balkan total of Sm. in decline and its subject races were
The shift in emphasis continued into the struggling to regain their freedom. Ser
Byzantine period: in the general decline bia (the prototype of Yugoslavia) and
of the 5th to 7th centuries the Greek loss Greece both managed to establish their
was disproportionately large and by the independence by 1830, Bulgaria not till
time the first signs of recovery were vis 1885. When the frontiers vis--vis
ible in the 8th century the population Turkey were finally sorted out in the
density of the peninsula was no greater early 20th century, there were still large
than that of any other part of the Moslem minorities in all these countries
Balkans. and the last new statc to appear. Albania.
The most important event of this era actually had a Moslem majority. Since
was the replacement of most of the then migrations, forced or spontaneous,
native peoples of the Balkans by Slays have steadily reduced the numbers of
from north of the Danube. This re Moslems in Greece, Bulgaria and
population created the ethnic basis Yugoslavia (where the proportions are
for thc modern states of Yugoslavia down to I 8,, and 10,, respectively)
(previously Illyrian) and Bulgaria while in Albania everyone is now offi
(previously Thracian) and inserted a cially communist.
strong Slav component into the other Of the various Balkan countries
Balkan communities. But though the Albania is the one with the highest
growth rate indeed, at 3,, it has the 4?
Slav flood swept over the whole of the
Balkans it did not sweep away everyone. highest growth rate in Europe. Yugo
In Greece the littoral fringe and the slavia has the biggest minorities (075m
islands provided a refuge for the Greek Albanians, 0 Sm Magyars. 025m
nation and language which were even Turks but no Germans since the flight
tually to recover their original territory: of the 03m who lived there before the
in the Albanian highlands the Illyrian Second World War). Yugoslavia also
tongue survived as it does to this day. has the problem of tension between the
In the medieval period the population Croats (Catholic and westward-looking)
of Greece picked up from less than a and the slightly more numerous Serbs
million to a million and a quarter, the (Orthodox and eastward-looking).
population of the Balkans as a whole Greece is the most homogeneous. 10?
from 3m to Sm. The arrival of the Black though its homogeneity has been ach
Death and the Ottoman Turks in the ieved at a high price: after the final
14th century put a stop to this recovery: Greco-Turkish conflict of 1918 22 there
the latter also introduced a new element was an enforced exchange of minorities
of heterogeneity, for, by the early 16th which brought in I3m Greeks from
century. in addition to 4m Christians Turkey and entirely removed the 03m-
(3m Orthodox, Im Catholic), there were strong Turkish community in Greece.
Im Moslems, most of them colonists The area likely to grow fastest in the
rather than converts. The numbers of remainder of this century is Turkey-in-
both Christians and Moslems increased Europe. The expulsion of its Greek and
in the 16th century: then, as elsewhere in Armenian citizens 4O~ of the whole
the Mediterranean. there was a demo and the disfavour of the Turkish
graphic recession in the 17th century government after the move to Ankara
before the strong rise typical of recent had the effect of stunting Istanbuls
times began in the 18th. growth in the first half of this century.
112 Europe Areas 14ae
Now the increasingly European orienta
Lion of the Turk and the opening of
strong resurgence in the economy and
demography of this corner of the
EUROPE AREA 15 The Islands
the Bosporus bridge should lead to a continent.

Primary Sources
The classical Greek historians contain clear indicanons of the orders of magnitude
involved in ancient Greek demography, though they provide very little to go on ,,he,i it 15a Cyprus 9,250 km2
comes to the rest of the Balkans. The Dark Ages are a blank for both. The first overall
data appear in the Ottoman period in the form of hearth counts: totals for the count of Cyprus has had a peasant population as little more than 100,000 in 1650. There it
1525 are given on p. 39 of VoL 4 of the Cambridge Economic History of Europe and long as anywhere in the Near East at remained for about a century and a half,
in map Jbrni in * Braudel (Vol. 2, p. 662): the original publication is by 0. L. Barkan the very least since the 6th millennium the first signs of recovery coming in the
Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient. I (1957), p. 9. For sure BC. Slow growth from a few thousand at early 19th century. When the British
there are more Ottoman counts to be found: together with the counts taken by the this time, to some tens of thousands in took over in 1878 a rising trend was well
Venetians in the islands (notably Crete, which the) hung on to till 1669) and the ltlorea the Late Bronze Age, covers the prehis established: the census that they carried
(iihich they briefly incorporated in their Empire in 16851715) this means that one day toric demography of the island. The out three years later revealed that the
it should be possible to chart the course of Balkan demography since 1500 with a high population then enters the 100200.000 total was nearing 02m again. Sub
degree of confidence. band within which it remains for the sequent growth has been steady to
The first censuses were taken shortly after independence in Greece (1828), whole of the period from the Iron Age 03m by 1920 and 0Sm by 1950.
Serbia Yugoslavia (1830) and Bulgaria (1888). They have been held irregularly on to the mid 19th century. It touches the Ottoman rule was responsible for the
average once a decade ever since. Albania ~s first census was taken in 1923, the next upper limit during the halcyon days of introduction of a substantial Turkish
not till 1945. For Turkey-in-Europe since the First World War the situation is the sonic the Roman Empire. again during the minority (currently I8~) in an otherwise
as for Turkey-in-Asia (Asia Area Ia). Crusader era (13th century) and during Greek population. In 1974 the Turkish
the final phase of Venetian rule (16th government intervened militarily on
century). It falls back sharply with the behalf of this Turkish Cypriot commun
Bibliography Black Death and, more lastingly, after ity. The present situation of de facto
* Beloch devoted more space to 5th-century Greece than to any other part of the the Turkish conquest. partition has caused economic havoc
ancient world: on the whole his figures have stood the test of titne. His overallfigure for The Turks conquered Cyprus in 1571. and makes it unlikely that the island will
the Balkans in AD 14 is less well founded (Jbr the area as defined here it works out at The subsequent decline in the islands achieve the population growth foreseen
4Sm) but is certainly acceptable. For the medieval period see Russell. for the 16th population is well documented. The for it a few years ago.
century Braudel and for the modern period * Clark, Their calculations do not d~ffer total was down to 120,000 by 1600 and
sign(ficantly from ours.
Almost no work has been done on the demography of the prehistoric period: an
exception is Cohn RenfreiVs article in Man, Settlement and Urbanism (ed. P. J. Ucko Primary Sources and Bibliography
et al. (1972)). There is also an absolutely first class regional survey by W. A. McDon * Beloch s suggestion of 0Sm in AD 14 seems too high no, that we have the Venetian

aId and G. Rapp The Minnesota Messenia Expedition (1972): this covers the whole and Ottomanfiguresfor comparison. These, which constitute the first hard data for the
span front the Early Bronze Age to modern times though it is basically concerned with island, are clearly set out by T. Papadopoullos in his Social and Historical Data on
the period before 1200 BC. Population (Cyprus Research Centre, 1965). The census series runs decennially front
1881 to 1931 since when there have been censuses in 1946. 1956 and 1960.
15b Malta 316 km 15d The Azores Nine major islands totalling 2,300 km2

The Maltese islands were first colonized Maltese when the Knights of St John This mid-Atlantic island group was 1900 to get to 250,000. In the early 20th
around 5000 BC. Within a millennium took over in 1530. The knights and their uninhabited until discovered (between century population actually fell as
the settlers were raising megalithic retainers added some 5,000 to this figure 1427 and 1452) and settled (from 1439 unemployed Azorians sought a better
temples on a scale which suggests that and initiated a period of growth which on) by the Portuguese. At first the rate life in America, and a second wave of
there must have been several thousand doubled the population over the next of population growth was high, with the emigration has recently cut numbers
of them and if this is true the first phase century and brought it to 100,000 by 60,000 mark being reached by 1580. from the all time high of 327,000
of the population graph must be an 1800. The 200,000 mark was achieved Since then it has been slower: it took till reached in 1960 to the present figure of
extraordinarily fiat one: neither the early in this century and 300,000 by 1800 to achieve the 150,000 level and till 290,000.
Roman nor the early medieval peaks are 1950. Emigrationa net loss of 100,000
likely to have exceeded 20,000 and this in the last fifty years is now tending to Primary Sources and Bibliography
is known to have been the number of slow down the increase.
Counts are available from the 16th century, censuses from 184!. See T. Bentley
Duncan. Atlantic Islands (1972).
Primary Sources and Bibliography
For the prehistoric period see Before Civilisation by Cohn Renfrew (1973), pp. 15411:
For the medieval data) the hearth and head counts carried out by the knights, and the
counts (1828. 1837) and censuses (front 1842) taken by the British see M. Richardson
in H. Bowen-Jones et al., Malta: Background for Development (1961). 15e Madeira 800 km2

Madeira was settled by the Portuguese finally to become famous. Between 1650
15c Iceland 100,000 km2 (only I,, arable) in 1420. Population grew rapidly from
100 in 1425 to 2,000 in 1460, 20,000 iq
and 1750 the increase was from 33,000
to 50,000 and steadily higher totals have
1510 and 30,000 in 1550. At this point been recorded since 110,000 in 1850,
Iceland had perhaps been visited by the beginning of the 19th century. These
the sugar producers who were respons 150.000 in 1900 and 270,000 in 1960. By
odd Irish hermit prior to its discovery by figures are, of course, averages; after a ible for the islands prosperity found the end of this period the limits of com
the Vikings in the late 9th century, but bad harvest the population would fall a themselves being undercut by Brazilian fort had been exceeded and despite the
the settlement was a Norse achieve bit, to recover over the next few years. planters and as a result both economic growth of a prosperous tourist trade,
ment. Within half a century say by Particularly catastrophic harvest failures and population growth faltered. Things there has been a small but significant
AD 925 the population had reached had longer-term eFfects: the famine of began to pick up again when the drop in numbers over the last decade.
30,000 and the flow of immigrants had 1784, for example, caused a fall to Madeirans made the successful switch The present population is near enough a
ceased. Natural growth over the next 38,000. and recovery to the 50,000 level to viticulture for which the island was quarter of a million.
three centuries produced a peak figure took a decade.
of 70,000; then the climatic deteriora Iceland escaped from this Malthusian
Primary Sources and Bibliography
tion of the 14th century caused the situation in the 19th century. By 1900
process to reverse. Over the next three the population had reached 80.000, by As for the Azores but for the early years the data are better: see A. H. D Oliveira
centuries the total slowly dropped to 1950 it was 140,000, and the total today Marques, History of Portugal (1972).
50,000 at which level it remained till the is over 200.000.

Primary Sources and Bibliography

Iceland has excellent in Jut! almost unparalleled early records, notably two lists of Seven major islands
far.ns. the Landnamabok of c.930 and a list ing oJc.1095. The Ice/ant/ic authorities can 15f The Canaries totalling 7,300 km2
aLso take credit for holding the first census to satisfi modern criteria, the census of
1703. The later censuses lb/low the Danish sequence, for the island had been politically The easternmost of the Canaries is vis habitation dates only from the early
incorporated in Scandinavia in 1262. ible from the African coast and it is sur centuries of the Christian era, the period
For a good outline see S. Thorarin.vsotic article in Geog. Rev. 5). (1961). prising that firm evidence of human when the Fortunate Isles are first
116 Ill
,- ta .

9 ~ ~ ~ -- --
-4 ~Z

~:; ~ ~ 0
~ E ~
~ ~-r-s ~ ~ ~ an g~

~B, ~(.J
Z,~Hi 1~ C.-, ~oo C ~
- o 0 C 0
~- ~.
0- ~ t
0 _,~ nC-,

~ ~

~ i~H ~U
~ ~~~9TB ~
~~nE.--.,~-~ t00
z -~ -
(no a
~ ~
n a- ~ ~-
a=~~ an~~~-,~c0o
C.~fl~-~ nOO~
~3 ~ ~ azfl~
< C.
S-,0 E.~
D~ fl 0 ~ C.~ a 0 ~
~a I-a ~,o~~0C- ~
gg~. ~ ~.o.
m ~-
- ~ cn ~
- ~ - ?S0 ~
~xr~ j~_ZaN3 ~ ~o.
~ , ~ a~ .~
~ D) ~0.
a $ o~=S~
S ~I~B o~ ~- -
z~...*~2n.--a .
- (~_ n , 0 U- fl~tflQ~O~-, 0


Populations in thousands, to the nearest 10,000

AD 1000 1100 1200 1300 1400 1500 1600 1650 1700 1750 1800 1850 1875 1900 1925 1950 1975
CYPRUS 150 150 170 200 ISO 200 120 110 110 110 110 150 180 230 330 490 640
MALTA 10 10 10 20 10 20 40 50 70 80 100 130 150 190 250 310 330
<10 <10 <10 <10 <10 <10 <10 <10 <10 <10 <10 10 10 10 20 30 40
ICELAND 50 70 70 70 60 60 50 50 50 50 50 60 70 80 100 140 220
GREENLAND <10 <10 <10 <10 <10 <10 <10 <10 <10 <10 <10 <10 <10 10 10 20 50
AZORES 10 60 80 90 100 150 230 260 260 240 320 290
MADEIRA 20 30 30 40 50 70 80 130 150 200 270 250
CANARIES 20 20 20 20 20 10 50 70 100 140 200 260 280 360 500 790 1,200

The table includes two territories, the Faroes and Greenland, whose populations though small are of some historical interest. The
Faroes (area 1,400 km2) were discovered and colonized by the Norse at the beginning of the 9th century AD. The population has
grown fairly steadily from a few hundred in the 10th century to 1,000 in the 14th century, 5,000 in 1800, 12,000 in 1900 and 40,000
today. Greenland has an area of 2,176,000 km2 but 86c of it is covered by ice and most of the rest is tundra. Eskimo, who are the
only people who can really cope with this sort of environment, have been on the island since the 3rd millennium ac, which means that
it has had a basal population in historic times of not less than a few hundred or more than a few thousand. During the period 1000
1300 the Eskimo were joined by Norsemen from Iceland. The None planted two colonies which, at their peak in the 13th century,
held about 3,000 people. These colonies were abandoned when the climate worsened in the late 14th century and early 15th century.
The Danes resumed sovereignty over Greenland in the 18th century, The first census, held in 1805. revealed a population of 5000.
In this century, perhaps as a result of the Danish governments generous welfare policies, there has been a population explosion
among the Eskimo: numbers have shot up from 10,000 in 1900 to 50,000 today.
Part Two


Fig. 2. I Asia, subdivision into areas

I NEAR EAST 4c China proper

Ia Turkey-in-Asia (Anatolia) 4d Taiwan (Formosa)
lb Syria and the Lebanon 5 KOREA
Ic Palestine and Jordan 6 JAPAN
Id Arabia 7 THE INDIAN
If Iran 7a Pakistan. India and Bangladesh
Ig Afghanistan 7b Sri Lanka
2a Caucasia 8 SOUTH-EAST ASIA
2b Siberia 8a Burma
2c Russian Turkestan Sb Thailand
3 MONGOLIA 8c Indo-China
4 CHINA 8d The Malay archipelago
4a Chinese Turkestan and Tibet Se The Philippines
4b Manchuria and Inner Mongolia
Asia 44m km


I A generation ago we had a fairly clear idea about the neolithic revolution,
the appearance of the first food-producing as opposed to food-gathering
II communities. It all happened in the Near East in a zone that was centred
on Palestine, Syria and Iraq. This was almost the same as the fertile
crescent, the area within which the first civilization appeared a millennium
0 4 or two later. Now, alas, we know more and understand less. It appears that
different styles of food-producing evolved in many different places, often
very slowly and undramatically, and, of particular interest to us, the demo
graphic upsurge that it had been assumed would always accompany the
change-over to food production seems to have been absent in some impor
tant instances. For example, during the period 5000 3000 BC knowledge of
agriculture spread right across South-East Asia from Burma and Thailand
on the mainland to the easternmost islets of Indonesia. Yet the tenfold
increase in population that one would expect to result took at least another
2,000 years to achieve. (Our assumptions are that the number of food-
gatherers in the area in 5000 BC Is unlikely to have been less than 02m (cf.
Australia) and that the 2m level was not reached until some time in the last
millennium BC, a fair deduction from the trend in the historical period.)
However if we cannot always rely on agricultural innovation to explain
1000 why some Asian peoples multiplied and others didnt we can at least say
that where there was no agriculture there was no real growth. Between
10,000 BC and 400 BC the population of Asia increased from lm to 80m
but the number of people in Siberia, Korea and Japan barely rose at all.
From the Urals to Honshu the only inhabitants were simple hunters and
fishermen: there may have been 02m of them, certainly no more.
500 Where then did all the Asians of 400 ec actually live? The answer is that
400 nearly all of them lived in peasant villages in the Near East (12m), China
300 I I (30m) or India (30m). These were the three areas which from the start of
200 I I agriculture had made it their essential activity, which by the 4th century BC
100 I I had already produced major civilizations and which were to continue to act
L 0 o0~000000000S00
as the cultural foci of the continent throughout its history.
The oldest of the three is the civilization of the Near East, which had its
o ~ is~ o in in original centre in the country known to the ancients as Sumer and Akkad,
to the classical world as Mesopotamia and to the present day as Iraq. Here,

Fie. 2.2 Asia, continental total 123

Thechange in the value of the V
symbol lakes care of Ihe
overall growth since Fig. 23
Note the concentration of so the distributions can be
Asias population in the compared direclly. The
striking features are Ihe
Near East, the Indian
subcontinent (particularly relalive decline of the Near East
and, oulside Asia, of Egypt.
the Indus valley) and China
(particularly the Yellow River Note also Ihe shift from Indus
to Ganges in India. I m people
Fig. 2.4 The Old World; population disirihution in 400 BC
Fig. 2.3 The Old World; population (l,sgrthunrm in 3000 BC

yet was smartly rebuffed when it attempted the conquest of Greece in the
long before anywhere else, the agricultural revolution produced a full-
5th century BC and it put up a surprisingly ineffective resistance to the
blown demographic response, with villages growing into towns and
counter-invasion of Alexander the Great and his Macedonjans at the end
regional population densities rising to levels of 10 per km2. This was the
of the 4th century. Within a dozen years Alexander succeeded in reducing
take-off point lbr a new series of firsts which give the Sumerians a fair
the whole region to provincial status.
claim to be the inventors of civilization: they include the first writing (cer
Alexanders empire was basically the old Persian Empire plus Greece
tainly), the first bronze casting (probably) and the first wheeled vehicles
and must be accounted an Asian state in terms of population:
(possibly). Because of the boost given it by these remarkable people
whose ethnic identity is a complete mystery the Near East got a head
Macedonian Empire in Europe (Greece) 3Om
start in the population league and for most of pre-classical antiquity was
in Africa (Egypt) 3.5
able to keep its share of the Asian total at about 25~ say 2~5m out of
in the Near East (less Arabia) 120
lOm in the early 3rd millennium, Sm out of 20m in the early 2nd millen
in Central Asia and India
nium and 9m out of 36m early in the last millennium BC.
Then the picture changed. Though the Near Easts population growth
continued it was outpaced by Indias and Chinas. By the 5th century BC
both India and China were in the 25 30m class while the Near Easts total
NUMBER IN ASIA 135, or two thirds
was less than half of this. As a fraction of the figure for Asia as a whole it
However, if the demographic centre of the Empire lay in Asia its driving
had sunk to a sixth (cf. Figs. 2.3 and 2.4).
force was clearly European and its conscious aim was to promote the
The Near East also lost ground in relation to Europe. The failure was
Greek way of life. The number of Greek settlers was, in absolute terms,
technological as well as demographic: the Persian Empire Asias biggest
124 125
insignificant no more than O25m but as agents for the spread of
Hellenism they proved sufficient. Later the Romans took over the Greek
role and for the rest of the classical period the western Near East was part
of their Empire. The eastern part did recover its independence under the
Parthians but it remained completely overshadowed both numerically (5m
as against 45m) and culturally.
The Near East may have lost out to Europe in the classical period, Asia
did not. Not only were there more Asians than Europeans, there were more
Indians or Chinese than Europeans. And both India and China had by
now produced civilizations of comparable sophistication to Romes. When
we say India we are talking of a social unit, not a political entity, for
attempts to create a pan-Indian empire only came near to success on two
occasions: in the 3rd century BC when the Maurya emperors conquered
most of the sukcontinent and in the 3rd century AD when the Gupta kings
established control over the northern half. As neither of these Indian em
pires lasted much more than a generation it is fair to say that the normal
condition of the area was one of political fragmentation. Chinas story is
the exact opposite: the dozen states that divided the Yellow River valley
between them were brought together by Shi-huang-ti, the First Emperor,
in the late 3rd century ~c and union was the rule thereafter. The scale was
colossal. During the Han period, which lasted from 206 BC to AD 220, the
Chinese Empire always had a comfortable edge over Rome in terms of
numbers: when Romes population was 40-odd millions, Han Chinas was
more than 50 million. In a world ranking of empires China had taken the
place that was to become customary (see Fig. 2.5).

Fig. 2.5 The only sign~icant gap in Chinas monopoly of this sequence conies between
the end of the Han Empire in AD 220 and the start of the Sm Empire in the 580s.
During this period Cluna was divided into at least two kingdoms, often more, and as
none was as big as the Roman Empire in its undivided form Rome holds the lead during
the 3rd. 4th and early 5th centuries. After the collapse of the western Roman Empire
there are 100 years hi which the north half of China (the Empire of the Northern Wet)
outranks the eastern half of the Roman Empire, then afew decades in ,thtch the
situation is reversed, partly because the east Romans expanded. more particularly
because the Wet State divided. During the later 6th century the founder of the Sui
Dynasty restored to China both unity and primacy. Since then China has always kept
top position in the population league. There is a moment of uncertainty in the 13th
century as the Mongols conquer China and are transformed into the Chinese Yuan
Dynasty, and another in and around the Second World War during which the totalfor
the British Empire and Commonwealth exceeds that for the Chinese Republic: in
neither instance are we talking of more than afew years and in the British case it is
debatable whether we are dealing with a genuine political entity
I 96
from such decimations: why was there no recovery by the centurys end
In AD 220 the Han Empire fell apart: in 410 Rome was sacked by or by the next centurys end either? The extra factor in the Mongols case
barbarians. One feature common to both situations was intervention by was their determination, where possible, to exterminate the peasantry as a
nomad tribes from central Asia Huns, Mongols and Turks. There were class. The nomadic way of life was under threat from the way the peasants
never very many of these nomads no more than Sm at the time of which continually encroached on the grasslands. The Mongols not only mas
we are speaking but their way of life made them superb cavalrymen and sacred the peasants, they deliberately destroyed the peasants infrastructure:
as such they had a military impact far greater than their numbers would irrigation works, villages and market towns. Then they brought in their
suggest. The same is true of the Arabs. Only about 20c of the Sm inhabi flocks to graze among the ruins. The fall in population was long-lasting
tants of the Arabian peninsula were bedouin (desert nomads), but this was because there had been a shift from high-density farming to low-density
enough to give the Arab armies the edge when, inspired by the teaching of pastoralism.
the prophet Mohammed, they fell upon the Byzantine and Persian Empires Maybe the rise of the Mongols wouldnt have been so dramatic if the
in the mid 7th century. By 800 they were masters of an empire that incor medieval population boom hadnt been losing steam already, indeed may
porated the whole of the Near East and added to it Spain, the Maghreb be it wouldnt have happened at all if a downturn wasnt just around the
and Egypt in the west, and part of Central Asia and present-day Pakistan corner. But the Mongols certainly made the process as bloody as could be
in the east. and it was probably due to them that the fall started when it did (almost a
The caliphate, as the Arab Empire is known, was impressive enough, century ahead of the end of the boom in Europe) and was so prolonged
counting some 30m subjects at its zenith. The real Arab achievement, (three centuries before full recovery, as against a century and a half in
though, was not the creation of this temporal kingdom but the imposition Europe).
of Islam as the ruling culture of the Near East. In sheer numbers the cali The first signs of a resurgence came in the 15th century. By the 16th
phate was always outclassed by the Chinese Empire now in its second growth was accelerating to unheard-of heights, reaching 35,, for the cen
incarnation under the Sui and Tang emperors (581 906) and once more tury as a whole. There was a fall-off in the 17th century a fall-off but to a
numbering fifty millions; indeed the Near Easts relative decline was figure (10,,) that was still a high one by normal standards. Since then each
actually accelerating, for after China and India with about a third of the century has set a new record: the 18th century 5000, the 19th century 5500
Asian population apiece, the 8th-century Near East comes a very poor and the 20th century a minimum of 200,. The 20th-century figure in all its
third with 20m, little more than 100, of the total. However, the genesis of enormity should not distract us from those for the previous four centuries,
Islam puts the Near East back into the world class culturally and in this which show that, far from being awakened by European colonization,
sense its status has been secure ever since. Asia generated its own demographic revolution. Of course this must be so
* when you think of it. Except for the British in India the Europeans did no
more than nibble at the edges of the continent until well on in the 19th
The rising phase of the medieval cycle brought Asia big gains in numbers: a century and they hardly started to do demographically useful things
1000 increase in the 9th century, another 10,, in the 10th century, 25c in
improve communications, create new irrigation schemes before its end.
the 11th and a definite slackening-off here a bit under 10, in the 12th. The upturn had come centuries earlier than that.
In absolute terms this brought the continental total to 250m. At this point The specific reasons for the increasing size of the percentage increments
the graph turned down. By 1300 the total had fallen to 230m; in 1400 it was are obscure: population growth just seems to go like this. The basis must be
only fractionally greater. a favourable long-term trend in technology. Here again it is worth recalling
This turn-around in Asias demographic fortunes is marked politically that Asias backwardness vis--vis Europe has been greatly overplayed. In
by the appearance of Genghiz Khan, founder of the Mongol Empire. This the 15th century for example the two most important technical develop
grew to be far and away the most spectacular of all the empires created by ments were the gun and the ocean-going sailing ship: the Chinese were well
the nomads of Central Asia: at its maximum, around AD 1300, it included abreast of the Europeans in the development of both and only fell behind
the whole span of the Old World from European Russia to Korea after 1500. But even then the Chinese and the other Asians continued to
inclusive, plus most of the Near East and all of China. As Mongol rule improve their technology, only they didnt do it as fast as the Europeans.
spread over this vast area, the population of every part of it dropped and This is clear from the late arrival of the demographic transition in
anyone who has read accounts of the way the Mongols waged war would Asia the point in the modernization cycle when death rates begin to fall
expect no less. But characteristically, peasant populations recover quickly
Fig. 2.6 Asia. subdivision into regions. Present-dat political frontiers are not always
rapidly and, because the matching fall in the birth rate only comes in later,
appropriate to the discussion of historical trends andfor the purpose of this overview
the rate of increase receives a special boost. This happened in Europe in the the areas of Fig. 2. I have been rearranged to produce this map of regions. The ,nost
19th century, when the increase rose above lOO~ (as against 50,, in the important change is the amalgatnat ion of areas 2c, 4. 4a and 4h (Russian Turkestan;
18th): in Asia it didnt happen till this century, the rate in the 19th being Mongolia; Chinese Turkestan and Tibet; and Manchuria and Inner Mongolia) to
much the same as Europes a hundred years earlier. produce a Central Asian region. The remaining part of mainland Gina, 4c or Gina
Considered at a regional level (for the division into regions see Fig. 2.6) proper, is the,, given regional status, as is Siberia (2b). The Near East is cotnp/eted ~i
Asias progress has been far from even. Up to 1900 the Near East con the addition of Caucasia (2a), while Japan and Korea (5 and 6) are amalgamated.
tinued to disappoint: in absolute terms it more than doubled its population Areas I. 7 and & are unchanged
from 21m to 47m but its share of the Asian total sank to 5,,. Only in this
century, really only since 1950, has the Islamic world put on demographic
weight. Growth rates are now very high too high according to some
and the current figure of l55m represents 7% of the Asian total, a recovery
to the proportion held in 1500.
This does not mean that the Near East is near to regaining the position it
held for so long as Asias third most populous region, a title it lost at the
beginning of the 16th century, when Japan emerged as a major population
centre. Japanese history is almost the opposite of the Near Easts, for it is
the only Asian state where something like the complete modernization
cycle of runaway growth followed by restabilization is visible. The expecta
tion is that between now and the end of the century Japan will add only
10% to its present population of I l2m and that its growth rate will then
have fallen to zero.
Today Japan and Korea together constitute the fourth most populous of
Asias regions. They lost their third position to South-East Asia around
1850: they are likely to slip another place soon because the Near East is
close behind and gaining fast. South-East Asias position as No. 3 seems
impregnable: throughout modern times its growth rates have been among
the highest in the world and its current total of 319m is more than that of
the present No. 4 (Japan and Korea) and No. 5 (the Near East) combined.
Moreover it has scarcely begun urbanization, the phase of the moderniza
tion cycle that is usually associated with the highest growth rates of all.
This is also trueof the two giants, the Indian subcontinent and China. It
is probable that the Indian subcontinent is now more populous than China
proper our figures are 775m as against 720m though the Chinese could
well be level and some estimates put them ahead. It seems certain however
that the Indians are multiplying faster and will be more numerous by the
end of the century our figures being l,240m for the subcontinent and
l,020m for China proper. This does not mean that China will lose her
position as the worlds biggest political unit, for her outer areas will be
contributing another 165m to the republics total in AD 2000 and Taiwan
with a further 20m can be expected to have returned to mainland control
by then. This makes a total for the Chinese republic at the end of the
century of l,200m. By comparison the Indian subcontinents I,240m will

ASIA AREA 1 The Near East
6-76m km2


C, J 1
la Turkey-in-Asia (Anatolia) O75m km2

Anatolia is one of the more welcoming pacified and homogenized. By AD 200.

ol the countries of the Near East and its when the area had reaped the full bene
population has always been consider fits of the imperial peace. some Sm
able. From 40.000 in the mesolithic it Anatolians acknowledged the rule of
rose to 200,000 in the early neolithic Rome and the cultural heritage of
Note how Asias demographic (6th millennium BC). I Sm by the chal Greece. A million more dwelling in the
centre has moved east since colithic (2500 BC) and 3m during the Armenian highlands looked alternately

Figs. 2.3 and 2.4. Japan and course of the full Bronze Age. to Rome and Persepolis as the political
Korea which dont figure at At this time the later 2nd millen
all in the earlier maps are now pendulum swung between these great
densely populated: indeed nium BC the ethnic and political situa powers.
they have the highest densities tion was straightforward: in most of Seven million was to prove the upper
of any Asian countries 300 Anatolia the people were of Hittite limit tn a series of population swings oc
per km and 225 per km2 25 m people stock and subjects of the Hittite Empire: cupying the next fifteen centuries. The
respectively. the exception was the eastern quarter. lower limit was around Sm. The first dip
where the people were Transcaucasians came during the phase of late classical
Fig. 2.7 The 0/el IVorkl; population distribution in 1975 (the group to which the present-day decline: then, following the Byzantine
Georgians belong) and independent. recovery of the 9th and 10th centuries,
This relatively simple picture did not there was a second, far more dramatic
presumably still be divided between India. Pakistan. Bangladesh, Nepal survive the upheavals that marked the collapse. In the early 1040s the first
and Sri Lanka. with no more than l,000m (!) in the Indian republic. beginning of the Iron Age (C.I 100 it C): Turks had appeared on the eastern
The Asian outlook then is sombre. The Indian subcontinent, with its two new peoples arrived from Europe. frontier: by 1060 the Armenians were
traditional third of the continental total, is going to remain grindingly poor the Phrygians. who crossed the migrating to the western Taurus under
Bosporus and moved on to the central the pressure ol Turkish raids and in
because its population explosion is rural and unfettered by dreams of a
plateau, and the Greeks, who crossed lOll the disastrous overthrow of the
different life, The Chinese, constituting near enough another third and the Aegean and colonized the Aegean Byzantine army at Manzikert the
equally rural, may be able to escape this equation: the communist state and Black Sea coasts. By 500 Bc there work of the Turkish sultan Alp Arslan
possesses the social machinery for injecting new skills and attitudes at were perhaps 0-25m Greeks on the sea opened the Anatolian plateau to an
village level. However, the Chinese are certainly not industrialized to the board. 3m Phrygians and neo-Hittites inrush of Turkish tribes. Within a few
degree where one could expect a spontaneous drop in the birth rate, and (Lydians. Carians etc.) in the interior decades the demography of Anatolia
whether their way will work remains to be seen. The regions favoured by and 075m Armenians (relatives of the was entirely recast: the plateau had
nature the Near East. with its huge oil resources, and South-East Asia. Phrygians) and Transcaucasians in the become the domain of the Turks, the
which is still relatively underdeveloped have potentially brighter futures eastern mountains all pursuing very Taurus the refuge of the Armenian
different life styles. nobility, while only the west remained to
clouded by rates of increase that are doubling their populations every
The Persians imposed a superficial the Greek-speaking peasantry who had
generation. Only the Japanese have really got their demography under hegemony on all these peoples: it was seen the Empire through so many crises
control and they form a very small slice of the whole now. inherited first by the Macedonians. then in the past.
by the Romans. It was only in Roman The arrival of the Turks meant a drop
times that the Anatolians were truly in the overall population of the country

because the nomadic and pastoral way startlingly bad general and a sizable
of life typical of the Turks at this time proportion of Turkeys O5m war dead
cannot support as high a density of
population as agriculture. But as the
are attributable to his cheerful ideas on
strategy. He also had ideas on minor
Turkish conquest moved to completion ities. During 1915 a near complete mas
under the leadership of the Ottomans, sacre of the million-strong Armenian
the Turks began to discover the advan community was carried out on his
tages of farming. By the mid 14th cen orders, a chilling foretaste of what a
tury the shift to settled agriculture was 20th-century dictator could do. Kemal,
unmistakable and the population was the opposite of Enver in every way,
once again approaching 7m. For the created victory out of defeat and his ex
third and last time it was cut back again, pulsion of most of the 2m Greeks and
this time by the Black Death; then in the 025m Bulgars who lived in European
late 16th century the 7m ceiling was and Asiatic Turkey prior to the First
finally breached. World War was as humanely conducted
The achievement was to prove some as such affairs can be. Between them the
thing of an anticlimax. Stagnation both two leaders created present-day Turkey;
economic and intellectual now overtook the nation which was for so long a
the Ottoman Empire, even as its armies typical example of the polyglot oriental
and frontiers were still advancing. The despotism is now ethnically and
17th, 18th and 19th centuries produced religiously homogeneous and intermit
only a sluggish growth and the popula tently democratic.
tion had barely reached 13m by 1900. During the remainder of the 20th cen
During the 19th century various cures tury the Turks have known peace and
were suggested for the sick man of achieved a high rate of multiplication.
Europe: the necessary physic was finally Between 1950 and 1975 the population
administered by Enver Pasha and of Anatolia nearly doubled: it is now
Kemal Ataturk during and immediately 36m and is likely to be approaching 60m
after the First World War. Enver was a by the year 2000.

The Ottoman Empire

The nucleus of the Ottoman Empire the western half of Anatolia and the south
eastern half of the Balkans was put together by the first four sultans in the course
of the 14th century. By 1402 it had a population of over 6m and the status of a
major power. In that year a shattering defeat at the hands of Timur the Lame
reduced the Anatolian half of the Empire to chaos.
Recovery of the position and territory lost in this single battle ironically enough
named after the present Turkish capital, Ankara took the best efforts of the next
Ottoman generation: it was not until the second half of the 15th century that the
advance began again. By 1500 the Empire had acquired new provinces in both
Europe and Asia, and its total population was approaching lOm; in the next half-
century there was an explosion of military activity, with Hungary, the Fertile
Crescent and Egypt all succumbing to Turkish arms. At its late 16th-century maxi o
2 0
~ tO N ~ 0 0
mum the Empire included most of North Africa (where 85m people were under 0 0 sOt
Ottoman rule), much of the Near East (12m) and nearly the whole of the Balkans l975~

134 Asia Area Ia

(7Sm): the grand total of 28m was to be exceeded only at the end of the 19th
century. when the rise in the rate of population increase characteristic of modern
times added numbers faster than the loss of territory subtracted them. For the
history of the Ottoman Empire after 1600 is one of continuous decline. At first this Populations of
was a matter of internal shrinkage, an aspect of the general Mediterranean crisis of
the 17th century. Then, one after another, important provinces started to escape (1) the Ottoman Empire 63?
central control notably the Maghreb by 1700. Egypt in 1800 and much of the
Balkans in the course of the 19th century. Finally, in the Balkan wars of 1912 13, 60
Turkey-in-Europe was reduced to its present meagre dimensions. The Empire
entered the First World War, the catastrophe that was to end in its complete dis
(2) the area within the
memberment, with a population of only 24m. boundaries of the
The second graph on page 137 shows the populations of the arca within thc boun
daries of the present-day Turkish republic, i.e. the combined totals for our Turkey-in- present day
Europe (Europe 14e) and Turkey-in-Asia. 50
Turkish Republic
Primary Sources
The only firm piece of information on the population of Anatolia in the pre-Moslem era
is contained in an inscription of Pompey ~c in which lie claims that the area he conquered
contained 12,183,000 people (recorded by Pliny the Elder in his Natural History, book 40
7para 97). Pompey conquered Transcaucasia, Syria and Palestine as well as Anatolia,
which makes it unlikely Anatolia was responsible for more than 7 orB out of the 12 the
real population may well have been a million or so less than this because Ponipey is
very possibly re/erring to an even wider area including places like the Crimea. which
he never conquered but which sent a formal submission and because victorious gen
erals tend to round off their totals upwards. ow 28 -
The first statistically useful information to survive is in the Ott oman archives. Start
e -..~ -
ing in the 15th century the Ottomans carried out intermittent recensions
cnumerations of adult tnales. Two of these surveys have been worked up b, moderti OTrOMAN 1 ~ -

historians so far: the earlier is the recension of 1575 which yields a figure for total ETMPiREi~i~_LI
population of about Sn,: the other is the ret urn fbr 1831 which suggests a total popula
tion of about IOn,. Doubtless others nil! he published in time.

The first Turkish census ofmodern tunes was taken in 1927: since 1937 there have
been regular quinquennial censuses.

* Beloch post uloted a population of 13m for Roman Anatolia, a figure which implies
Area within the boundaries of g ,(12) -

10 present day Turkish Republic_ 9 - . -

that the area of modern Turkey-in-Asia contained 16m or lore. this is just not on.
* Russell suggests a more believable 6Sm for the period AD 6001500. The Ottoman
recension of 1575 is discussed in M. A. Cooks Population Pressure in Rural Anatolia
(1972). the recension of 1831 in lssanis contribution to Studies in the Economic -1
History of the Middle East (ed. M. A. Cook. 1970, p. 397). Cook has also contributed 0
the chapter on 20th-century Turkey in * Clarke and Fisher.
00 Q 0000000000 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
00 fl 0 Q 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 fl 0
to Ii 0
a~ 0
i~ 0
0 0
00 - - -~ -

lb Syria and the Lebanon Syria and the

ll?-1 ,SY~U~

O-20m km2
(more than half desert) Lebanon
lbI Syria O-I9m km1
Ib2 The Lebanon O-OIm km

Syria and the Lebanon were among the the area the Syrians and Phoenicians
first countries in the world to experience numbered I-Sm. The Seleucids brought
the agricultural revolution and its demo in Greek settlers perhaps 100.000 of lb-2 TIIE LE~Artor~ 5?
graphic effects. By 5000 nc their com them and the combination of new
bined population was approaching the blood, new ideas and administrative
100,000 mark, a tenfold increase on the fervour set off an economic and demo
mesolithic figure. By the final phase of graphic boom. The population climbed
the neolithic, c-3000 BC, it had increased towards the 2m mark and if it slipped
to a quarter of a million. back a bit in the chaotic years between
The next two millennia saw some of the collapse of the Seleucid monarchy
the bigger villages growing into towns, and the incorporation of Syria and the
and names that have remained famous Lebanon in the Roman Empire, it
to this day Aleppo and Damascus, surged up again as soon as order had
Tyre and Sidon appear in the histor been restored. For the first two centuries
ical record. The number of Syrians rose of the imperial period the total for the
to 600,000 by 1000 BC: the Phoenicians, area was around 2-25m, split roughly
to give the Lebanese the name by which 4: I between Syria and Phoenicia.
they were known in antiquity, then This was the high point. The area
numbered 200,000. The secular trend shared in the general decline of late
was still upwards. antiquity and when it was conquered by
Unfortunately for them neither the the Arabs in the 7th century numbers
Syrians nor the Phoenicians ever created had fallen below 2m. Briefly, under the
stable political units of any size, and this Ummayad caliphs, Damascus was the
failure condemned them to subordinate capital of the Arab Empire and Syria
status within the major Near-Eastern the recipient of revenues that flowed in
empires. Between the 10th and 6th from as far away as Spain and Seistan.
centuries ac the Assyrians, neo But now the secular trend was down.
Babylonians and Persians came, saw When the caliphs moved to Bagdad the
and conquered. The next in the sequence areas population rapidly sank to a mere
was Alexander the Great, in 333 BC. He I-Sm. And this was to remain the norm
had no special plans for Syria but his for the next eight centuries. There were
lieutenant Seleucus had: alter Alex sluggish upward movements in the 13th
anders death he carved himself out an and 16th centuries, but the Black Death
empire which had Syria as its metro and the dead hand of Ottoman bureau
politan province. His successors held on cracy put paid to them. Not till the C C C C 0 0 C 0 0 C 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 C C 0
~0000000~~in0~, .j,Olj,
to it till they in their turn were forced to opening years of this century did the , ~o,-,o1o,~g, t ~ a 0
yield to Rome. area match the best figures of antiquity.
When Alexander the Great entered The current growth rate is high. In the

138 Asia Area lb

case of the Lebanon it has been reduced western Europe and the Americas) but
by substantial emigration a total of there are now 7m Syrians and 3m 10 Palestine and Jordan O-12m km2
O3m Lebancse (nearly all of them Lebanese. and the projections for the
Christian) have left the country since the year 2000 suggest that by then there will IcI Palestine W03m km2
late 19th century (most of them for be at least Ibm people in the area. (of which the southern half is desert)
lc2 Jordan O-09m km2
Primary Sources and Bibliography
(all but the western tenth desert)
The stony landscape of Palestine and this Diaspora retained sufficient sense of
One isolated census return survives- fl-mn Roman tinier according to an inscription
Jordan is unlikely to have supported their Jewish identity to ask for repatria
(C1L 1116687: Journal of Roman Studies 24. 1934. p. 187)1/ic ti/strict of Apamea had more than a few thousand people in tion when Cyrus of Persia finally
117000 inhabitants in AD 6. This is le.sw helpfid than it appears to he because, though mesolithic times and, though the area brought peace to the Fertile Crescent
Ire know that the Ronians divided the area i,,to about 35 or 40 such districts, which ts among the first in which neolithic (539 Bc).
suggests a total population of 4 or 5,,,. we also know that the it) of Apatnea las one agricultural techniques appear, the The population of Palestine and
of the most important in Syria and Lebanon, it is likely, therefbre, that it had ,,,ore population figures must have remained Jordan seems to have stagnated for
citizens thai, the average city and Syria less than 4w people. More directly usefill is very low in the 30,000 to 100,000 some centuries after this. The Greeks
Pontpey ~ overall total for this part ofthe world (seep. 136). which suggests that 3m or range for many millennia. After 1500 displaced the Persians as rulers and only
4w would cover Palest inc and Jordan as i.e/I as Syria and Lebanon. Russell takes the BC village life took deeper root: the in the 2nd century ac, when the Greeks
higher of these t we figures, we have opted fbr the lower, * Beloch s 6w seems far too Egyptians brought law and order to the in their turn were losing control of the
high. area, and in the heyday of their empire situation, are there signs that the local
The Arab centuries are an almost total blank, * Russell (p. 101. table 100 and note the land may have held a quarter of a population was on the increase again.
30) has assetnhled data on the population ofthe cities of the Levant in the 12th century million people, two thirds of them in The new Jewish state created at this
atid made these the basis of a population estimate fir the area: the figure he finally Palestine. time will have had a population at least
produces (2-7w for our areas lb and Ic together) is more readily acceptable than the The collapse of the Egyptian Empire as big as its more famous Davidic
method, in fact, our figures fhr the period 10001500 are the same as his e ceept that in 1200 BC left Palestine and Jordan predecessor and by the time the Romans
our pre-Black Death peak is loiter hi ahnost a quarter. See atco * Poliak. defenceless: the Philistines seized the appeared on the scene Palestine and
Between 1516 and 1918 our areas lb and Ic were ruled hi the Ottoman Turks, In the coast, the children of Israel moved in Jordan probably held more people than
archives at istanbul is the record of a census ofhouseholds in these areas take,, at the from the desert. According to scripture ever before say 600.000.
end of the 16th century. The provincial totatc haie heeti publtched hi 0. L, Barkan in the Israelites were numbered at some This population, already a bit too
Studies in the Economic History of the Middle East (ed, M. A. Cook. 1970, p. 171), thing over 2m, Ten thousand would be a large for comfort, was to go on increas
thefigurefor areas lb and Ic together is 284,000 households, which, eve,, using as high better figure, but if they were few they ing. By AD I it had reached 08m and
a multiplier asS, indicates a population total of omit. l4i,i, This seens much too Ion were tenacious: they multiplied and cracks were appearing in the normally
by more than 500 hi our view and one could need to see more returns published, and proselytized with such remarkable well-disciplined Jewish social system.
a fit/Icr stile of publication, hefi.ire accept ing that the demographic situation nas ever success that by 800 BC they constituted Way-out religious and political sects
as had as this. rather more than hail the total popula began to multiply; ascetics, zealots and
A poor substitute fhr prhnary clocutnents are the cotitetnporar) Westerti esti,,iates tion of the area say 03m out of 0-Sm. messiahs preached to eager crowds. The
the earliest fl-ott; the late 18th century which hate been collected by Charles issawi A population of this size, though Roman reaction was vigorous, Anyone
(The Economic History of the Middle East. l960,see p. 209): the, are helpfId only in sufficient to dominate Palestine and preaching anything that could be con
the sense that the) establish orders of n,agnitude. For the 20th century we have the Jordan, was hardly enough for an em strued as sedition was smacked down
reasonably accurate esthnates produced hr the French, and ui the case of Syria tue pire. For a century, under David and and when discontent finally flared into
censuses take,, in 1960 and 1970. Solomon, Israel managed to live beyond revolt the Roman army brutally
The Lebanon has lever had a census as all: attentpts to hold otie in 1921, 1932 and its demographic and political means; repressed it (~o 66 73). The blood
1941 all foundered anud interco,nmunal tetisions anti the government Ion actively then the kingdom divided, dwindled letting sufficed for this generation and
doesnt ant to know at,; more: true figures could (list urh the necessary fiction that the and, ultimately, fell. Up to 00,000 the next, but the same factors continued
population splits e.vactly into Moslem and Christiati halves, The real split is prohahij Israelites were actually deported to at work and there was a second ex
more like 60 : 40. Mesopotamia by the conquering plosion in AD 132. This time the
Assyrian and Chaldaean kings: it is Romans decided to apply a final solu
remarkable that 40,000 descendants of tion to their Jewish problem: the

legions ground their way forward killing dominating fact in the modern history
everyone in their path. Tacitus has a
phrase for his countrymen when on
of the region has been the recolonization
of Palestine by the Jews. Numbering less
Palestine and
this sort of campaign: uhi .solitudinen, than 5.000 through the Middle Ages, the
local Jewish community began to grow
Jordan ic-i PALEStIr4E
faciunt. pacem appellant they make a
wilderness and call it peace. By the time significantly in the 19th century, increas
the war ended in AD 135 Palestine was a ing from 10,000 at its beginning to
graveyard: almost the entire Jewish 70,000 at its end. The census of 1922
population had fled or died. recorded 84,000 Jews, that of 1931
To replace the Jews, the emperor 175,000, while the new-founded state of
Hadrian brought in new settlers. By AD Israel had a Jewish population of 08m
at its birth in 1948. Today the figure
i-2 )OaDAN
200 there had been a partial recovery to
a total of perhaps 05m for Palestine and is 3m. Immigration has been the
Jordan together. And round this point predominant factor in this growth, with
the population of the area was to some 700,000 immigrants arriving in
fluctuate for the next 16 centuries. Peaks the first five years of Israels existence.
of up to 600,000 may have been reached About a third of the post-1948 arrivals
at particularly busy periods under the have come from Eastern Europe and
caliphs in the 8th century and under the about a fifth from North Africa. This
crusaders in the 12th century and contrasts with the pre-1948 pattern ofori
troughs of 400,000 during the periods of gins which was predominantly Western
general demographic retreat the European and North American.
Byzantine nadir of the early 7th century, Mirroring the rise of Israel has been
the half century after the Black Death the relative decline of the Arab com
and the Ottoman demographic low of munity in Palestine. This is not at all the
c.1700. But essentially Palestine and same thing as the Palestinian Arab com
Jordan slumbered on untouched by the munity, which has multiplied vigorously
innovations that were transforming the during its exile. It was l25m strong in
rest of the world. 1948 and is reckoned at 36m today. Of
During the 19th century the first signs the present total 04m live in Israel and
of change became visible: the popula II m in the rest of Palestine at the time
tion slowly increased to 075m. In the of writing, under Israeli occupation. 10?
mid 20th century both the politics and Another Im are in Jordan, where they
the population of the area suddenly ex actually form a majority of the
ploded. Literally millions of people countrys present-day population of
poured in or were pushed out: the disad l-75m. The remainder live in the
vantages of having Jewish, Christian Lebanon (04m), Syria (02m) or else
and Moslem holy places in one city where in the Arab world (05m).
became startlingly apparent. The present situation in area Ic can
Demographically as politically the be tabulated as follows:
Jews Arabs Total
Israel 21,000 km2 30 04 34
Israeli-occupied Palestine 6,000 km2 II II
Total Palestine 27,000 km2 30 IS 45
0 0
.___..a~ai ,a~
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Jordan 90,000 km2 175 175 00
O 000000000 0~ 0 tOo ii, a 0 0 0 0
too too


Total Area Ic 117,000 km 30 325 625 i975

142 Asia Area Ic

Primary Sources and Bibliography
The Avnarna Letters show that Late Bronze Age Palestine and Jordan had a tiny
population: W. F. A/brig/it puts hot/i together at 200,000 (Cambridge Ancient Arabia
History, 3rd cdii, Vol. 2, Part 2(1975): see a/so C. C. McCann in Journal of Biblical
Literature 66 (1947fl. B) the early Iron Age one could believe that i/ic combined total
had doubled, but given this hackgroutid the early Jewish statistics in the Bible THEGULFCOAST
603.000 adult males at the time oft/ic exodus (Numbers I, 46): l2m adult males under
David have to be dismissed as fabulous or auraculous. On the other hand thefigurefor
those returning from the exile in Babylonia (Nehemiah 7, 66) is perfectly credible:
42.360 people (ignoring a suspicious-looking rounding-up to 50.000) could well have been
involved in the sort of mass deportations practised by the Assyrians and Babylonians.
Unfortunately this isn t really any help in determining the total population of the area.
Nor is Josephus, who garbles all his figures.
Palestine is lumped in with Syria by both * Beloch and * Russell. Neither has any
thing vemi niuclt to go on, but fOr what there is see p. 140. The 16th-century Ottoman
data are also dealt with there because the provincial divisions used b, the Turks make it
impossible to give separate figures for our Areas lb and Ic. For a good survey of the
entire Islamic period see Poliak.
Trustworthy figures begin with the British-administered censuses of Palestine of
1922 and 1931. and a series of estimates for Jordan of the same vintage. Since indepen
dence things have improved further: the Israeli authorities held censuses in 1948 and
196/; Jordan carried out a preliminary enumeration in 1952 and took a proper census
iii 1961. The Jordanian counts covered the .est hank which has since been occupied and
recounted hr Israel (1967).

id Arabia 2-95m km

The Arabian peninsula is currently divided between eight sovereign states which can
be grouped as follows:

Id-I The Gulf coast: 0-lOm km2

Kuwait, Bahrein, Qatar and the United Arab &nirates
ld-2 The interior: 2-15m km
Saudi Arabia
Id-3 The southern corner, the Yemen: O-48m km2
The Yemen Arab Republic atid the People c Democratic Republic of Yemen (or,
to put it flare comprehensibly. North Yemen and South Yemen)
Id-4 The eastern corner: O-21m km2

Until recently the geography of these subdivisions entirely determined how their o o -, 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

inhabitants lived: on the Gulf coast and in Oman the population was traditionally ~ ~
seafaring; in the vast interior a mixture of desert, steppe and oases there was a 14 (4 1975~~l

144 Asia Area Id

thin scattering of the pastoral bedouin with no more than the occasional settlement.
and in the Yemen, the only part of the peninsula with enough rainfall for peasant
agriculture, there was the relatively high and even density of population that goes 3?
with this way of Ilk. Today geology is as important as geography and the rates of
growth are strongly influenced by the enormous oil revenues which are flowing, very
unevenly, into the peninsula.

Id-I The Gulf Coast appearance of neolithic techniques else

where in the Near East around 5000 BC.
The Persian Gulf is the setting for the The evolution of the typical pastoralism
worlds oldest authenticated trade route. of the bedouin appears to have taken
Ships plying between Iraq and Pakistan place later, in the 2nd millennium BC.
were calling at Bahrein as early as 2000 Most of the growth in population will
BC and the scattered fishing commun have coincided with these developments.
ities will have made the transition from with numbers rising from 10.000 in 5000
a mesolithic culture to one with a BC to aIm in 2000 BC, 0-Sm in 1000 BC
predominantly commercial colouring by and I m in AD I. In Mohammeds time the
this date. In 2000 BC one can think in figure soared past the 2m mark, putting
terms of 25,000 people, in classical times real pressure on resources. The result was
of 50.000 and by AD 600 of 100,000. In the outpouring of bedouin armies which
1900 the population was still only created the Arab empire of medieval
200,000. Since then the discovery and times and the Islamic world of today.
exploitation of the regions colossal oil Pressure never built up to the same 11?
reserves has caused dramatic changes in extent again, the population remaining
every aspect of Gulf life. Between 1950 in the 2m 2Sm band for the rest of the 10
and 1975 the population tripled; it can medieval and early modern periods.
be expected to rise by at least a further Even now the total of Saudis is no more
l00~ between now and the end of the than 4m. However, oil riches have
century. attracted in I-Sm foreigners (mostly
Yemeni labourers) so the current total
stands at 5-Sm. At the most 0-Sm of
Id-2 The Interior these could still be called nomads, as
Within the Arabian peninsula lies a against the fifty-fifty split between
truly uninhabitable area, the 08m km2 bedouin and oasis-dweller that was the
sand sea known as the Rub iii Khali or norm in the past.
Empty Quarter. Through the rest of
the interior human existence has always
been just possible. At first the modes of id-S The Yemen
support were limited to simple food-
gathering at the oases and hunting of The comparatively friendly climate of
the animals that lived in the desert the Yemen explains why the classical
scrub; ultimately these life styles were geographers referred to it as Arabia i.28?
replaced by a more deliberate harvesting Felix (Arabia the Fortunate) in contrast
of the oases and, in the semi-desert, a to the rest of the peninsula (Arabia
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 C 0 0 0 0
system of pastoralism based on the Deserta): it enables this relatively small OOO0O000fl~b~,.U~~
~ 0~~
o lo
camel. As far as the oases are concerned area little more than l0~ of the m ~ 1975i
one can equate the changeover with the whole to support half Arabias

146 Asia Areas idI to id4

population. This ratio has probably none at all, and many of its young
men currently more than Im are off
10 Iraq O-44m km1(ahout one fifth productive)
been constant since the days ol the
Queen of Sheba (Sheba being one of the working in Saudi Arabia. The north-west of Iraq is hill country Sumerian society at the end of the 3rd
Yemeni kingdoms during the last mil with sufficient rainfall to support millennium Bc: the contemporary influx
lennium BC), or lot that matter since the agriculture: the rest of the country is of Amorite bedouin, which some have
introduction of agriculture. This means id-4 Oman arid except where directly watered by seen as a cause, turns out to be a con
that if we think of a Yemeni population the Tigris and Euphrates. The north sequence. It was not a permanent
of something like lm in classical times, Omans population has probably always west, modern Kurdistan, is part of the change: in time the fields recovered and
something over 2m in Mohammeds day been around its current 5,, of the zone within which agriculture was first the cycle could begin again. This hap
and something like 3m in 1900 we are in Arabian total. However! unless the practised, while the south, ancient pened at the beginning of the 2nd mil
the right order of magnitude. country turns out to have oil reserves on Sumeria, is the site of an equally impor lennium BC and again at its end. We can
Today the population is 7m. slightly the same scale as the other states of the tant social advance it was here that vil reasonably postulate population rises to
less than 5O~ of the peninsular total. Gulf it is likely that this percentage will lages first grew into towns. Both these maxima of Im and I25m in these two
This drop in the ratio is due to high slowly fall and that the million mark revolutions had important effects on instances, with falls to 075m and Im
emigration. Yemen has been far from will only just be reached by the end of Iraqs population. The first, the between and after.
Felix in the matter of oil, having found the century. neolithic revolution, involved an In the final millennium BC there was
increase from something under 10,000 an even more dramatic boom and bust.
to something over 100,000, though, as The political expression of the boom
Primary Sources and Bibliography the change was spread over the whole of was the Assyrian Empire. the creation
There are no prittsar) data for the period hefbre this century. For detailed cci imat Cs of the period from the 7th to the 5th mil of the city state of Assur at the nor
the peninsul&s population during the First World War see Vol. loft/se Handbook of lennia BC it is better described as thernmost point of the irrigating area.
Arabia produced by tile (British) Admiralty War Staff Intelligence Division (London evolutionary than revolutionary. The The number of Assyrians must have
19)6: quoted hereafter as A WS). For the post-Second World War period see * Clarke second, the urban revolution, was com been tiny a few tens of thousands at
and Fisher. The position since the Secotid World War may he sun stnari:ed as follows: paratively abrupt. During the middle most but as in the case of Rome a few
The Gulf States. The Emirate of Bahrein held the first census ever takets in the centuries of the 3rd millennium the were enough to conquer the world as
peninsula in 1941 (and has held censuses since in 1950. 1959, 1965 and 1971). Kuwait population of Sumeria surged up to the they knew it. By the 7th century BC
fbi/owed in 1957 (and has held repeat censuses ii /961, 1965 and 1970), the United half-million mark, its villages became Assyrian governors were installed
Arab Emirates in 1968 and Qatar in 1970. The figures suggest that the estimates made towns and the towns became the throughout the Near East from Egypt to
during the first half of the 20th century were sound.fbr the earliest, the A WSfigure of political powers of the area. Iran: a steady stream of captives and
02Sns, neectc reducing by only about 10,, to snake it consistent with what is known The Sumerians were historically the adventurers flowed into the new capital
now. most important element in ancient of Nineveh, bringing the total popula
Saudi Arabia. The Saudi authorities have held tao censuses, the first in 1962 3, the Iraqi society but they were never a tion of Iraq to an all-time high of 2m.
second in 1974. The figure obtained its the first was .5 3m, about half the official majority, equally important were the hill The end came with dramatic sud
estimate. Vie government tried to suppress this result but it leaked out all the same. In farmers of Kurdistan and the nomads dcnness. All the enemies of the much-
the case of the second census it did better and no figures at all have been pubhshed. of the desert. Indeed demographically hated empire ganged up together, razed
Official figures are still based on projections ons the pre-census estimates: the current Kurdistan was much more stable than Nineveh to the ground (612 ac) and
runner is 875,,s. Sumeria. From the start the irrigating turned the territory of Assur into an
The Yemen. British estinsates for South Yemen in the 1950s here probably reas agriculture of the south was menaced by empty land.
onab4 accurate, being based on a tneasitre of administrative control, though the first an insidious enemy, salt. The water table Many centuries were to pass before
census as taken only after independence, in 1973. Vie first census in North Yemen was of south Iraq is saline and so near the Iraq regained the levels of prosperity
taken in early 1975. surface that it only takes a bit of and population achieved under Assyrian
Oman. No census or enumeration has ever been carried out here. The quoted injudicious over-irrigation to bring it up rule. Iraq became an adjunct of Iran and
estimates have slowly risen from the 0Sn, suggested by A WS to the current official to root level. When this happens the a province of the successive Iranian
figure of 075m crops die and the fields become barren. empires Achaemenid, Parthian and
In the end the area has to be abandoned Sassanid. Its population fluctuated be
to the nomads. tween Im and l25m. Then in the 7th
This process explains the collapse of century AD the Arabs conquered Iraq

and in the 8th century the Abbasid 1258 set the seal on the national
caliphs made it the centre of the Arab humiliation. There was a rapid drop of
Empire. From their new city of Bagdad population to the million mark as
they presided over an empire of 30m nomadism again became the dominant
and a metropolitan province that way of life, What had once been the
reached a 9th-century peak of about wonder of the Islamic world became a
2-Sm. It was Islams and Iraqs backward and impoverished district
golden age. ruled by Ottoman pashas.
In the 10th, 11th and 12th centuries By contrast the 20th century has seen
this prosperity gradually ebbed away the population increasing at a rate that
again. The Abbasid caliphs were is exceptional even for the Middle East,
respected throughout the Middle East The upturn began about 1850, with the
but outside Iraq they were not obeyed: 2m level being reached shortly before
once again mounting salinization the end of the 19th century and the Sm
reduced the countrys agricultural mark in the late 1940s. The current
productivity. By the time the pagan population is I Im. As the totals have
armies of the Mongol Khan Hulagu risen, the percentage of nomads has
reached Bagdad iraqi society was in full fallen from 40c in 1850 to less than
decline. Hulagus sack of the capital in 5~ in 1950 and a mere 2~ today.

Primary Sources and Bibliography

The on/i bases for Cs? hnates oft/ic population of ancient Iraq are provided by studies of
urban and rural detisities. For the si:es of ancient Mesopotamian cities see the
Cambridge Ancient History, 3rd edt,, Vol. 1. Par? 1(1970), p. 332; II. Frankfort.
Kingship and the Gods (1965) and David Oates Studies in the Ancient History of
North Iraq (1968). For rural densities see Braid.ood and Reed (Cold Spring Harbour
Symposium on Quantitative Biology XXII (1957), p. 19)), isho have proposed a
figure of OSm fOr Sumeria in 2500 BC on the basis of a rural density estimate of 15 per
km. this is compatible with a population fOr Iraq as a whole of 0 75n,.
No one apart from Ru~vell appears to have attempted any reasoned estimates
bet necn this figure fOr 2500 B C a,,d one of mi for AD 1800 put forward by Bonn.
Absurdfigures like 2otii appear it accounts of the Bagdad caliphate but these belong in
the ieah,, of the Arabiati Nights. Unfortunate/v they see,,, to haie influenced the
nornially sober Russell. who allows Iraq 9,;, and apparently believes that the populatioti
had beet, as high as 15,;i under the Sassanids. Luckili his tnethod calculation is quite
implausible. There is. in/Oct. no reason for believing that n,edieval Iraq has capable of
support big ,,,ore that, Sm people or that the number of people who actually lived there
ever exceeded half this figure.
The results of a Turkish count of households in the Bagdad and Basra provinces
(equivalent to the southern half of Iraq) at the end of the 16th century have been
published by 0. L. Barkan in Studies in the Economic History of the Middle East (ed.
M. A. Cook. 1970, p. 168). The figure of 88 000 households cat, be equated with an ii
overall Iraqi total ofjust under the n,illioti tnark ((multiplied by 5 (per household) and S S 50000000000000000000
0 0 0 0 0 0 0
CO ~ 0 ~ 0) too

2 f_for the other half of Iraq). The proportion of nomads was a third. ~ l975~
For the recent period M. S. hasan gives a series of estimates starting in 1867

ISO Asia Area le

(Bulletin of Oxford University Institute of Statistics, 20. 1958). These are based on a
partial Ottoman census of 1890. British official estimates of 1866 7. 19001908 and
1919, and a partial enwneration in 1934. Proper censuses were taken in 1947, 1957 and Iran
1965. The whole of this period is summarized by 8. 1. Lawless in and Fisher.

if Iran I-65m km2

There are village sites in western Iran north Iraq: when the war ended with
that archaeologists have claimed are the triumph of the Iranians, the
among the oldest agricultural settle Transcaucasians were already slipping
ments in the world, and though views towards extinction. The Iranians the
Medes and Persians of the Bible IRAQ
on when and where the neolithic revolu
tion began are currently in a state of flux became the masters of an empire that SALTDFSERT
there can be no doubt that agriculture in stretched from Greece to India.
Iran is very old indeed. On the other As tribute flowed in to the heart of
hand the pattern of rainfall restricts the the new empire the population of Iran
practice of agriculture to a mere l0~, of rose from around 25m to 4m. A new a
the land surface. Another 20c can be equilibrium between the settled and
used for grazing: most of the rest is nomadic ways of life was established by
desert and waste of the most depressing the development of the qanat system of
underground water-courses for irriga
sort. The result is that the overall den
sity of population has always been low tion, and in both style and numbers the I
and the overall totals far from imposing. Persians now achieved a stable state. I
The likely mesolithic population is of Their society was to continue almost I
the order of 30.000; the likely popula unchanged through the conquest of
Alexander the Great, the rule of his suc
tion in the early neolithic period (the 5th
millennium BC) not more than 05m and cessors and the restoration of native 1
the comparable figure for the Late power by the Arascid kings of Parthia. ii
Bronze Age (around 1000 Bc) no more
than 2m.
Under the Sassanid Dynasty (AD 226
649) this traditional Iranian culture
By this time Iran was inhabited by reached its apogee: the population
horse-riding pastoralists as well as peaked to Sm. It was already beginning
agriculturalists. The pastoralists, who to slip from this high level when, in the
dominated the central plateau, were of 7th century. the armies of the Arabian
the same Iranian stock as the present- caliph mounted the plateau and forcibly
day Persians: the peasantry in the converted its inhabitants to Islam. 10
mountain folds that form the western After the initial upheaval was over,
border of the plateau were in the linguis Islamic Persia reached a level of pros 61
tic sense Transcaucasians. i.e. similar perity that certainly equalled and
to the Georgians of the Caucasus possibly surpassed the Sassanid best. In
Mountains. During the 8th and 7th cen fact, in a demographic as opposed to a 2
turies ac these Transeaucasian peoples political sense, it was not the arrival of
of Iran suflered severely from the the Arab that is the significant event in 8 8 ~ 8 8 8 8 8 8 to Q
to a


tO 0
warfare that raged between the Iranians medieval Persian history but the arrival 00 .1

of the plateau and the Assyrians of of the Turk. For the Turkish invasions l975~

152 Asia Area 1~f

a series of migratory movements that dominated the provinces of Azerbaijan
continued over the whole period be and Khorasan and far outnumbered the
tween AD 1000 and 1500 added a new only other important minority in the Afghanistan
component to the population of the country, the OSm Arabs who lived in
country. Moreover, as each Turkish the provinces bordering Iraq.
tribe moved into the area the balance The 15th century was probably the
swung from agriculture to pastoralism. high point of the pastoral way of life in
The effect was usually immediately vis Iran. Gradually during the next three r 9
ible in the form of a massacre of Iranian centuries the greater potential of settled
peasants by nomad Turks. agriculture reasserted itself and as the
The first Turkish invasion, the migra total population rose towards 6m the KabuI~

tion to which the Seljuks have given percentage of nomads dropped towards
their name, was not too destructive, for 200g. By 1900 there were lOm people in

most of the Turks passed on to Turkey; Iran, a far higher figure than had ever
the bad one came in 1220 when the been attained before: at the most only
armies of Genghis Khan appeared from 2m of these were nomads.
the north-east. For the next forty years Since then the process has accelerated
Iran and Iraq were subjected to mer as the population explosion has hit Iran
ciless slaughter and a 250,, drop in with full force and the urban and
population is a minimum estimate. agricultural populations have soared.
Moreover, the 14th and 15th centuries There are currently about 34m Persians,
cannot have seen any significant of whom 27m are Persian-speaking, 4m
recovery for a cluster of reasons the Turkish and 2m Arabic. Only about
renewed dominance of pastoralism. the 0 Sm, mostly Turks, continue to practise
arrival of the Black Death and the final pastoralism: by the end of the century,
outburst of terror during the reign of when, if anything approaching the cur
the last of the nomad conquerors, rent rate of increase is maintained, Iran
Tamburlaine. By 1500 Im of the 4m will have a population of about 50m. it
people living in Iran were Turkish- seems most unlikely that any of them
speaking nomads. The newcomers will be nomads.

Primary Sources and Bibliography

For the prehistoric period there isa series of estimates ofpopulation density per km2 of
productive land in an article by Frank Hole and K. V. Flannery in Proceedings of the
Prehist. Soc. (1967). Taking the productive area as 1000 of tile whole, their figures
imply overall population estimates much the same as ours. For a guess at the ,nedieial
population, again comparable ,.ith ours, see * Russell, p. 89.
The population since 1900 is the subject of an excellent article by Julian Bharier In
Population Studies 22 (2) 1968. His figures and the frw estimates available for the
19th century are summarized in B. D. Clark ~s contribution to Clarke and Fisher.
The 20th-century figures are based on registration (which got off to a shaky start in I
1928), a partial enutneration covering the twenty-five most important population nuclet I
(carried out in 193941) and tno post-war censuses (1956, 1966). II
0 0 0 fl
00 0 0U~ 010010 lg~

C) 0

Asia Area Ig (text overleaf)

ig Afghanistan 0-65 km2 (about 12,, productive) ASIA AREA 2 Russia-in-Asia
Although today remote from the cur century: the cities built from the spoils 16-Sm km2
rents of world affairs Afghanistan was of India were sacked so thoroughly that
sufficiently close to the heartland of the population of the country fell below
the Old World where agriculture was 2m for the next century and a half.
invented to get off to a good start demo Afghanistan now began to slip out of
graphically. By 5000 BC the 15.000 or so the mainstream of history. Periods as a
border province of such empires as
2a Caucasia 0-47 m km2
pre-agricultural inhabitants of the area
had been replaced by five times as many Timurs or the Moghuls alternated with Caucasia is divided in two by the pro-Islamic trend of the era and con
farmers: by 1000 nc some Im people periods of chaotic independence. In the Caucasus Mountains, with Ciscaucasia quer most of the area south of the
were occupied in tilling the plains on the 19th century British and Russians came lying north of the divide and watershed. About half the Im inhab
northern border of the country and the to see that their interests were best Transcaucasia to the south. Histori itants of contemporary Caucasia were
fertile valleys hidden within the moun served by leaving Afghanistan alone: in cally. Ciscaucasia has been part of Georgians. which goes some way to ex
tains of the central massif. this relatively tranquil period numbers the Russian steppe while Transcaucasia plaining their dominance: the remainder
This population had risen to around went up significantly for the first time in has belonged to the Near Eastern com divided equally into Ciscaucasians and
2-Sm in the 2nd century AD when the centuries: from 3m in 1800 to Sm in munity. or. to put it another way. Eastern Transcaucasians. Both these
Kushan kings made it the centre of 1900. Ciscaucasian population densities have populations, originally Iranian, were
a half-Iranian, half-Indian empire of Growth in the 20th century has been been pastoral and Transcaucasian den becoming progressively more Turkish in
the type that is characteristic of faster, to about 9m in 1950 and to 16m sities (except in the east) agricultural. character as each century brought a
Afghanistans brief moments of glory. It in 1975. Afghans (Pathans) constitute So, since the beginning of the neolithic fresh wave of Central Asian Turks
is probable that the population was no about 60c of the population, Tajiks period which in this area can be dated through the area,
larger when such a moment came again about 30~, The remaining I0~ is ac back to the 7th millennium ac the The armies of Islam finally proved
in the years immediately before and counted for by a series of small tribal Transcaucasians have significantly out too strong for the Georgians. The power
after AD 1000. This time the empire was groups of which the Uzbek Turks with numbered the Ciscaucasians. By the of the kingdom was broken by Timur
Moslem (the Kushans had been about 500 are the most important. In Bronze Age, when there will have been the Lame at the end of the 14th century.
Buddhists) and its prosperity was 1960, between a quarter and a fifth of at most 100,000 people in Caucasia and by the 16th century Transcaucasia
based under the excuse of religion on the population was still nomadic, as a whole, three out of every four had been divided between Ottomans
the plunder of north India. A deserved though as a way of life pastoralism, in Caucasians lived south of the mountains and Persians along a line very similar to
retribution came in the form of the Afghanistan as everywhere else, is and this same proportionate division (he division of the classical period.
pagan Genghiz Khan in the early 13th clearly in decline can be assumed for the Iron Age (total Several centuries of cultural and demo
population 0-25m) and the classical graphic stagnation followed with the
period (035m). Caucasian population growing only
Primary Sources and Bibliography None of the classical empires estab slowly from I-Sm in 1600 to 2m in
lished direct control of Caucasia but 1800.
There are no prin,an sources fbi- AJkhanistan at least-, though sonic counts of sorts Transcaucasia was divided into spheres At the beginning of the 19th century
hare bee,, made in recent years. there has never bee,, a proper census. The government of influence: the Romans became the Caucasia was conquered by the
estimates issued annual/v situ-c 1920 are held to he much too high hr Donald N. protectors of the western two thirds Russians. The result was a sharp up
Wilbur (in Afkhanistan. Human Relations Area Files. 1962). i,ho suggests 9nz for the alpine redoubt of the Georgian swing in the population graph, partly
c.1960 (cf the official estimate of 13-3,;, for 1959). Wilbur possibly goes too low but people; the Persians of the eastern third. because of an increase in law and order,
seens to he the only ,iriter to have seriously considered the question. This dividing line hardened when the partly because of Russian immigration
Perhaps the best approach is to compare Afkhanistan with Iran. Afghanistctn has Georgians accepted Christianity from and partly because of the complex of
about half the cultivahle area of Iran, if its population is it, proportion it ;iould have Rome and the East Transcaucasians fol factors that constitute the opening phase
been about llmni 1960 half al between the official figure and Wilburs. This would lowed the Persians in converting to of the cycle of modernization. By 1900
fit i,ith a World Batik estitnate of 14-6,;, in 197!. For earlier periods a population Islam. there were 3-Sm people in Ciscaucasia
roughly half that of Iran scents a reasotiable hypothesis in the absence of an) actual In the 12th century the kings of (as against 075m in 1800) and 4m
evidence. Georgia managed to buck the generally people in Transcaucasia (as against
l25m). Apart from the interruptions ments in and out of Transcaucasia 35
imposed by the two world wars both since the Russian conquest have been
populations have continued to grow
rapidly since. There are now 13-7Sm
relatively small-scale. About 0-2m Turks
left during the pacification programme;
Transcaucasians and II m Ciscau about 02m Armenians arrived from
casians. Turkey before and during the First
The Transcaucasians are currently World War; Russians have moved in in 30
divided between three republics: the moderate numbers and now constitute
Georgian SSR pop. 5m (3m of them about l0~ of the population. This is a
Georgians); the Armenian SSR pop. very dilferent picture from Ciscaucasia,
3m (almost all Armenians); and Soviet where the indigenous peoples have been
Azerbaijan pop. 575m ~ Turk). swamped by a massive influx of
Azerbaijan has the highest growth Russians. Russians constitute 70,, of
rate: its population was smaller than the total population and the area is 25
Georgias as recently as 1965. Move- counted as part of the Russian 55 R.

Primary Sources and Bibliography

The traditionalfigure of 5,;, for medieval Georgia is absurd. in fact there are no usable
primary data prior to the year 1800. Starting in the ear/i 19th century the Russians 20
produced believable estimates but as they did,, t establish ad,ninistratiie control off/ic
tnore remote areas till the late 1860s these hate to be taken wit/i a pine/i of salt. The
only impeccable figures derive from the Soviet censuses, of which the first li-as held in
1926 (see Europe Area 7).

2b Siberia lZm km2

When the first Russians crossed the Though only a thin ribbon of Siberia
Urals at the end of the 16th century they is arabIc the country is so vast that the
entered a land that was both Immense agricultural potential is considerable. By
and empty. Considering the distances the mid 19th century the teeming peas
involved, the speed with which they antry of European Russia had become
established control over the whole aware of the opportunities that existed
area the feat was near enough com in the east and one of the great migra 5
plete by 1700 was amazing: in that tions of history was under way. The 4
year the Russian flag was flying on the number of new colonists arriving each
year passed the 25,000 mark in 1870, 3
Sea of Okhotsk and 100,000 Russian
fur-trappers and traders had been added reached 50,000 in 1890 and 100,000 in 2
to the 200,000 native hunters and 1896, the year the first major section of 1
fishers. Peasants, prisoners and political the Trans-Siberian railway was opened aiL.
exiles followed in a steady trickle, By to traffic. For the years 1901 14 the an 0 0 5 0 0
1800 the total population was Im and nual average was over 200,000. At the 00
~ 0
to to0tootoo.~o
0 N



by 1850 2-Sm. outbreak of the First World War the

158 Asia Area 2a

total population had reached 14m and to 40c and in the third quarter it has
the cumulative total of immigrants was dropped to 25,. The gains are still very
nearing 7m.
The pre-First World War rate of
high in absolute terms and probably a
figure of about 6 or 7rn extra people a
growth a doubling of the population generation is as many as can be reason
in twelve years was not one that could ably provided for in this harsh environ
be sustained. Though the Soviets ac ment. On this projection the popula
corded the development of Siberia the tion of Siberia will be around 40rn at the
highest priority the growth rate in the end of the century.
second quarter of the century fell back
Population figures frr the period from 1622 to 1921 are set out on p. 32 of Donald W.
Treadgoid. The Great Siberian Migration (1957). The earlicr figures are the result of
calculations perfbrined hi P. A. Slovtsor in the late 19th century: recently 8. 0.
Dolgikh (quoted in George Vernadsky A History of Russia, Vol. 5; The Tsardom of RUSSIAN
Moscow. PP. 6723 (1969)). has reworked tile data and ~me up nuh slightlt loiter TURKESTAN

2c Russian Turkestan 4m km

Russian Turkestan is currently divided men of the steppe outnumbered the

between the Kazakh, IJzbek. Kirghiz. peasants and town-dwellers until well on
Turkrnen and Tadzhik peoples. each in the 19th century. It is the opposite
with their own republic (S S R). All but situation to that of Iran, where the
the Tadzhiks in the mountainous south nomads were always outnumbered by
east corner of the country are Turks, but the peasantry. This is the basis for the
historically the Turks are relative latc age-old division of the Iranian-speaking
corners to the scene. The earliest inhabi world into Iran, the land of agriculture,
tants we know of were the Scyths and and Turan. the land of pastoralisrn.
they were Iranians like the Tadzhiks. Russian Turkestan is a very large
The Scyths were the people who country, and even in the days before the
developed the horse-riding style of evolution of an efficient pastoral style
animal husbandry which was to prove the population will have been consider
the first practical way of exploiting the able. In 1300 ac we can think in terms
extensive but thin pastures of the of 100.000 people on the steppe and
Central Asian steppe. Scattered through another 100.000 scattered through the
the area there are, it is true, tracts of oases and in the areas where neolithic
land suitable for settled agriculture agriculture was possible. The appear
and these have been farmed since the ance of the Scyths, their horses and their
neolithic era. But Turkestan is a world locks is dated to the first half of the last 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 ., Out Out 010010000
where, once established, the nornadic millennium ac; it is to be associated CO t ~ O~ 0

way of life dominated the picture; the with an increase in numbers, say from

160 4ei,, d -.,,.

half a million to a million. Between 500 This was not to last long. In the late
BC and AD 500 the population doubled 19th century the area was conquered by
again to reach 2m. About half a million the Russians and became part of the
of these were agriculturalists, most of Empire of the Tzars. Since then admini
them living in the areas near Iran and strators and settlers have arrived in such
getting incorporated in the various numbers that today Turan contains
Iranian empires from time to time. some Sm ethnic Russians. The conquest
In the period AD 5001600 the also released a demographic explosion
population of Turan doubled again. It among the Turks and Tadzhiks: their
also changed its character though not numbers have risen from lOm in 1900 to
its nomadic economy as Turkish tribes 28m now. In fact the native peoples of
flooded in from the north-east and Turkestan have the highest rates of
drove out the Iranians. The arrival of increase of any of the USSRs minor
the Turks, and more particularly their ities: largely because of their efforts the
conversion to Islam, gave the country a population of the area is currently
new cultural unity. increasing by nearly Im a year.

Primary Sources and Bibliography

A. K. Validi (quoted by * Russell. p. 87) gives sonic estimates for the densities of the
steppe peoples it, the 1st century B C and the lot/i cetitury AD, hut there is nothing at all
substantial to go oil before the Russian conquest iti the 19th century. In fact even rifler
the area was brought under Russia?? control thefigures ren,aineda hit uncertaui.fbr the
Khanares of Khiva and Bukhara returned onh rounded e.cthnates in the census of 1897.
There are no really reliable figures before the Soviet census of 1926,

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Asia Area 2c
ASIA AREA S Mongolia
F57m 1cm Mongolia


Sometime in the third quarter of the last slightly lower, about 600,000 when the
millennium He the Mongolians learned Chinese established control over the
to ride; their entire culture has been country in the 18th century. Following 25
centred on the horse ever since. The the recovery of independence in 1911
changeover from a footbound pastoral the population grew towards its histor
society, perhaps 30,000 strong in 500 ical upper limit again, reaching 0-75m in
BC, to one of horse-riding clans, num about 1940.
bering not less than 200.000 by 250 BC, In the last two decades the first
created the unchanging Mongolia of the tremors of the demographic revolution
historical period: the demographic base have reached Mongolia; there has been
was of the same order of magnitude a sharp rise in the rate of increase, which
about 800,000 when in the 13th cen has now reached the Asian average. It
tury Genghis Khan set out from looks as though the population, cur
Mongolia to conquer the world, and it rently l5m, will reach 3m by the end of
was still in the same band in fact the century.

Primary Sources and Bibliography

A. K. Va/ic/i (quoted by Russell, p. 87) suggests afigure of 05niJbr Mongolia in i/ic
6th 9th centuries AD. This is no more i/ian an infornzedguess,for only one figure of use
surriies from the pre-niodern period. i/ic size of Geng/us K/ian c army. This was estab
/is/ied at 129,000 men, whir/i H. D. Martin, The Rise of Chingis Khan and His
Conquest of North China (1950). p. 14. considers conipai lb/c jilt//i a ioia/ Mongolian
popu/ation ofaroundO75m. C. R. Bawden (The Modern History of Mongolia (1968))
quotes a mid-I9ih-ceniury Russian estimate of not much over 0S,n and G. S. Murp/iy
(Soviet Mongolia (1966)) one made in 1918 oJaboui 07ni. The first census was taken
in 1956, the second in 1969.
3 3?

o 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
~(4 Q0Q~ 0000 ~
-, ~


Asia Area 3
96m km2

The area within the frontiers of the Peoples Republic of China falls naturally into
two parts: on the one hand, China proper the area bounded by the Tibetan plateau
and the Great Wall which is big, densely populated and racially Chinese; on the
other hand, the outlying areas which together are even bigger and which either still
are, or were within living memory, sparsely inhabited with people of non-Chinese
stock. To this second category we have added Taiwan (Formosa), which is small but,
until relatively recently, was both underdeveloped and ethnically non-Chinese.

So we treat China under four headings:

4a Chinese Turkestan and Tibet area 36m km2

The pro wince of Tsinghai, the Sinkiang Uighur Autonomous Region and the
Tibetan Autonomous Region.

4b Manchuria and Inner Mongolia area 2Om km

The pro winces of Heilungkiang Kirin and Liaoning, the hitter Mongolian
Autonomous Region and the Ningsia Hui Autonomous Region.

& China Proper area 4Om km

The provinces of Kansu, Shensi, Shansi, Hopei. Shantung, Hanoi,, Anhwei,
Kiangsu. Chekiang, Kiangsi, Hupel. Hunan, S:echiicin, Yunnan, Kneichoii,
Kwangtung and Fukien, plus the Ktiangsi Chuang Autonomous Region, the
Port ug uese eolon,t of Macao and the British colony of Hong Kong.

4d Taiwan (Formosa) area O036m km2

Migrations between the constituent parts of Area 4 boil down to emigration

from China proper to Manchuria, Inner Mongolia and Taiwan, and so are treated in
sections 4b and 44. There are about t5m people of Chinese stock living outside Area I
4, the majority of them accounted for by the Chinese communities in Singapore --

(l75m), Malaysia (375m), Thailand (4m) and Indonesia (2Sm). 0000000000000000000000

.o~ fl
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 i0 C 0 0 0 0 10 0 ij~ 0
~ CO r-
~ Q~ 0
00 4.c2

Asia Area 4
4a Chinese Turkestan and Tibet
Chinese central Asia is a desolate part of out of this unpromising habitat, The
the world: two more hostile environ historical landmarks that suggest per
ments than the Takla Makan (the desert iods of relatively rapid population
that occupies the Tarim basin) and the increase are the appearance of horse- 25?
Tibetan plateau it would be hard to riding nomads in the last millennium 20
imagine. Yet the oases of the Takla ac, the opening of the Trans-Asian silk
Makan have probably been inhabited as route in the 1st century AD and the gen 15
long as man has walked the earth, for esis of the Tibetan state in the 7th cen 10
they provide the stepping-stones be tury AD. By AD I we can think in terms 5
tween Near and Far East. By 4000 BC of a total population of Im, in AD 1000
we can think of a population of some of 2m and by AD 1800 of 3m. Official
thousands living in the Tarim oases, estimates for the end of the 19th century
with a scattering of hunters and herds- suggest a moderate growth in the late
men over the rest of the vast area. The 19th century. quickening in this century
area is, in fact, so vast that even at a to produce a 1975 total of about 12m. 125?

density of 003 per km2 we would have a Some third of this total would be
total population of over 100,000. Moslem Uighurs and roughly a quarter 100
Over the succeeding millennia man Tibetans.
will have slowly learnt to make more


4b Manchuria and Inner Mongolia

The steppe country north of China prohibitcd so that the Manchu stock
proper is historically the domain of the and the Manchu way of life might con
nomads. With the evolution of the more tinue uncontaminated. 50
efficient horse-riding style of herding in This policy had to be reversed when
the last millennium ac we can assume the Russians appeared on the scene. By
that the population of the area doubled, the second hall of the 19th century
reaching a figure of 2m by AD I. In the Chinese immigration into Manchuria
next 1.000 years it is reasonable to was being positively encouraged in an
believe that it doubled again, for the eWort to forestall a Russian occupation. 25
nomads increase steadily in political im The flow of migrants, initially only a
portance during this period and there trickle, became a flood with the opening 20
is also a Chinese colony in south of the PekingMukden railway. By the 15
Manchuria to take into account. The later 1920s half a million Chinese were 10
growth of this colony was deliberatcly pouring into Manchuria every year and 5
halted by the Manchus after their con it has been calculated that for the first
quest of China in 1644. With the aim of half of this century the total number of
preserving the race the Manchus turned immigrants was of the order of 20m.
their homeland into a sort of human Nearly all of them were Chinese from
game reserve: Chinese immigration was the overcrowded provinces along the

168 Asia Areas 4ab

lower Huang Ho but about Im settlers had been culturally absorbed by the 40m
came in from Korea. Chinese who dominated the province.
Inevitably, the newcomers have Much the same thing has happened to China Proper
swamped the Manchus. Though 24m the Mongols of Inner Mongolia. Per
people gave Manchu as their race in the haps a quarter of the l3m reported in
1953 enumeration it is believed that only 1953 were still leading the nomadic life:
l0~ of these were actually living in the rest were sinking into a Chinese
Manchu-speaking communities. The rest population five times as large. . -

Primary Sources and Bibliography for Chinese Turkestan, Tibet, Manchuria and Inner
I. I
Mongolia (Areas 4a and 4b)
T~e Great Wall
Fragmentary data for the steppe zone go back as Jar as the Han period: A. K. Validi
(quoted by * Russell. p. 87) has used them to tizake crude estimates of the populations of szisct WAN
Inner Mongolia and Otinese Turkestan in tile 1st century ftc and the 10th ccnturi AD.
Manchuria became part of the Chinese world at the end of the 10th century: contem
porary estitnates of population in the 10th, 11th and 17th centuries are quoted in two
articles in Population Index: 1945. P. 260, and 1952. P. 85. Tibets first census fol KWEI
lowed the Mongol conquest of the country in the 13th century (see H. E. Richardson, chow
Tibet and its History (1962)): the results qf an 18th-century census are given in an
article by W. Woodiille Rockhill in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society (1891. p.
The official 19th- and 20th-century estimates for all these areas are collected in
Dwight H. Perkins. Agricultural Development in China 568 1968 (1969). Sonic of II
theni are almost iiorthless. For example, the goterntnent of Manchuria cotnpletely
failed to appreciate the scale of the late-I 9th-cent ury inunigrat ion. It was only when the
Japanese took oier the ad,ninistration in 1905 that it became apparent that the 1893
estimate of 54m nas impossibly low. Nor are things all that much better today. The
present government has admitted that in the case of remote areas where conimunica
dons were poor figures in the 1953 returns Here no tnore than estimates. Given the rate
of increase in the outer areas figures obtained by extrapolation from 1953 to 1975 are
doubli insecure.

4c China Proper
The chronology of the neolithic in peasants in the area either side of the
China is still a matter of dispute but we lower Huang Ho! which, together with
do know that the first farming commun- another million food-gatherers else I
ities grew up along the lower Huang Ho where in China, gives us a total figure
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Q 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
(Yellow River) and that their agriculture for China proper of 2m. 00 Oto Q tOO too too tOO
~ ~ ~ ~
was based on wheat, not rice. By 3000 The population rise during the (30 ,l *01
ec we can think in terms of a million neolithic and Early Bronze Age periods 1975~~I

170 Asia Area 4c

was slow. But it was also steady as, with tion of the rice-growing potential of the that carried the total past the 300m 20th century when the Manchu govern
the accumulation of agricultural exper Yangtse valley and there was con mark. This rate of growth l00~ in 100 ment finally collapsed. By the time the
ience, crop yields improved allowing an sequently a southward shift in the years was too fast to be good: there was communists succeeded in restoring
increase in population density within the countrys political centre of gravity. The now little scope for further extensions to order in 1949, China had behind it a
cultivated area. And the cultivated area effect intensified in the years im the area under cultivation and the tech century of remarkably low population
itself expanded. However, even in the mediately after 1211, when Genghiz niques of cultivation had hardly growth something of the order of 25c.
full Bronze Age the era known as the Khan first led the Mongol hordes across changed for centuries. The Malthusian World population during the same per
Shang period because during it kings of the Gobi to attack China proper. This spectre of overpopulation had arrived. iod rose by more than 100,.
the Shang Dynasty claimed overlord was the beginning of one of the bitterest Few doubt that this was an important Of course, even small percentage rises
ship over the whole of the lower Huang and most prolonged wars of conquest in factor in the political troubles that now can result in colossal absolute gains
Ho area the agricultural zone did not world history. The Mongols, though overtook China, the series of revolts of when the existing population is
exceed Im km2. nor the population hardly ever checked on the battlefield, which the most famous and most measured in hundreds of millions. With
within it Sm, nor the population of had such trouble making lasting damaging was the Taiping rebellion of the return of peace and the appearance
China proper 6m. progress in the city-studded countryside 185065. The Manchus, against most of the sort of growth rate one would
With the collapse of the Shang of north China that they eventually expectations, succeeded in suppressing expect in the case of an underdeveloped
hegemony around 1000 ~c, civilized switched from a policy of massacre in these rebellions. The cost has never been country in the 20th century, the mag
China split up into a dozen warring punishment for rebellion to one of accurately determined figures of the nitude of the increase in Chinese
states. Surprisingly, the rate of popula straight genocide. Within a decade. order of 25m are hazarded but was population becomes staggering of the
tion increase quickened. This was partly flight and the Mongol fury had reduced certainly sufficiently large to put a order of a million a month. The 1975
because an irrigation system was being the population of the northern noticeable kink in the population population of China proper is at least
developed in the Yellow River basin. provinces by three quarters or more. graph. 720m and could be lOOm more: projec
and partly because the valley of the Though the subsequent conquest of the The pattern of hopeless poverty and tions for the year 2000 fall in the 950
Yangtse was now being brought under southern areas was faster and less endemic strife was to continue into the l.250m range.
cultivation. By 400 Bc there were not bloody, the country as a whole lost per
less than 25m people in an agricultural haps a third of its numbers by the time Minorities and Endures
zone that Covered the northern half of the war was over. The loss around
the country. The contemporary popula 35m on this estimate is a staggering Figures as big as a billion make the statistics of the minority and enclave popula
tion of the southern half ethnically one for the era. tions of China look silly. However, for what they are worth, here they are:
consisting of non-Chinese peoples Mongol Khans ruled China for a little
related to the Thai is unlikely to have more than a century. In the upheavals
(I) The 7m Chuang, who are related to the Thai. form roughly one third of the
exceeded l0~ of the figure for the that accompanied their expulsion and
population of what is now the Kwangsi Chuang Autonomous Region in the
Chinese peasantry in the north. replacement by emperors of the native
south-west of China proper. In neighbouring Kweichow are l25m similar people
In the last quarter of the last millen Ming Dynasty, the demographic going under the name of Puyi.
nium ac, political unification, first ach recovery that had begun in the late 13th
(2) Along the southern half of the border with Tibet in Szechwan and Yunnan
ieved in 221 BC, provided the back century was aborted. But when growth
provinces are 325m Yi and 25m Miao. The Yi are relatives of the Tibetans. The
ground for continuing growth. Early on was resumed it was sustained: a benign
Miao rank as an independent member of the Sino-Tibetan group.
in the days of the Han Empire (206 ac and orderly government encouraged the
AD 220) the population passed the SOm philoprogenitive Chinese to give full Enclaves
mark. But thereafter it was to stay in the rein to their reproductive talents and the (I) Hong Kong. The area of present day Hong Kong had a negligible population
band 4560m for a thousand years. This population doubled in the course of the (e.l0,000) when ceded to Britain in 1842. By 1900 the population was O25m, in
poor demographic performance matches next two centuries. On the eve of the 1975 it reached 425m. The projection for the year 2000 is 6m.
that of Europe in the late Roman and Manchu invasion there were around (2) Macao has been a Portuguese possession since 1849. Its population in 1900 was
early medieval periods with an exactness ISOm Chinese within China proper. 008m; it is now over 025m.
that is hard to explain. The Manchu conquest cost China
The breakthrough to new demogra about a sixth of her population say Primary Sources
phic ground came during the Sung 25m people. By 1700 this loss had been
period around the year 1000. The basis made up and in the political calm of the Though the Chinese ale heeti counting headc ever since the dais of she iiarring states
for the new advance was fuller exploita 18th century came a population surge in tile 1st millennium B C, the earliest surli ving figure is/br the nitmhcr of households in
172 173
the Han Empire 118,;,. The figure refrs to the tear AD 2. For the period bet teen 35
A D 2 and 1194 Durand (see below) lists twenti-one enumerations of which sonic
results soniettmes only the final total are still extant. These enumerations, plus the
figures that survive from the Mongol period. give the order of magtntude of the popula
tic,? of China proper prior to the first reliable count the Ming enumeration of 1393.
Since then, counts hare been taken at irregular intervals and estitnates issued to cover
the intervening periods. As there is no registration of births or deaths, the estimates can 30
only be crude: less than tuent; years after the only half-war accurate etiumeration held
in this century, tlte count taken by the communist goierntnent in 1953. official
estimates for the countrys population varl hr up to 7~ on either side ofthe mean of all
the estitnates, Given the magnitude of the popitlation. this tneans that the range of
uncertainty is tio;t 10Dm and growitig fast.

For educated guesses at the population of china under the Shang (c. 1100 ac) and
during the period of the Warring States (c.400 BC).scc Wolfram Eberhards History
of China (1967), pp. 21 and 25. For the census figures for the Han period on, see J. D.
Durands article in Population Studies 13 (3) 1960. and for the Ming period onward.
see Ping-Ti Ho. Studies on the Population of China 1368 1953 (1959). There isa
good discussion of the 1953 enumeration and the likely population changes since then in
Leo A. Orleans. Every Fifth Child: The Population of China (1972).

4d Taiwan (Formosa)
When the Chinese began to colonize into even higher gear with the establish
Taiwan in the 17th century it was ment of the Chinese Nationalist govern
inhabited by about 200,000 aborigines ment on the island in 1949. Though the
of Malayo-Polynesian stock. Presumably 03m Japanese who had settled on
this native population, which has Taiwan were expelled at the end of the 10
remained at the same level since, had Second World War! their places were
grown slowly over the preceding millen more than filled by the 2m Chinese who
nia. The arrival of Chinese settlers started arrived from the mainland in flight from
the island on a very different demo the communists. These refugees boosted
graphic course, immigration bringing the the birth rate to a record figure and
total population up to 2m by the begin though the rate of increase is now slack 5
ning of the 19th century and 3m by 1900. ening it is unlikely that the islands 4
Growth accelerated during the period population will be less than 20m when
the century ends. 3
of Japanese rule 0895 1945) and moved
Primary Sources and Bibliography
00,l 00000000000000000000
The Manchus enumerated the Chinese population of Ta/nan in 181) and 1887. the
Japanese instituted a quinquennial census in 1905. The data are presented by Irene 00
~ 2 ~

Taeuber in an article on p. 101 ofthe 1961 issue of Population Index. 1975i
174 Asia Area 4d
O-22m km
(North 0-12, South OIO)

The population of the Korean peninsula in 1592. the Manchus in 1627 and 1636:
remained at a mesolithic level until well then growth was resumed. By 1800 the
on in the last millennium BC: numbers population was 7Sm and by 1900 12m.
in this phase are unlikely to have In the first half of the 20th century. the
exceeded 10.000. In the next period. period of Japanese occupation (1905
covering the years between 500 and 100 45), the pace vastly accelerated: by 1950
BC. the practice of agriculture became the total was 30m.
general and consequently numbers rose The liberation of the country from
to a final total of about 02m. However, Japanese rule was followed by its
it was still a comparatively empty division: the northern part of the
country that lay before the first Chinese country, containing a third of the
army to reach Korea. an event that is population, became a Russian satellite;
dated to 108 BC and marks the begin the southern part, marginally smaller in
ning of the historical record. terms of area but containing two thirds
The Chinese established a protector of the population, looked to the USA
ate over the north-west corner of Korea for its ideology and protection. The
and planted a colony there. The number inequality of numbers soon became
of colonists was probably only a few more marked as thousands fled from
bet thousand, but their presence stimulated the communist north to the free south.
the natives into political consciousness. a movement that was to become
Three kingdoms arose and for most a flood on the outbreak of open war in
of the rest of the first millennium AD 1950
they divided the peninsula between The war of 1950 53 cost the lives of
them. The Chinese colonists and the more than 3m Koreans. It also led to
Japanese fishermen and pirates who the displacement of about 3m people
frequented the south coast were ex from north to south. It is a tribute to the
pelled during this period, which saw the resilience of the peninsulas inhabitants
population figures climb to something that the holocaust scarcely notches the
over 2m by AD 1000. population graph. Since the cessation
Five hundred years later Koreas of hostilities, both sides have shown
population wasapproaching4m Growth a truly remarkable capacity for growth.
had been steady apart from the setback South Korea, taking Japan as its model,
inflicted by the Mongol conquest in the has followed the path of all-out develop
13th century. There was a similar pause ment. Its people, now numbering 35m.
in the late 16th and early 17th centuries are just beginning to have their econ
as a new set of invaders fought their way omic expectations fulfilled. In the north,
8 88000000000000000000
0 0 0 at Q at 0 at o at 0 at 0
(0 t.- ~ 0) 0
-4 1975~
up and down the country the Japanese so far as can be ascertained, growth has
Asia Area 5
been somewhat less (1975 pop. 15m) but
then the north suffered far more
tries go on at their present rate, their
combined population in the year 2000
severely from the war, lithe two coun will be in the order of 75m. &37m km2
(O-06m km arabic)
Primary Sources and Bibliography
Apart from a set offigures for the number of households at the beginning of the lot/i
cent un. the earliest data to survive are sonic totals front tile triennial census htctituted
hi 1639. Front 1678 on, the flgitres are consistent and believable. The sante cannot he
said of the new series of censuses instituted in 1807: only thefirst figure is of ani use, Agriculture reached Japan compar What followed, an 125-year period of
the remainder showing a stationarl population (presitniabli to indicate that there was atively late, its introduction to Kyushu zero growth, has usually been regarded
no basis for increasing taxation) at a time when we can he sure that the population as being dated to about 250 BC. At first its as a textbook example of Malthusian
expanding rapidli. There is consequently a Fawning gap bet neen the last Korean figure spread along the island chain was checks operating in a closed society
(57m in 1904) and the first Japanese esthnate (133ni in 1910) which in itself has rapid farmers had reached the Kanto. From this unhappy condition the
certainli an underestimate. The Japanese instituted a population register and, starting the plain round Tokyo, by the beginning Japanese were liberated by Commodore
in 1925, a quinquennial census. Since thet left, there have been censuses hi South Korea of the Christian era. The last leg went Perry, who in 1853, on the orders of the
hi 1949, 1952, 1960, 1966 and 1970: the North Korean government has produced more slowly, the northern quarter United States government, forcibly
official esthnates though it is unclear on what these are based. remaining the exclusive property of opened up Japan to Western shipping
The figitres of interest to the historical demographer are tabulated in Hoon K, Lee. the pre-agriculturalists, the Ainu, until and Western ideas. So goes the story. In
Land Utilisation and Rural Economy in Korea (1936). around AD 900, As for Hokkaido, the fact, there is convincing evidence to
development of the special agricultural show that population growth cannot
techniques necessary for the colonization have been checked by sheer want
of this, the least welcoming of the Japan because the Japanese improved their
ese islands, took place only in the late standard of living and their national
19th century. So throughout Japans resources during this period. It is now
history two processes have been going considered that, by allowing time for the
on side by side: an increase in total num processes of urbanization and capital
bers and a movement of the demographic accumulation to mature, the policy of
centre of gravity outwards along the isolation, whatever its initial rationale,
island arc, served an important social purpose,
Towards the end of the food- and that the Japanese could not have
gathering stage, that is around 400 Bc, coped as well as they did with the prob
the population of Japan consisted of lems of Westernization without this per
about 30,000 hunters and fishermen. iod of consolidation. The limitation of
With the introduction of wet rice cul family size which allowed the increase in
tivation the rise in numbers must have wealth seems to have been achieved
been rapid: certainly the 300,000 figure partly by infanticide, partly by later
will have been reached by AD I and the marriage.
3m mark by the time the Japanese state Once Westernization was under way
emerged in AD 650. All the indications the population soared. Between 1850
are that the population continued to and 1950 the rise was from 32m to 84m,
grow fairly steadily over the next millen a gain of over 150,. Part of the nations
nium, increasing on average by about surging energies went into the creation
two thirds every two centuries with a of an overseas empire, an adventure that
slight quickening of the rate in the late at first cost relatively few Japanese lives
15th century bringing the total up to but ended up with the Second World
30m by 1700. War, economic collapse and 24m dead.
another period of zero population 175
It now seems a curious aberration in a
process of industrialization which has growth at the turn of the century. By
gone from victory to victory. then there will be about l25m people In Japan.
Since the Second World War the the Japanese and Ryukyu archipelagos
Japanese have recognized that they have which, considering that only l6~ of the
a population problem on their hands. land area is cultivatable, seems like
By terminating Im pregnancies a year enough. The Ainu, incidentally, have 150
they have kept this within bounds and declined slowly over the last 2,000 years:
the hope is that the steadily falling birth there are now less than 10,000 of them
rate will permit the country to enter left.

Primary Sources 125 125?

Japanese tradition tells of a population count held in the year AD 610 which returned a
figure of Sit,. Totals of this t;pe cannot he accepted as suggesting more than an order of
magnitude. hut there can be no doubt that proper surveys of Japan s population were
made from the 9th century onwards because fragments oJhousehold registers and/and
allotment records survive. These can be used as a basis of tnoderately reliable calcula
tions of the o,erall population in the period 8001600. In the second half of the 17th 100

century the quality ofthe surviving information impro~es sharply: there are records of
enumerations carried out in many diffrrent counties, in some of them on several oc
casions. And since the early 1St/i century the demographic record is clear, for in 1721
the shogun (regent) ordered a nat ion ,,ide count and in 1726 a regular six-yearly census
as instituted. This census has its gaps (1738, 1810. 1816 and 1840) but as kept going 0
until the middle of the 19th century. In 1871 a regLctration system was introduced 75 KYUSHU
which, in theory at least, made annual population figures available. The first of the
present quinquennial series of true censuses as held in 1920.

Bibliography RYUKYUS
All the historical data are given in The Population of Japan by Irene 8. Taeuber 50 ___li..
(1958). For the interpretation of the statistics of the 18th and 19th centuries see the
article hi Hanle, and Yama,nura in Glass and Rerelle, pp. 451ff

- --

oo_. ~ S0 000 lL~ 0~O



in 0

Asia Area 6
ASIA AREA 7 The Indian
Subcontinent The Indian
4-Sm km2 800

7a Pakistan, India and Bangladesh CHINA

4-22m km 700

7a-I Pakistan 0-SOm km2

7a-2 India 3-27m km2 511(1GM
7a-3 Bacgladesh O-14m km2
The population of the Indian subcontin to have been evolved by the Dravidians
ent in 10,000 cc Can be estimated at before the Aryan invasion, so PAKISTANINDIA &
about 100,000. Its rate of increase was presumably the newcomers imposed BANGLADESH
low and remained so until 5000 cc, themselves on the natives there rather 7a
when the practice of agriculture began than exterminated them. The cultural 500
to spread into the north-west, the Indus setback was major though, with no
valley, from Afghanistan. By 4000 cc urban settlement on the scale of
there was a respectable population in Mohenjo-daro or Harappa appearing
this area, perhaps as high as a million: anywhere in the subcontinent for the
by 2000 cc, when the Indus valley next thousand years. 400
civilization usually named after one or The upturn from this dark age began
other of its two chief towns, Mohenjo with the introduction of iron-working
from Iran in the 8th century nc and the SRI i.AN1C4 fib)
daro and Harappa reached its full
flowering, there were possibly Sm in the development of rice cultivation at much
lndus valley as against Im in the still the same time. Iron tools cleared the
mesolithic remainder of the subconti Ganges valley, rice supported a popula
nent. tion boom there and the demographic
The Indus valley civilization collapsed centre of the country now moved firmly
and disappeared, surprisingly com to where it has always remained since,
pletely, around 1600 cc. Apparently the Gangetic provinces of Uttar
this was a result of the invasion of Pradesh. Bihar and Bengal. By 500 cc
Iranian tribes the legendary Aryans the subcontinental total had reached
coming from the far side of 25m, of whom l5m lived in the Ganges
Afghanistan. Certainly Indo-European basin: by 200 cc. when the Guptas of
languages of the Aryan group now Bihar had put together the first major
became dominant throughout the nor Indian empire, the figures were 30m and
thern two thirds of the subcontinent 20m.
while the Dravidian languages spoken The next fifteen hundred years con
by the creators of the Indus valley solidated without significantly altering I
civilization were confined to the south this pattern. The population totals
slowly mounted, reaching SOm in the 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
ern third. On the other hand many of 000U2 Q100
the cultural peculiarities that now char 6th century. 80m in the 12th, and lOOm ~ 0 L~- ~ O~ 0
by the end of the 15th. Presumably the
00 J
acterize the northern Aryan zone seem 1975
182 Asia Area 7

vicissitudes of empires, the onslaught of Since 1920 long-term growth has been
epidemics and the fluctuations of food unimpeded, even though at times famine Pakistan, India and
supply kinked the graph on many oc
casions, but of these we know almost
has taken a massive toll several mil
lions in Bengal in 1943 for instance. The 800 Bangladesh
nothing. The political fragmentation of explanation of this acceleration is
the country makes it difficult to gener straightforward. Better administration
alize from such local data as exist and, and better transport made it possible to
~1 1
before the Moghul era, little is left from
the few brief moments of near-unity that
contain an increasing proportion of
famines, then the more easily controlled 700 I
did occur. The comparison with Chinas diseases declined under the impact of 7a-1 Delhi
graph, so often notched by catastrophe.
is striking but could easily be due to
simple public-health measures. Death
rates fell, birth rates continued as high
Mohenjo-daro PRADESI I

Chinas better records. Happy is the as ever, population totals rose to stag Karachi
graph that has no history. gering heights to 431m in 1950 and 600 BIIIAR
With the rise of the Moghuls we 745m in 1975. If the next quarter cen
arrive at modern times: In the course tury sees the same rate of growth as the
of the 16th century the new dynasts last and the evidence suggests that it
brought most of the subcontinent under will the figure in AD 2000 will certainly
their rule: their advance coincided with not be less than I,200m.
an unprecedented demographic and In 1947 British India was split three
economic upsurge which boosted the ways in an attempt to give as many as
population total from lOOm in AD 1500 possible of the Moslems their own
to 145m in AD 1650. How far, if at all, nation, Pakistan. The division was not
this impetus was lost in the years of made easily. Minority groups that found 400
Moghul decline is uncertain. Though themselves on the wrong sides of the
the period is clearly one of considerable new borders were often forced to flee
local disorder it is difficult to believe under threat of massacre: about l7m
that overall totals fell at any time in the people moved; 025m who didnt died.
18th century: certainly by the centurys The division was also an awkward one. 300
end growth was accelerating again. The original Pakistan consisted of two
When the British took control in the geographically separate areas which
years immediately before and after I 800, gradually pulled apart politically. In
the population of the subcontinent 1971 India helped the eastern half to
proper was approaching 200m. secede under the name Bangladesh, so 290
Rapid growth continued in the 19th now Pakistan means the western half
century, though when it becomes pos only. (We use it in this way in the rest of
sible to examine the process in detail this section, even when referring to the
(i.e. after the institution of the census in 1947 71 period.)
1867 72) it is apparent that progress Both Pakistan and Bangladesh are 100
was far from smooth. There was, in fact, relatively homogeneous nations. Pakis 75
a peculiar staircase effect in which tan is 97~ Moslem and 66. Punjabi
decades of rapid increase alternated speaking. Bangladesh is 80c Moslem
with decades of little or no growth. The and 98,, Bengali-speaking. India is by 25
last such pause occurred in 1911 20 any standard heterogeneous. Though
when, largely because of the 20m deaths the initial partition of 1947 was made 00 fl
000000000 0~ 000~ 0 t~ 0 ~0
CD t- ~ G~ 0
caused by the influenza pandemic of on religious grounds India is still II,,
1918, the population actually fell Moslem, which means that it has a cur
slightly. rent Moslem population of 66m. It also Asia Area 7a
contains l5m Christians, 12m Sikhs, 4m the 400 per km2 of Europes top-ranker, these immigrants were not, as might be The Dry Zone phase of Sinhalese his
Buddhists and 3m Jais, not inconsider the Netherlands) Bangladesh has the expected. Tamils or any other of the tory had seen the population grow
able minorities even though the nation Third Worlds problems about as badly Dravidian-speaking people who inhabit slowly to Im. There is no reason to
as a whole is more than 800 Hindu But as possible. In India the trouble is really south India, they were the Aryans from believe that there was any significani fall
the real diversity is in language. Less one of scale. The geometric increases somewhere in the north of the subcon in numbers at its end for there was now
than a third of the population speaks that now threaten are so enormous as to tinent. Moreover these Aryans, the an a compensating development of the Wet
the officially recognized national make clear thinking about them diffi cestors of the modern Sinhalese, first of Zone. There was also the movement of
tongue, Hindi. Very sizable numbers cult. If Pakistan and Bangladesh con all created an irrigating agriculture of Tamils into Ihe extreme north. Never
speak Bengali (48m). Marathi (42m), tinue at their present rates of growth Impressive size and elaboration, then, theless, if the population didnt fall, it
Urdu (30m) or Gujerati (28m) the they will add 78m and 56m to their after a thousand years of development, didnt grow much, passing the l-5m
other major Aryan languages while present populations by the end of the suddenly abandoned it. They moved level only in the course of the 18th
about a quarter speak languages of the century, figures that are comprehensible. from the northern half of the island (the century. This was the period when
quite unrelated Dravidian group If India carries on as now, her popula Dry Zone) to the south (the Wet Zone), the island was divided between the
(Telegu. Tamil, Malayalam and tion in the year 2000 will be larger by leaving the extreme north to be Sinhalese Kingdom of Kandy and the
Kanarese). 400m, a really fearsome addition to a recolonized by Tamils and their original Dutch who controlled the littoral.
In absolute numbers India has a far land already overloaded with people. capital Anuradhapura an empty ruin. The British took over from the Dutch
larger population than either Pakistan Despite the pressure of poverty and This dramatic change took place in in 1795. During the next quarter century
or Bangladesh: 600m as against 70m overpopulation Indians are reluctant the second half of the 12th century. they extended their rule over the interior
and 74m respectively. But Pakistan has emigrants. Though the total outflow There was a certain amount of warfare as well as the coast and they finally left
the highest growth rate, a situation over the last century and a half amounts going on between the Sinhalese and the only in 1948. Their contributions to the
which, as can be seen from the retro to about 35m, the return movement has Tamils at the time, but then there nearly demography of the island were two:
spective estimates in the table below, has been so high that the net effiux works always was: as a reason for the aban they brought in a new lot of Tamils to
existed since the mid 19th century. A out at only 7m, hardly enough to affect doning of the Dry Zone it is quite work on the tea plantations they estab
low initial density and a steady expan the statistics of the homeland at all. The unbelievable. Something made the lished and they released a demographic
sion of the irrigated area have helped to most important overseas populations previous mode of cultivation impossible up-swing that has recently outpaced the
sustain this. In Bangladesh an equally are in Sri Lanka (2-8m), Malaysia (malaria? irrigation tanks are ideal islands economy and agriculture. The
high fertility has been counterbalanced (1-Im) and the U.K. (Im); communities breeding grounds- for mosquitoes), or new Tamils (Indian Tamils) are even
by the high mortality sadly characteris between 0-Sm and 075m strong exist in unpopular (a devolutionary change in more unpopular with the Sinhalese than
tic of this overcrowded and disaster- South Africa, Mauritius and Burma and Sinhalese society making large-scale the Ceylon Tamils, and some have
prone land. With a current density smaller ones (between 025m and 0Sm) enterprises impossible to sustain?), or been compulsorily repatriated. How
figure of 529 per km (contrast Indias in East Africa, Trinidad, Guyana and simply obsolete (the development of bet ever, Tamils of one sort or another
183 per km2, Pakistans 88 per km and Fiji. ter methods of clearing the forest in the make up one fifth of the islands popula
Wet Zone?). Interestingly enough the tion. This now totals 14m, having more
Khmers of Indo-China 1.500 miles away than tripled since the beginning of the
Area of: 1850 1875 1900 1925 1950 1975
lo the north-east began to abandon their century. It is likely to be well over 20m
Bangladesh 23 24 29 34 42 74
exactly similar system of tank irrigation by the year 2000.
India 189 210 237 260 356 600 about the same time (see Asia Area 8c).
Pakistan II 12 16 22 33 70

70 Nepal O-14m km2

7b Sri Lanka O-066m kin The 18th and 19th centuries saw the tion of borderland valleys of which that
establishment of the nation of Nepal in of Katmandu was the most significant,
The island of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) has a were overwhelmed by iron-using, rice- its modern form, largely as a result of inhabited by a borderline people, part
peculiar history. The original inhab growing immigrants from India in the the activities of the Gurka clan. Before Mongol and part Indian with Indian
itants, a few thousand mesolithic Vedda, course of the last five centuries BC. But then we must think in terms of a collec influence usually predominating. In
186 187
population terms there were perhaps I m A 10 percent addition to these figures
people by the first century AD. and 2m takes care of the other Himalayan
by 1500. Growth since 1800, when the
population was 4m, has been faster, but
states, Sikkim (to the west of Nepal:
area 0OIm km2. current population
15 Sri Lanka
not spectacular by Asian standards; 02m) and Bhutan (to the west of
numbers reached 55m in 1900 and Sikkim: area 0OSm km2. current popu
125m in 1975. lation Im). INDIA

Primary Sources 10 Anuradhapura

There are records of the Indian population being counted as far back as the middle of Coiornbo Kandy
the 1st millennium ac but the practice, apparently flourishing under the Guptas. frIl
into disuse later, and no records seem to survive. So one is left with the problem of
applying multipliers to the surviving, not very reliable, records of villages, monasteries,
armies and elephants. Local population records do survive from Moghul times onwards,
but they havent been thoroughly explored yet and present many difficulties as sources
of general subcontinental estimates. Early European counts, both in India and Ceylon,
are perhaps more useful, but even on these work is only just beginning.
The first all-India census was taken between 1867 and 1872, followed in 1881 by the
first in a regular decennial series. Coverage of both area and population can be
regarded as substantially complete from 1901. India and the two halves of Pakistan
continued the series after independence but the break-up between (West) Pakistan and is?
Bangladesh caused their 1971 censuses to be postponed to 1972 and 1974 respectively.
Sri Lanka has a decennial series from 1871 to 1931, which then proceeds irregularly
1946, 1953, 1963 and 197). Nepal has some partial 19th-century counts, then a series
of increasingly accurate censuses at roughly decennial intervals from 1911. 15

There are two general guides to the estimation of the population of the Indian subcon
tinent before the 20th century: the paper by Ajit das Gupta in Glass and Revelle, and
the section of * Durand dealing with India. The iwo most recent sets of estimates are 10
those of J. M. Datia. for 1600 onwards, in the Population Bulletin of India 1(1960) INDIA
and those by J. C. Russell in two articles in the Journal of Indian History 47 (1969)
and 50 (1973). There is reasonable agreement between most estimates back to 1600;
before that date Russell gives a series that is generally lower than other estimates, but
in line with the assumptions of this book.
For the 19th and earlier parts of the 20th century. the basic source is Kingsley Davis, 5
The Population of India and Pakistan (1951). while a useful recent consideration is 4
that of das Gupta. For post-1947 population movements the United Nations 1974
World Population Confrrence background paper on migration is useful, and there is an
article by C. Jayawardena in the Geographical Review 58 (1968) on Indians overseas. 2
Sri Lanka is covered by Irene Taeuher in Population Index 15(1949). and by N. K.
Sarkar Demography of Ceylon (1957). There is little on Nepal apart from K. J.
Krotki and II. N. Thakur in Population Studies 25(1). 1971. and the official statistics. 5 5005
o o 10 0

10 0 in

188 Asia Areas 7bc
ASIA AREA 8 South-East Asia
4-OSm km2 Burma

8a Burma fr68m km2

The prehistory of South-East Asia is Friction with the British colonial

little known, and that of Burma is administration in India brought about
obscure even by Asian standards. Until the downfall of this Burmese mon
the 2nd millennium BC the area of the archy. Successive slices of the country
modern nation was inhabited by a were taken into British control between
pre-agricultural population numbering 1824 and 1885, and by 1900, when
30,000 at the most: at this point the infil the population had reached 12Sm, all
tration of agricultural techniques started Burma was a tranquil province of the
the population graph on a rising trend British Empire. The subsequent colonial
so that by AD I numbers had risen to period saw the annual rice production
Im. The pattern was one of fairly even total multiply even laster than the
distribution through the lowland parts people, so that Burma became an im
of the country but with different races in portant rice-exporting nation. It also
north, south and east. In the south the saw the creation of two immigrant com
people were Mons, members of the munities, Indian and Chinese.
Mon Khmcr family of the South-East British control was only fleetingly
Asian fringe. In the north they were reasserted after the Japanese conquest
Burmans belonging to the quite differ of Burma in the Second World War and
ent Tibeto-Burman group of the south- since 1948 the Burmese have once again
central Asian massif. In the east they been independent people able to indulge
were Shans, close relatives of the Thai. to the full their traditional isolationism.
Over the next millennium the overall The population has increased to 30m
population figure rose to 2m, the north and now consumes all the rice it grows.
established a preponderance over the Of the minorities the Chinese commun
whole country and the culture settled in ity has grown from 02m in 1950 to 05m
an Indian and Buddhist mould. The today: the Indian community on the
introduction of wet-rice cultivation other hand has dwindled since the with
provided the basis for a further expan drawal of the British patronage on which
sion in the population, which was now it depended: it numbers OSm today as
three quarters Burman. By the early against Im in 1941. The rest of the
modern period (c.1700) the King of population is split 8018 between
Burma ruled 4m of the Sm people in the Burmese and Shans, with Mons ac
area of the modern state and his court counting for the odd 2~,
had acquired the hectic splendour of a
successful oriental despotism.
o o 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 0 fl 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 10 0 10 0 10 0 10 0 10
to o- ~ 0)
00 . eq
Asia Area8a
Primary Sources and Bibliography
The bibliography of Bur~nese demography is best described as thin. The only pre-colon
tat item WorK Ii noting is an article hi H. Barney in the Journal of the Statistical Thailand
S~iety (1842), 4 (4). which for its date is a remarkah/r good attempt to estimate the
population of a non-European country. The basic prhnar; source he used is a louse
count of /783 there was another in 1826 but oJ less reliahi/iti: the estimate nit/i
which he final/i emerged was 42,,; for an area significant?) smaller than that of the
present nation.
The colonial census pattern fbi/ons that of British hit/ia, i.e. decennial censuses from
1871 to 1941 iith substantial corrections and a4/ustment needed for the 1871. 1881
and 1891 returns. The sole census since independence was taken in 1973.

Sb Thailand 0-Mm km2

Though little is known of the prehistory tury) to Ayuthia (in the next century)
of Thailand an important lacuna, for and Bangkok (in 1769).
in this part of the world prehistory In the early modern period Thai mul
lasted till well on in the Christian era tiplication was far from spectacular: it
the general pattern must have consisted took from 1500 to 1800 for total num
of the slow transformation of an ancient bers to rise from 2m to 3m. The change
hunting and fishing community into a to the modern pattern began in the 19th
food-producing one several orders of century, during which the augmentation
magnitude larger. Reasonable guesses at was over l00~. The story is a familiar
the sort of figures involved would be one, with wider contacts initiating a
25,000 in 5000 BC, 02m in 1000 BC and general economic and demographic
0Sm in AD I. By the 10th century AD, advance: the unusual features are the
when the mists clinging to the early his preservation of political independence
tory of the country begin to clear, we and the speed with which the agricul
can think in terms of a round million. tural base was expanded. Rice produc
The Thai made up only half the tion consistently out-paced population
population of Thailand at this time: the growth, so that the country had become
Mon were equally important, indeed a major exporter of rice by the end of
preponderant in the south. This north the century. The resulting prosperity at
south polarity which is a recurrent tracted a stream of Chinese immigrants.
theme in South-East Asian history has Since 1950 the Thai growth rate has
always been resolved in favour of the been above ~ per annum: Thailands
northerners, in this case the Thai. Their 42m people could well have become 80m
progress down the Menam valley, the by the centurys end. The Chinese min
axis of the country, is marked politically ority, now just over l0~, has so far kept 0000000000000000000000
00 ~ 000000000 0 0 It) 0100100 IL)
by the successive transfers of capital its identity in an otherwise homogen 02
CQ~O~O,-iOJO~~I0 0

from Sukhotai (founded in the l3thcen- eous populalion. 1975
192 Asia Area Sb
Primary Sources and Bibliography
The nearest thing to primary data bef~re (lie 20th century are rite est flaws given by
European travellers. Thai ,,iuster rolls, long since vanished. may lie behind the earliest
of these a figure of 19,,i adult males in 1688 hut if they do they are small loss for
the figure is absurdly inflated and the rolls must have been asse,nbled to impress rat/icr
than inform. Some of the 19th-century figures on (lie other hand are quite con tinting:
for instance Cranfurds 1830 esuniate of 273m (for a smaller area than the present)
and Ingramn s of Sm or on; in 1850 (see Fisher).
The census series starts in 1910/Il and continues to the present with increasing
accuracy. Adjustments to the published figures are considered (though not very clcarlr)
by Ajit Das Gupta and others in Sankya, Series 8, 27 (1965).
Thailands demographic history from the 17th century on has been swnniari:ed by
three ,trilers: G. W. Skinner in Chinese Society in Thailand (1957): L. Sternstcin in
Pacific Viewpoint 6 (May 1965). and 8. Thomlinson hi Thailands Population (1971).
Although they use very much the same sources, their conclusions, particularly on the
pre-1 9th-century trends, arc 1101 al.iays congruent.

O-75m km
8c Indo-China O-33m km2
Sc-I Vietnam
8c-2 Laos O-24ni km2
8c-3 The Khmer Republic 0-IBm km2

In the 3rd millennium nc the indigenous direct or indirect Khmer rule spread
population of Indo-China, some 40.000 over southern Thailand, southern Laos
strong, was transformed into an ex and south and central Vietnam. The
panding community by the acquisition grandiose ruins of Angkor Wat are a
of agriculture. By A D I this community testimonial to the magnificence of this
had multiplied up to the million. It was Khmer Empire at its peak: the name it
already polarized both ethnically and means City of Water is a reminder of
culturally, the north being inhabited the Khmers development of an irrigat
by the Viet, who were politically and ing agriculture which kept the demogra
socially under the influence of China, phic centre of Indo-China firmly in their
the south by the Khmer, whose culture zone. Of the 25m Indo-Chinese alive in
derived from India. The history of the AD 1200, the majority lived in the
following 1200 years is essentially a Khmer sphere of influence.
matter of the changing balance be After 1200 the balance tipped the
tween these two forces, with the Lao other way: the Viets got stronger, the
(who are a Thai people) playing a spec Khmers got relatively weaker. The
0000000 ~ ~0 000000000
tators role in the underdeveloped Khmers poor performance is sym U~ 0 ifl 0 ii) 0 j~ 0 ifl 0
0 N ~ 0 0
hinterland. bolized by the decline of Angkor, which 00
At first the south predominated and was eventually abandoned to the jungle:

194 Asia Area 8

at the back of it seems to lie an agricul increase now became substantial, so that
tural failure the exact nature of which is by the middle of the 20th century, when
obscure, but for which the Dry Zone the colonial era was drawing to its
Sinhalese civilization affords interesting bloody close, the number of Indo
parallels (see Asia Area 7b). By the early Chinese had risen to 335m. And growth
modern period European travellers were continued throughout the subsequent
mentioning the Khmer Kingdom only in American Vietnamese conflict, a re
passing, as a Thai or Viet satellite: by markable tribute to mankinds ability
the mid 19th century its 2m inhabitants to make love and war simultaneously.
had become for all practical purposes The special factor here was the spread of
subjects of the Vietnamese emperor. The people and rice-growing into potentially
Vietnamese Empire in fact contained all fertile but previously under-utilized
the areas 9m people except for the Im areas, a move that may well have been
in the Laotian principalities, which were given added impetus by the destruction
then an adjunct of Thailand. of the majority of towns and villages in
k. At this point the French intervened. the war zone. Today there are some 55m
Their piecemeal annexation of the area Indo-Chinese, of whom 44m live in
(186293) brought Indo-China into Vietnam. Sm in the Khmer Republic
being as a political unit. The rate of and 3-25m in Laos.

Primary Sources and Bibliography

The only historical discussion which talks in terms offigures is that of Irene Taeuber in
Population Index 11(1945): her estimate of4m for the Khmer empire at its height (i.e.
including much of Thailand and Malaya) is probably of the right magnitude. The next
estimate is Crawfurds of 1830 52m excluding Laos (see
Primary data start with a French count in Cochin-China in 1876. followed by a
quinquennial series of partial counts and estimates that only really become at all
reliable in the inter-war period. The post-independence crop of censuses has been
lamentably sparse North Vietnam in 1960, Cambodia in 1962. and nothing at all as
yet from South Vietnam and Laos.


8d The Malay Archipelago 1-Mm km2

SdI Indonesia (less West New Guinea) 1-SOm km2
Sd2 Malaysia and Singapore 0-Mm km2

Man in this part of the world did not into the archipelago: before this hap
settle down to proper agriculture until pened the population, a group of
after 2500 BC. The innovation is as peoples of proto-Melanesian stock, can
sociated with a movement of Malay not have numbered more than 100,000.
peoples from mainland South-East Asia By AD I the Malay peasantry had
196 Asia Areas Sc I to Sc 3
multiplied up to about 2m. This popula western parts of Borneo. Well before 175 t 225?

Lion was concentrated on the southern this division was finally agreed the
tier of islands and in particular on Java, demographic upsurge that coincides
with the appearance of the Europeans
The Malay Archipelago
a state of affairs that has persisted ever
since: its culture was forming in a Hindu was in full swing: the population of the
mould as Indian traders probing the area rose by no less than a third in the
islands in their search for spices brought 18th century to reach a total of 13-Sm. 150
in their habits as well as their custom. The exact machinery of this rise is
The emergence of the Hindu Kingdom unrevealed; although trade flourished
of Srivijaya, which through the early under the Europeans that was why
medieval period controlled or claimed to Ihey were there it was largely tradi
control most of Malaya and western tional trade conducted in a traditional
Indonesia. marks the maturity of this way, and therefore had little impact on
initial phase in the areas history. Also the bulk of the population.
introduced from India at this time was The 19th century brought further
the technique of wet rice cultivation: this change. The population growth of the
supported a further increase in the area accelerated, carrying the total from
population, which reached 4m by AD 13-Sm to 40m; the colonial powers
1000 and 8m by AD 1500. turned from trade to the exploitation of
In Indonesia as in India Hindu cul natural resources. Their methods were 100
ture was to be harshly challenged by interestingly different. The Dutch
Islam. From an enclave established at enforced state-controlled production of
Malacca in the 14th century Moslem coffee and spices by the inhabitants of
adventurers steadily spread eastwards; Indonesia themselves. The British al
by the early 16th century they had lowed a free-for-all in the production of
created a string of coastal sultanates tin and rubber which resulted in an 75
that stretched as far as the fabled spice influx of immigrants from the archi
islands of Tidor and Ternate. However, pelago and from China which also
before these petty states could coalesce supplied the region with its traders.
into an Indonesian empire, indeed while The result is the present complex 145m
the area was still in a state of political population of the area: a predominantly
disruption, the Europeans arrived and Chinese city state of 2-Sm in Singapore
seized the imperial role. (where there was virtually nobody in
The Europeans, of course, fought a 1800, and only 22,000 people in 1900); a
great deal among themselves and it was multi-racial nation of 12-Sm in Malaysia
only in the early 19th century that the (46c Malay. 43,, Chinese, 90,, Indian);
imperial pattern of the area was finally and a relatively uniform state of I 30m in
laid out, with the Dutch in control of Indonesia, though one in which the split
most of the archipelago (though not between the three quarters Moslem
properly in some parts until 1900) and population and the Hindu and Chris 20
the British in possession of the Malay tian minorities has caused great diffi 15
peninsula and the northern and north culties. 10
Brunei is a sultanate in North Borneo which has held aloof from the Malaysian o 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
00~~ 0100100
federation; it has a population of about 150,000 now, as against 20,000 at the ~ o~0

beginning of the century. 1975~_I

198 Asia Area Sd
Primary Sources
The only pre-I9th-century figure of am value isa contemporary Dutch suggestion that
the Kingdom of Mataram, covering about 80,, of Java, had 25m subjects in 1630
(quoted hr B. Schrieke in Indonesian Sociological Studies. Par? 2 (1957)). The first
estimates based on dicect counts were produced in the early 19th century by Raffles
(Java 48,,, in 1815) arid Bleeker (Java 9-4t,s in 1845). Crai;furds figures for Malaya
and Indonesia in 1830 are 035,,, and Jim respectively (see Fisher).
Froni 1849 annual official estimates exist for Indonesia, based on quinquennial
assessments. The first proper census in Dutch territory was taken in 1905: there were 200?
Jbrther censuses in 1920 and 1930 but of these on!; 1930 Lc really reliable. The
Indonesians themselves hare counted their population in 1961 and 1971. in the British
area there were reliable censuses from 1901 on.

For Malaysia as a whole there is a most usefid suriet- by T. G. McGee in Wan Gunguni
(cd). Malaysia: A Survey (1964). For North Borneo in particular see The Population
of Borneo k; L. W. Jonas (1966).
The basic discussion of the sources and problems of Indonesian demographic history
(both of which are triany) is the book by Widjojo Nitisastro, Population Trends in
Indonesia (1970). For a less diffident approach to the dirty business of estimating total
population one needs to turn to the brief discussion hr das Gupta. and to the article b;
B. Peper in Population Studies 24 (I) 1970.

8e The Philippines
The original inhabitants of the themselves being fought over by
Philippines were the negritos. a race of Spaniards from Mexico and Moslems
pygmies who get their name from their the Mows from Borneo. (The islands
superficially negroid features: there are are named after the Spanish king of the
currently about 1020000 of them and time, Philip II of Armada fame. The
it is unlikely there were ever many Spanish are also responsible fbr calling
more. The first Filipinos arrived Irom the Moslems Moros. meaning Moors.)
Indonesia around 2500 Bc; more fol The Moros arrived a little ahead of the
lowed in the course of the centuries until Spanish. but, except in the case of the
by AD 1000 the newcomers had most southerly islands, Mindanao and
colonized all the important islands. At Job, their hold was never more than
this stage the overall density was still tenuous: faced with the superior
very low, and the figure for total weaponry of the conquistadors they
population no more than 0-l--O2m in were soon forced to retreat to these
all. strongholds, leaving the rest of the
Until the 16th century the Philippines archipelago to the rule of Spain and the 00000000
b~ 0 10 0 0 0 0 0
CD t Q 0
remained unknown to the world at missionary activities of her priests.
large: then the Filipinos suddenly round During the course of the 16th century 1975a
200 Asia Areas SdI atid 8d2
the population of the Philippines passed raising, the increase from 1950 (20m) to
through the 05O75m band and by 1975 (42m) being over I00~.
1800 steady growth of the order of 100,, Thanks to the long occupation by
a century had brought the total to 25m. Spain (1565 1898) and the shorter oc
In the 19th century the pace quickened. cupation by the USA (1898 1945) the
the population doubling each fifty years: Filipinos are now overwhelmingly
in the first half of the 20th century it Christian (9O~), indeed overwhelmingly
more than doubled, reaching 20m in Roman Catholic (80c). The Moros of
1950. In the last twenty-five years the Mindanao and Job constitute the major
rate of growth has become truly hair- part of the remaining 1000.

Primary Sources and Bibliography

During the 19th century the Spanish produced reasonably reliable esii,iiateS of the
population under their control, which anioun ted to about 9O~ of i/ic whole. The US
authorities instituted a proper census in 1903: five more have been held at irregular
intervals since. For the lustorical data see Irene Taeuber s article on p. 97 of the 1960
issue of Population Index.

o 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
~ 0
0 0 .1
0 1975

Asia Area Sc
Part Three


Fig. 3.1 Africa. subdivision info areas *

Ia Morocco lOb Kenya
lb Algeria lOc Tanzania 8
Ic Tunisia lOd Rwanda and Burundi
4 ETHIOPIA Ila Zambia
5 SOMALIA lIb Rhodesia
6 THE SUDAN lIc Malawi
(Mauritania. Mali. Niger and 13 SOUTHERN AFRICA of the Western
Chad) 13a The Union of South Africa. Indian Ocean
8 WEST AFRICA Swaziland and Lesotho
8a Guinea 13b Namibia and Botswana
ANGOLA 14a Madagascar
9a Equatoria2 14b The Comoros
9b Zaire I4c Reunion
9c Angola Id Mauritius

I. Senegal. Gambia. Guinea-Bissau. Guinea.Conakry. Sierra Leone. Liberia. Ivory Coast

Upper Volta, Ghana. Togo and Benin

2. Cameroon. Central African Republic. Equatorial Guinea. Gabon and Congo-Branaville

Africa 30m km2
(of which about 9m km is desert)

The north of Africa has always belonged to the Mediterranean world. Its
inhabitants, the Berbers and Egyptians, are whites and their history is
part of the European Near-Eastern culture complex. South of the Sahara
lies what the Arabs call Bilad-as-Sudan, the land of the blacks, a quite
different world, with a unique culture and ethnography. Until early
modern times contacts between sub-Saharan Africa and the rest of the Old
World were tenuous in the extreme: black Africas history unfolded in its
own way and in its own time.
Nowadays, black is almost synonymous with Negro but originally the
sub-Saharan area was divided into four quite different black races the
Negroes, Nilo-Saharans, Pygmies and Bushmen. Geographically the
division was roughly equal. The Negroes lived in the bush and forest
country of the west, the Nilo-Saharans in the present-day Sudan and in the
Sahel, the scrub zone south of the Sahara. The Pygmies lived in the tropical
rain forest of the Zaire (Congo) basin and the Bushmen ranged across
eastern and southern Africa. Besides these four black peoples and the
whites of the north, Africa contained a fifth race in the Cushitic peoples of
Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa. Members of the same Hamitic linguistic
division of the white race as the Berbers and Egyptians, they are more
black than white to look at today and, as the geographical distinction
between north and sub-Saharan Africa is less clear-cut in this part of
Africa than elsewhere, it is reasonable to regard the Cushites as inter
mediate in both the ethnic and the geographical sense. Altogether then we
have five groups dividing the continent between them in the post-Glacial
but pre-agricultural era. We can estimate their populations during that
period as follows:

Berbers and Egyptians 100,000

Cushites 100,000
Nilo-Saharans 250,000
Negroes 250,000
B-- Pygmies 200,000
0 0 0
o 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Bushmen 350,000
0 ~
Fig. 3.2 Africa, continental total 207
Sometime around the 7th millennium BC agriculture was introduced into
Africa from the Near East. The introduction via the continents land con
nection with the Near East meant that the first African country to experi
ence the ~neoIithic revolution was Egypt and that it was along the strip of
land watered by the lower Nile that African population densities first rose
above the very low levels characteristic of the hunting and gathering stage
of human development in the range 00101 per km2 to reach figures of
I or more per km2. In fact, relatively soon they were much higher than
that, for Egypt has no reliable rainfall and agriculture there has to rely on
irrigation, a style of cultivation that both requires and sustains large
populations. Where contemporary neolithic societies in Europe took
thousands of years to increase their overall densities from I or 2 per km2 to
3 or 4 per km2. the Egyptians had reached a density of 10 per km2 of
habitable terrain as early as the opening century of the 4th millennium BC
and by 3000 nc were living at densities of around 20 per km2. This level
corresponds to a population of a million for the country as a whole and
provides the demographic basis for the emergence of Egypt as a kingdom
the worlds first political unit of significant size.
At this point in time the beginning of the 3rd millennium BC the
demographic contrast between Egypt and the rest of Africa is about as
striking as could be. In no other part of the continent is there any know
ledge of agriculture at all. On the one hand we have a million Egyptians
crowding the banks of the Nile, on the other family-size bands of hunters
scattered across a vast landscape in a distribution so sparse that the total
number amounts only to a million and a bit. Nearly half the population of
Africa lives in Egypt, tills its fields and obeys Pharaoh.
For the next two thousand years Egypt continued to hold a cultural and
demographic position way in advance of all the other African societies. By
1000 BC the total population of the continent had increased to more than
65m. hut with 3m living along the lower Nile the Egyptian share remained
near 40c. The important change in the population pattern was a relative
strengthening of the Negro and Nilo-Saharan positions. The Negroes were
making the first moves towards the development of a genuine agriculture
and their success in this was marked by a rise in their numbers to a total of
Im. The Nilo-Saharans did even better, but then the pastoral way of life
that was to be their characteristic mode of development being extensive
rather than intensive, they approached their maxima of range and total
numbers more rapidly than did the relatively sedentary Negroes. The losers
were the Pygmies and Bushmen, who showed no advance on their
mesolithic traditions and whose populations consequently remained static.
The middle centuries of the last millennium BC brought two new peoples
to Africa: the Phoenicians (Lebanese) who colonized Tunisia and
Tripolitania and the Greeks who settled in Cyrenaica. The arrival of the
original Carthaginians civilizing mission through to completion. In AD 200
present-day Algeria and Tunisia contained a thriving peasantry, the Roma p
nomadic way of life was restricted to the tribes of the desert fringe and the tie,

total population was of the order of 4m. Add 0~5m for Libya and Sm for
Egypt, subtract 05m for the untamed nomads, and you have a peak figure
of 9m for Romes North African provinces. This amounts to nearly half I
the pan-African total of 20m. I

The light of Mediterranean civilization never penetrated very far into N0bIc)
Africa. Beyond the Roman frontier the only states that a classical geogra Eritrea
pher could have marked on his map were the Kingdoms of Axum (Eritrea)
and Nubia (in the Sudan). The ruling elite of these two small areas had K.
acquired a precarious literacy which enabled them to send the occasional a
embassy to the the imperial court and receive honorific letters and even 0
tually Christian missionaries in return. The inhabitants of the rest of the
continent were as unknown to contemporary science as they were unheed BANTU
ing of it.
This is not to say that there was nothing happening in black Africa. Far
from it. The Negroes were on the move and one of Africas most important

transformations was under way. Of the 5 million Negroes alive in AD 200 N
nearly 2m were living outside the traditional Negro homeland in the
newly colonized territories of Equatoria, Zaire and East Africa. The migra
I~~1 Negroes
tion had begun as a tentative infiltration eastward from Nigeria into the Nilo-Saharans
Cameroons early on in the last pre-Christian millennium; it gained momen
tum in the last pre-Christian centuries when the Negro van pushed
eastward across the territories that now constitute the Central African

Republic, northern Zaire and Uganda. Finally some time before AD 500
the Negroes reached the east coast of the continent. Possessors of an Iron
Age technology and a productive agriculture, they outclassed the abor
Fig. 3.4 Africa in AD 400
igines so completely that there was no significant opposition to their
advance. The Pygmies withdrew into the depths of their forests, the Rwanda and Burundi represent later eddies in this Nilo-Saharan cross
Bushmen retreated southward. The racial landscape of sub-Saharan Africa current which continued to bring new peoples into the area until the begin
became almost purely Negro indeed because the expansion had been so ning of colonial times.
rapid the whole newly acquired area was peopled by Negroes speaking This is to run far ahead of ourselves. In the early 3rd century AD the
languages of the same Bantu type. Negro domination of sub-Saharan Africa was foreshadowed rather than
The Nilo-Saharans did contest the Negro advance and the fact that the achieved and, looking at the continent as a whole, the weight of population
northern limit of the Bantu-speaking peoples drops away southward as it still lay north not south of the Sahara.
traverses the continent from west to east reflects the pressure of Nib The military and economic crisis which shook the Roman world in the
Saharan pastoralists. Their drive south from the Sudan, which seems to second half of the 3rd century AD marks the beginning of the end of (his
have begun at much the same time as the Negroes eastward movement, situation. The population of North Africa. like all other local populations
succeeded best in East Africa, where the terrain favours the pastoral style. within the Roman Empire. began to decline and the drop in numbers con
Famous cattle-herding tribes like the Masai of Kenya and the Tutsi of tinued for more than four centuries. It bottomed out only when numbers
210 211
were down to two thirds of the peak figure (6m In AD 600 as against
95m in AD 200). During the same period the sub-Saharan population can
be reckoned to have increased from something under 9m to something near
I 3m. The shift in the continents centre of gravity that these figures indicate
is striking: it matters little whether the figures for the Horn (Im Ifl AD 200.
l5m in AD 600) are added to the North African total (a procedure that can
be justified culturally) or. as seems more sensible, kept in a separate
The Arab conquest of the 7th century AD opened a new and more
cheerful chapter in North Africas history. During much of the 8th century
the Maghreb, Libya and Egypt were contented provinces of the caliphate
and the moribund classical society of the region was transformed and
invigorated by the preaching of Islam. Population figures rose again, edg
ing just above the classical peak by the year 1000. This enabled North
Africa to maintain its end of the North African: sub-Saharan ratio that
was now fluctuating around the I :2 level. But then Islam too lost impetus.
The population totals for the Maghreb, Libya and Egypt slipped back to
85m and stayed there. This brought the North African : sub-Saharan ratio
down to I : 3 (by 1200) and then 1:4 (by 1400). Islam had its successes of
conquest and conversion Somalia, the Sudan and much of the Sahel zone
became Mohammedan during this period but in the lands where it had
been longer established it settled down to a rather uninspired provincial
routine. The story of classical civilization appeared to be repeating itself.

The spread of Islam to lands south of the Sahara shows that the desert was
no longer the barrier it had been earlier. Following the introduction of the
camel in classical times the Berbers became steadily more confident in their
journeyings: by the 13th century they were regularly making the journey
Fig. 3.5 The slave trade in Africa in medieval times. Br i/ic end ofthe 1St/i century from Sijilmasa on the south side of the Atlas to Timbuctoo on the Niger
there were six slaving routes in operat ion. 1110 directly across the Sahara. tile others and back, and soon after they began to make use of a parallel route
using the Nile, the Red Sea, and the Atlantic and Indian Ocean coasts. The earlier of between Tripoli and Lake Chad. At the same time Arab seamen sailing the
the t,io trans-Saharan routes (1 and 2) seern.c to hare been the western one. Far older east coast were able to outflank the desert and establish a chain of trading
than cit/icr as tile Nile route (3) which by ,nedieval limes had several cross
stations that stretched as far south as Mozambique (Fig. 3.5). These
connections with the Red Sea traffic (4). The east-coast route (5) ,rhich reached as far
south as Mozambique. was probably the tilost profitable: from its northern terminus at routes and the two ways known to the ancients, the Nile and Red Sea
Oman there as considerable re-export trade to Iran and India. The sixth route only routes to Nubia and Eritrea were all used by Arab slavers, and during the
came into use in the closing decades of the ,nedieral period when the Portuguese sailed medieval period the traffic in black slaves, which had begun in a small,
the test coast asfar south as the Gulf of Guitiea and started to ship sla.csfroni there irregular way with the Egyptian conquest of Nubia in the 2nd millennium
to Europe BC, became a relatively steady flow. The numbers involved were small:
none of the five Arab routes shown in Fig. 3.5 can have a capacity of more
than 1,000 a year or so and the actual average achieved must have been
well below this something of the order of 1,000 a year for all five
together. This is of no numerical significance in relation to a sub-Saharan
population of 30m.
In the second half of the 15th century two things happened which were
to lead to a transformation of the slave trade: the Portuguese opened up a
west-coast route that put Europe in direct contact with black Africa, and
Columbus discovered the New World. As colonization of the Americas
proceeded, the demand for slave labour rose beyond anything experienced
before, and as the native Amerindian populations melted away under the im
pact of defeat, disease and the savageries imposed on them, so the import
of Negro slaves became the only way of meeting this demand. The num
ber shipped from Africa across the Atlantic rose from a modest 1,000
a year at the beginning of the 16th century to an average of 5,000 a year by
the centurys end. And this was only a beginning. In the course of the 17th
century the Dutch brought their business skills to bear on the slave trade,
boosting the number carried per year to 30.000 by 1700. In the 18th cen
tury the British took the lead and the figures mounted again, finally level
ling off at about 75,000 per annum in the period 1750 1800. The number
of Negroes embarked for the middle passage the month-long voyage
across the Atlantic which was made in conditions of such overcrowding
and horror that a mortality of 15, was considered average was near the
lOm mark by the year 1800. Such had been the expansion of the trade that
8m out of the lOm had been shipped across in the course of the 18th
The demographic effects of the Atlantic slave trade have been much
debated. Simple arithmetic shows that it is only in the 18th century that
there is any case for it having an adverse effect on African population
levels and that even then it can have hardly have done more than slow the
rate of increase of a sub-Saharan total that was around 50m. It is in fact Fig. 3.6 The s/are trade in Africa 15001810. During thus period Europeans took
arguable that, in a society where numbers pressed so hard on resources and near/i hOrn Negroes f roin sub-Sahara,, Africa, a/h bui aJir of thetti being shippedfrorn
where mortality was so high, the losses could be so rapidly compensated i/ic Atlantic coast to the Americas. The Arabs look just oer In:
for that the slave trade, even at its peak rate, can have had no effect on
African numbers at all. Some have even gone further. Any trade, they say,
is better than none and the introduction of manioc and maize to the con business longest were the ancient Arab ones across the Sahara and along
tinent in the 16th century so improved native diet that population growth the east coast, which actually expanded as the others shut own (Fig. 3.7).
actually accelerated during the heyday of the slave trade. It is very difficult Rates of export of 20,000 a year were attained on some of these routes
to come to any positive conclusions, particularly as we have no knowledge and the anti-slavery propagandists talked of areas of total depopulation
at all of such factors as whether contact with Europe brought new diseases throughout the eastern half of Africa. But this final phase of the slave trade
as well as new foods. The fair conclusion would seem to be that the was too short-lived to have any such effect: by the late I870s the traffic had
Atlantic slave trade was of great importance to the demography of the been reduced to insignificant levels everywhere and the Europeans were
Americas but of no lasting quantitative significance to Africa. able to congratulate themselves on having eradicated a trade so self-
In the late 18th century European opinion moved against slavery: in the evidently vile that it was difficult to remember that, a mere century before,
early 19th century the trade in slaves was prohibited and in the second half they had been its most zealous practitioners.
of the century the prohibition was made effective. The routes that stayed in The suppression of the slave trade was only one aspect of Europes
214 215
increasing concern with Africa during the 19th century: the exploration of British, French and Belgians divided Germanys African Empire between
the interior and the establishment of protectorates and spheres of influence them. As a result (he British share passed 50, and the French share rose
were more sinister signs of the same thing. Finally in a flurry of diplomatic from just under to just over 25,,. The remainder of the continents popula
and military activity known as the scramble for Africa the Europeans tion was split between Belgium (9,), Portugal (6,) and Italy (I,, rising to
moved in as masters. The British, the worlds most accomplished imper 6, with the conquest of Abyssinia in 1935).
ialists, got the lions share: by the end of Queen Victorias reign (1901) 50m Colonization was a noticeable but by no means dominating feature of
Africans nearly half the continental total of I lOm had been added to the colonial era. Mussolini settled 100,000 Italians in Libya in an attempt
the roll call of her subjects. By contrast her grandson the Kaiser obtained to create an African province for his new Roman empire, but most of the
a mere lOm. And these he soon lost, for during the First World War the inflow was much less organized than this. The foreign communities in
Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt, for example. derived from the European
countries with a Mediterranean coast rather than specifically from the
occupying power. And though temporarily powerful these groups were
always numerically small. The peak numbers of foreigners in Egypt
amounted to only 02m, in Morocco to 05m and in Tunisia to 025m.
These figures all shrank to near zero within a short time of the host
countrys achieving independence. Also eliminated, though only after a
vicious struggle, was the one community that did build up to a respectable
size the French settlement in Algeria, which at its apogee in the 1950s was
over a million strong.
Most of sub-Saharan Africa remained free of this sort of intrusion. A
few British settled in east Africa during the heyday of imperial power but
they nearly all left when the region became self-governing again. The
Indians whom the British had brought in to run this sector of their empire
mostly stayed. In the l960s they numbered some 0-4m but Uganda expelled
its contingent (VIm) in 1972 and it seems only a matter of time before
Kenya and Tanzania follow suit. British and Indians also moved into
southern Africa, this time in much greater numbers. As southern Africa
already contained a sizable Boer (Dutch) and Coloured (Dutch-Hottentot)
population this became the one area south of the Sahara in which the
population was not overwhelmingly black. At present there are 4lm
whites, 075m Asians, 23m coloured and l8m blacks in the Union of South
Africa. Political power is 100, in the hands of the white community which
ensures its immediate future. In the long run, however, it is difficult to see
this monopoly being maintained and once it is lost the days of the white
man in southern Africa must be numbered. The similar regime established
by the 02m white settlers in Rhodesia appears in a very shaky state
Fig. 3.7 The slave trade in Africa 181080. The official our/airing of ripe slave trade
at the beginning oft/se 19th century wasfbrfrom being the end of the traffic. European
If sub-Saharan Africa is likely to have solved its racial problems by
slavers shipped another 235m black Africansfrom the continent bet Keen 1810 arid the becoming homogeneously black by the end of the century it is unlikely to
nuddie decades of Ike century ,,hen ike closure of the Brazilian and Cuban markers have solved its other population problem the present explosive rate of
finally put a stop to the Atlantic trade. The Arab slavers remained in business/br growth. The rate of increase has accelerated in this century from 25,, in the
another quarter of a century after that: they took about 13Sni s/arcs during the period first quarter to 45, in the second and 100, in the third. The correspond
as a irhole ing figures for the absolute increase in numbers are 20m, 45m and l4Om. If
2)6 2)7
the rate of increase is no more than maintained in the fourth quarter
another 250m people will be added to the population of sub-Saharan AFRICA AREA 1 The Maghreb
Africa, a daunting prospect for an area that already faces terrible problems 31m km
of poverty. (&Sm km2 productive)
Not that black Africa is overpopulated in density terms. It could easily
accommodate several times its present population, the more so as it is still
at an early stage of urbanization. But the achievement of a better life for its
people depends on per capita investment levels that are difficult enough to
achieve at present and could prove impossible to realize while the rate of
increase remains geometric.
The hope is that both here and elsewhere in Africa the rates begin to fall The Maghreb the West is the Arab word for the three states in the north-west
corner of Africa Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. Only the Im km in the maritime
in the not too distant future and that the continents population in the year provinces of the Maghreb are habitable: the interior 2m km2 are desert supporting
2000 is below rather than above the expected 700m. the scantiest of populations currently less than one person per 2 km2.
The individual figures for total area and productive area (roughly 60% of this
being pasture and only 30% arabic) are as follows:

In Morocco O60m km (O-22m km2 productive)

lb Algeria 2-34m km2 (021m km1 productive)
Northern departments 034m km
Saharan departments 2OOni km2

Ic Tunisia O-16m km2 (O07m km productive)

In an ecological sense the only division of importance is between Morocco, the

northern departments of Algeria and Tunisia on the one hand, and the Saharan
departments of Algeria on the other.

The prehistoric Maghreb was a back At first they didnt step far. Though
water. It had its share of palaeolithic they planted colonies all along the
hunters a few thousand and in Tunisian coast it was several centuries
neolithic times a scattering of Berber before they turned their attention to the
pastoralists and cultivators a few interior, and only after the various
hundred thousand but it remained colonies had accepted the leadership of
stuck at a simple neolithic level during the most successful of their number,
the whole of the period when the other Carthage, that they established direct
Mediterranean communities were evolv control over the northern half of
ing through the Bronze and Iron Ages. Tunisia. When the Romans overthrew
At the beginning of the last millennium Carthage in 146 BC this area became the
BC, when Phoenician seamen from the nucleus of the Roman province of
Lebanon started 10 explore the North Africa.
African coast, they found they were At the time of the laP of Carthage
stepping from their boats into a Stone there were perhaps 100,000 Phoenicians
Age world. and 500,000 Berbers in Tunisia plus
another 2-Sm Berbers in the rest of
North Africa. With the establishment
of the pus roinana numbers began to
recovery from this disaster was com
pleted only in the mid 16th century, just
in time to be negated by the general
// The Maghreb
C increase. Tunisia (the province of Mediterranean economic recession of
Africa) may well have had a population the mid 17th century. By 1800 the
of Im at the high point of the classical Maghreb had got stuck again: a
period in the early 3rd century AD. West medieval society in a modern world,
a Algiers Carthage
Algeria (Numidia) was equally well stagnating in every sense. Population
settled by then, though east Algeria was around 6m, of which Tunisia had
a ~TU~s
(Mauretania Caesarensis) had a lower about 0-8m and Algeria and Morocco Rabat
density and the total for Algeria as a about 2-6m apiece.
whole is unlikely to have been more Modern times began with the arrival MOROCCO
than 2m. As for Morocco. its develop of the French. In 1830 a French ex / la

2 ment had barely begun: only ihe nor peditionary force landed in Algeria and
thern part (Mauretania Tingitania) with by 1857 the inhabited part of the
half the areas populaton of Im was country was under French control. A

under Roman rule. protectorate over Tunisia followed in ALGERIA
The Roman period had started off 1881 and in 1912 a Franco-Spanish lb
with a significant shift from pastoralism protectorate over Morocco. European
to settled agriculture. In the troubled imperialism had two important results
times before and after the fall of the the build-up of a segregated population SAHARA
Western Empire the pendulum swung of European colonists and the creation I
back. The population of the area con of the conditions necessary for a demo
sequently fell sharply, perhaps below graphic take-off.
3m. After the Arab conquest at the end The first was a temporary phen
of ihe 7th century there was a slow omenon. By 1900 there were about
recovery. By AD 1000 the populations of 075m colonists (O-65m in Algeria) and
Algeria and Tunisia had regained their in 1950 there were nearly l75m (Im in
classical level while that of Morocco had Algeria), but by 1975 almost all had left
climbed well beyond its previous best. and the few who did remain had been
We can estimate the total for the integrated. Also gone by 1975 (in this
Maghreb at around Sm. roughly case to Israel) was Moroccos Jewish
distributed between Morocco, Algeria minority which had numbered 02m in
and Tunisia on a 2: 2: I formula. 1925. The demographic revolution on
For the next 800 years there was little the other hand has gathered speed since
change. The pendulum swung back to the European exodus. As is apparent
wards pastoralism again in the middle of from the graph the population of the
the 11th century with the invasion of ihe Maghreb has a very high rate of growth
Hilali bedouin from Arabia. Recovery indeed and on preseni performance 10
in the 13th century was offset by the numbers will be around 70m by the year 8
Black Death in the 14th and the 2000. 6

Primary Sources and Bibliography 2

There tc real!, nothing on whir/i to base anj caku/avion.c before the 19th century. 0008008000000000000000
* Be/or/i thought there Here per/laps 3 or 4i,, people in the Maghreh by 200 ac and OOflO
Ca .01
01 0
,??ore than 5,,, in A D I (his actualfigure is 6t;i bug tins includes Tripohitania). Russell
220 Africa Area /
has suggested something over 4tn tfl AD 1, which seems preferable, but he then goes on
to propose a truly catastrophic drop to between It;i and 2m at the beginning of the
Dark Ages and keeps Ins estimate at tins level until AD 1400. His figure for 1500, a
more reasonable 3Sm. is accepted by Braudel.
Nineteenth-century and later data are available as follows.
Algeria. Vie French instituted a quinquennial census in 1856. The series is complete to
1936, since when thcre haie been censuses in 1948, 1954, 1960 and 1966. The 19th-
century figures are certainly underesti,nates and ,,eed upward adjustment. The firs?
figures for the Sahoran departments (Algrie du Sud) werc returned only in 1939
(06,,,). All the significant data are to he found in an article by D. Maison in
Population (Paris, 1973, p. 1079) and most of the,,, in K. Suttop,s contribution to
* Clarke and Fisher. -

Tunisia. There ore accurate Otton,an esthnates available Iron, 1844 onwards: a quit,
quennial census bras instituted by the French in 1921 (decennial since 1936). The figures
are hi John Clarkes contribution to * Clarke and Fisher,
Morocco. Reliable esthnates are restricted to this century. 1,1 the inter-war period the
French started a quinquennial census in their zone (1921 36) and the Spanish made an
estitnate of the population in theirs (1930). Much the sa,ne situation obtained in the 30?

inm,ediate post-war period (French-zone censuses in 1947 and 1951 2, Spanishzone

census in 1950). The first nationwide census bias held in 1960 after Morocco hod
obtained her independence: a second follo;ied in 1971.

Africa Areas Iac

P76m km Libya
(O-04m km productive)

Libya is a desert state where cultivation caravan than by ship and Libya bene -

and animal husbandry are possible only fited from the traffic between Egypt and Tripoli
in the two coastal strips known as the Maghreb. But the second wave of
Tripolitania and Cyrenaica. Up until the Arabs the invasion of the Hilali SAHARA
6th century BC a few thousand Berbers bedouin was entirely destructive: the
constituted the entire population of this economy dwindled to the simplest sort
empty country: then Tripolitania was of goat herding and at its low point the
colonized by the Phoenicians and population cannot have been more than
Cyrenaica by the Greeks. Tripolitania, 0-25m. During the rest of the pre
as its name implies, counted three cities, modern period there was a slow
and Cyrenaica, as is indicated by its recovery, perhaps accelerating during
alternative title of Pentapolis, five, but the course of the 19th century towards a
the Greek foundations were certainly final figure of O-75m,
smaller than the Phoenician and as The Italian occupation (191142)
Tripolitania contains two thirds of the brought a colonization effort that at its
countrys productive land it probably peak added 100,000 people to the
contained a similar proportion of the countrys total. All these settlers were
population. By Roman times this means expelled after the liberation of the
some O-35m out of a total of 0-Sm. country during the Second World War.
Population fell steeply with the de The newly independent country soon
cline in imperial fortunes in the 4th and felt the full force of the population ex
5th centuries and it did not recover until plosion and it has been fortunate to
after the Muslim conquest of the 7th have the oil revenues to support a
century AD. The first wave of Arabs population that has more than doubled
brought a flush of prosperity to the between 1950 (Im) and 1975 (2-Sm).
region: Arabs move more readily by

Primary Sources and Bibliography

* Be/och s estimate of 0-Sin for Cyrenaica seems far too/sigh, imp/ring ash (toes a total

for Libya of a: least 1-25,,,. * RusselLc 02,,, Cyrenaic-ans has a ore reasonable look
to it. Of course, there are no real data to go on until modern rinses. By i/it end of i/se
19th cern ury the Turks were producing estimates of around Ini, probably erring on the
high side because the Italian enumerations of /93/ and /936 turned up figures of only
0- 7tn and O-75n,. B; 1950 the official estimates were hack to mi again. Thefirs? cetisus
las taken in 1954. the second in 1966 and the i/i/rd in 1973.
There cs-c good discussion.c O~ the contemporafl- period its oil as-tic/c hi C, L. Fuji o
o o
0 0
0 tO
o 0 0
to o 0
to 0
in Populalion Sludics 1949 (p. 1) antI in R, 6. Hctrtlei v contrihution to * Clct,ke 00 0
and F/sIte,, 1975
224 AJrica A ret, 2
1-Om km Egypt
(cultivated area 35,000 km)

Egypt is a desert country of which a thin (2100 1700 BC) from 2m to 25m. A new
snake-like strip less than 500 of the peak was reached in the New Kingdom
whole is watered and brought to life or Empire period (16001200 BC) during
by the Nile. The body of the snake is which the Pharaohs conquered and held
known as Upper Egypt: it has a width of Palestine and part of the Sudan. In
only a few kilometres. The triangular demographic terms these provinces
head, Lower Egypt, is formed by the were not very important: Nubia (the
delta of the Nile: in its short length it Sudanese province) contained at the
contains as much productive land as all most 100,000 people and Palestine no
Upper Egypt. more than 250,000, figures that have to
One feature of the delta is an exten be compared with the 3m in Egypt
sive spread of marshes. These must have proper. Internal development was now
provided a happy hunting ground for focused on the delta: the creation there
primitive man and because of them of four new nomes (administrative
Lower Egypt probably supported the districts) brings Upper and Lower Egypt
majority of the 25,000 inhabitants one into balance at twenty-two and twenty
can postulate for the country as a whole nomes respectively.
in late mesolithic times. With the arrival During the last millennium ec the ir
of the first farmers about 6000 ac the regular increase of the Egyptian peas
pendulum will have swung in favour of antry slowed: in the first two centuries
Upper Egypt. Here irrigation techniques AD it ceased altogether. The available
could be practised in their most simple land was being exploited as fully as was
form and here the village-based econ possible with the available techniques,
omy that has characterized Egypt ever and at about Sm the population reached
since will have achieved its first flower a maximum that was not exceeded until
ing. Population now grew steadily. modern times. Plague, famine and war
reaching 100,000 in about 5000 Bc and will, of course, have reduced the popula
250,000 in 4000 BC: it was on the million tion below this level from time to time
mark in 3000 Bc when the Upper and during particularly bad spells the
Egyptian King Menes conquered the economic collapse of the 4th century
delta and became Pharaoh of all Egypt. AD, the plagues of the 7th and 14th cen
Menes founded the first in the long turies and the stagnation in the last
succession of dynasties that ruled the stage of Ottoman rule the population
Nile valley in the centuries before must have been nearer 3m than Sm. But
Christ. During the initial phase, known for something near 3,000 years the size
to scholarship as the Old Kingdom and of the Egyptian population remained
0Q,i 00000000000000000000
lasting through most of the 3rd millen within these relatively narrow limits. 00 fl 000000000 0~) 0 ~fl 0 l~ 0 in o inO
cc t- ~ m 0
nium BC, the population increased from Christianity came and went; Islam came 00 ,-,

Im to 2m; during the Middle Kingdom and stayed; the fellahin tilled the fields, 1975i
226 Africa Area 3
and the economy, like the pyramids, increase in Arab oil revenues and the Bibliography
remained unchanging. prospect of peaceful coexistence with There is an archaeologist :~ estimate of tlte populatioti ofpredytiastic Upper Egypt in an
Egypt was shaken out of its medieval Israel offer the hope of a better final
article by Karl Butzer in Science, VoL 132. p. 1616. For the Pharaonic period Sir Alan
torpor by the arrival of Napoleon in quarter to the century, the absolute rate Gardiner (Egypt of the Pharaohs (1961), p. 28 n) and W. F. Alhright (Cambridge
1799. In the first half of the 19th century of increase now running at over a mil Ancient History, 3rd edt,, Vol. 2, Part 2(1975). p. 108) both suggest figures in the 4tn
numbers rose from 35m to 5-Sm: in the lion a year is so high that it is difficult
Sm area, it/isle * Beloch thinks of mt as a peak first reached in Rotnan times, Russell
second half the introduction of peren to be very optimistic. By the year 2000 believes the troughs ttent as low as 2m in the Dark Ages, which seems unduly pessitnis
nial irrigation, the entry into the world the Egyptian government will have to tie. For the suggestion that the ,nedieval population n-as around 3t,; see * Poliak. in
cotton market and the opening of the provide food and jobs for a population favour of 4tn are Janet L. Ahu-Lughod (Cairo (197!), p. 51) and H. A. R. Gibh and H.
Suez Canal provided the economic basis that is unlikely to total less than bOm Bo,i-en (Islamic Society and the West (1950), p. 209). The arguments for raising the
for an even faster rate of increase, with and could well be tOm more. French estimate of2-Sni for 1800 are given hi Janet Ahu-Lughod:fbr the 19th century
the lOm mark being reached in 1900. The Egyptians are a remarkably as a t,hole we have used the growth rates suggested hi Gabriel Baer in an article.
In the 20th century the story has been homogeneous people, the only impor Urhanisation in Egypt 18201907 (in Beginnings of Modernization in the Middle
less satisfactory. In the first half the tant division being between Christians East, ed. W. R. Polk and R. L. Chambers (1968)) to calculate our figure for 1800 and
number of Egyptians exactly doubled (10,,) and Moslems (90,,). The 1850.
(to 20m) but the Egyptian economy did Christians are all of the native Coptic
not do so well: as a result living stan variety: the European community,
dards dropped. In the period 195075 which built up to a strength of 0-15m in
both demographic and economic the colonial era, is now down to noth
growth accelerated, but whereas the ing. To either side of the Nile, in the
population gains were steady and the western and eastern deserts, there are a
final figure 37m impressive by any few bedouin: once they may have num
standard, the economic performance bered 0-Im but today the total is cer
was more erratic. And though the tainly less than this.

Primary Sources
No country is easier to suricr thati Egypt. no people easier to count, and records that
irouid he as purest gold to tile historical demographer hate certainly been comptied
situ-c the clays of Menes. Unfrrtztnately. nothing in the nay of a total survives from tile
country :~ cant dats. except a tradition, recorded by various classical Inst orians. that
Pharaontc Egypt hat a population of 7m. This figure is too high. Diodor,ts, quoting
Hecatae,ts of Abcle,-c, gil-es a figure of 3m fi,r 300 it C (Diodorus 1 31,- for the dispute
about the exact te.-t see * Beloeh. p. 256) and it is exceedingly unlikely that the
population had been signijcantly greater at an) earlier date.
Thete are no primary data /br the medieval or early modern periods, the next figure
worth discussion being the estimate of 2-Stu produced hi the Fretu-h savants who came
to Egypt with Napoleon in 1799. In 1848 the country held its first cetisus: after allowing
fbr c-otisiderahle ,tt,deret,u,neration the result nas published as 4-Sm. The correction
tieecled in the case of the tie.vt (1882) census, a 12,, addt,on to the rat total of 6-8m,
-as less substantial hut it is only tiith the c-etlsu.c of 1897, the first itl the decennial
se,ies instituted by the British authorities. thctt it-c i-each firm groutid.
The decennial censuses crc held on schedule up to 1957 hut the c-ensu.sfor that rear
had to he repeated in 1960 because of uncertainties ititroduced i,j the hostilities tiith
isrctel. There has only been one census sitlce. held it, 1966,so that there is sonic doubt
as to the exact size of the present (1975) populatioti.
AFRICA AREA 4 Ethiopia
F2m km Ethiopia
(1O0~ arable,
2O0~ pasture)

Herding and the rudiments of agricul Mohammed. The expansion of the

ture arrived in Ethiopia around 3000 Arabs, in particular the conquest of
BC: as a result the population gradually Egypt in the middle years of the 7th cen
increased from its mesolithic level of tury. cut Ethiopia off from the rest of
under 0lm to reach 02m by 1000 BC. Christendom: direct attacks over the
The majority lived in the Abyssinian next few hundred years detached Eritrea
highlands, entirely cut off from the rest from Ethiopia and made it a province of
of the world: the few who eked out a the caliphate. The Ethiopians were
living on the barren Red Sea coast the sealed into their mountains and forgot
district later known as Eritrea saw the ten.
occasional Egyptian or Arab trader but Ethiopias Dark Age lasted until the
otherwise passed their days in equal Portuguese rounded the Cape of Good
isolation. Hope on their way to India. They
Sometime before 500 ac, Semites eagerly followed up stories of a
from Arabia crossed the Red Sea and Christian King of Abyssinia, hoping
established themselves as an aristocracy that he would turn out to be a useful
in Eritrea and the neighbouring district ally in their struggles with the Moslems
of Tigr. By AD I the classical geogra who dominated the area: indeed they
phers had become aware of a King of hoped he would turn out to be Prester
Axum ruling over this part of the John. the fabled Christian Emperor of
world. This kingdom, which contained the Orient whose name made even the
perhaps 025m out of the 05m most powerful Moslem potentates
Ethiopians of the time, gradually ex quake with fear. Prester John, alas,
tended its frontiers until, by the 6th cen didnt exist and the King of Abyssinia
tury AD. it was in control of most of the was no substitute, He controlled most of
Abyssinian massif. The King of Axum Ethiopia and more than half the areas
was even powerful enough to send an 2m inhabitants but his armies were
expeditionary force to the Yemen to hopelessly outclassed by the local
protect the Christians there from per Moslems who had just obtained
secution. muskets from the Turks. He needed
This act indicates how fervently the Portuguese help if he was to survive,
Ethiopians had taken to Christianity and could give nothing in return.
since its first introduction 200 years Abyssinia did survive, though more
earlier. It also exposed the Ethiopians because of the failure of impetus that
to retaliation when their army in the characterized Moslem society in the
Yemen was defeated and, more impor early modern period than because of o o
o 0

help rendered by fellow Christians. 00
to 0- ~ ~ 0
tantly, Arabia found a religion of its -4

own in the teaching of the Prophet Indeed, as the Christians got closer 1975

230 Africa Area 4

some of them turned out to be more of a scene for the eventual reunion of Eritrea
menace than the Moslems. In the lS8Os and Ethiopia in what was originally a
the Italians established a protectorate federation (1952) but turned out to be a Somalia
over Eritrea, in the 1890s they began to full union (1962).
extend this into the highlands and Since the war Ethiopia has exper
though an Abyssinian victory at Adowa ienced more than its share of the prob
in 1896 postponed the issue for a gener lems that beset Third World countries:
ation (during which Ethiopia shared famine stalks the southern provinces
with Liberia the distinction of being and civil war is endemic in the north.
Africas only independent states), in The 2m people in the predominantly
1935 they returned. This time, thanks to Moslem province of Eritrea seem deter
better generalship and a bit of mustard mined to recover their independence
gas, they were successful. However, a and most observers expect that, in the
mere six years later the British ejected end, they will.
them from the whole area, setting the

Primary Sources and Bibliography

During the colonial era the Italians made regular estimates of the population of
Eritrea, the firs! in 1899. the last in 1939. Their occupation of Ethiopia has too brief
for thetn to do lore than guess at total number.c and no one sofrr has done any better.
The genera/feeling is that the present officialfigures are far too high and that the total
is under rat/icr i/ian 01cr 20n,, According to the government it is 28ni.

o 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
o ~ 0 0 0 0 2 too too
~0 o~cQ~to ~ o~ 0
P1 ~ 1975~_l

Africa Area 5 (text oierlcafl

O-64m km 2-Sm km2
(W24m km2 pasture,
O-06m km2 arable)

Somalia is a land of desert and near- terrorize the Ethiopians. By the time the Around 4000 ac the Sudanese made the whole region was soon cut off from
desert inhabited by nomads. The anc colonial powers began to show interest Iransition from food gathering to pas Mediterranean Christendom by the
estors of the present-day stock of in this part of Africa the Somali toralism and, in the limited areas where Moslem conquest of Egypt. By AD 1000
Somali and Galla cattle-herders were in dominated the coast as far south as the cultivation is feasible, agriculture. the Sudan was still Christian where it
the area by the 3rd millennium ac and present-day frontier with Kenya. Population quickly rose past the 100.000 wasnt pagan, but not many people out
by AD I there will have been about O2m The colonial episode began in 1889 level, reached 250,000 in 3000 Bc and side the Sudan knew it.
of them. There were still some Bushmen with the division into Italian and British 0-Sm by 2000 BC. By 1500 Bc, when the Today Christianity is completely for
around and a few Bantu had infiltrated zones: it ended with the creation of an armies of the Egyptian pharaohs began gotten, Islam being the religion of 75,,
the extreme south, but neither of these independent and united Somalia in to probe the Nile above the second of Sudanese (the rest remaining pagan)
peoples made a significant contribution 1960. During this period the population cataract, there were nearly a million and Arabic the language of more than
to the population then or now. rose from something under a million to people in the area of the modern 50,,. The Mohammedan conquest
In the 10th century Arab traders visit the present total of 3m. Sudanese state. Of this area the began with the conversion of the
ing the northern coasts introduced two French Somaliland, currently known Egyptians conquered only the Nile nomads of the north-eastern desert in
elements that revolutionized Somali as the French territory of the Afars and province as far south as (he fourth the 12th century. In the next century
society: Islam and the horse. The Somali Issas, has a population of 100.000 now cataract, a strip that they called Cush Nubia was overrun, followed by the
began to terrorize the Galla of the as against 50,000 at the beginning of the and we call Nubia. It will have con Khartoum area in the 14th century.
south, a process that ultimately resulted century. tained something over 10,, of the What had once been a neglected outpost
in many Galla moving wcstward lo countrys population. i.e. around of Christendom now became a neglected
100,000 people. corner of Islam, with only the fact that
The collapse of the Egyptian Empire Egypt and Arabia looked her way for
Primary Sources and Bibliography in 1000 BC left the Nubians free to slaves keeping the Sudan in the picture
The earliest data are the esli,nates made in the colonial period of which the best are create a kingdom of their own and ex at all, The slaves, who had come from
based on the local surveys carried our by the Italians in their sector in 1931 (Ins) and pand its frontiers. By the 6th century BC the general population during the con
1953 (I25n,) The first census was held in 1975. they had conquered and organized the quest of the country, were now obtained
whole of the central Sudan and brought by raids into the Negro south and
about a third of the Sudanese under Abyssinia: the number exported slowly
their rule. With the total number of rose from 1.000 a year in the 16th cen
Sudanese now approaching (Sm this tury to a maximum of 10,000 a year in
meant that the Kingdom of Meroe, as the 19th century.
the new state was known, had a popula The Sudans isolation was finally
tion of some 0Sm. It lasted till the 4th ended by the armies of a new pharaoh
century AD, when it broke up into three of Egypt, the Khedive Mohammed Ali.
successor states, all of which became His Western-equipped soldiers made
officially Christian over the next IOU short work of the black sultanates of the
years. Christian missionaries even had central Sudan: they even penetrated be
some success in the hitherto uncharted yond the Mohammedan area and added
west, the present-day provinces of a new province entirely Negro and
Darfur and Kordofan. However the pagan on the south. But Egyptian rule
became increasingly unpopular as the Sudan to a fraction of its former figure:
years passed and the appearance of a it was probably holding steady at about
native messiah in the person of the 6m.
Mahdi put an end to the dream of a The Sudan prospered under British
single empire for the Nile valley. From rule. By the middle of this century the
1881 to 1898 the Mahdi and his succes population had increased by 50, to 9m.
sors ruled the Sudan as an independent Since then the rate of growth has
state; then the British appeared and im quickened: the population now numbers
posed colonial rule. There is no basis to 13m and the figure is likely to increase
the British claim thai Mahdist atrocities to about 20m by the end of the century.
had reduced the population of the

Primary Sources and Bibliography

The first reliable esihnates of the Sudanese population are those published by i/ic
Brit is/i authorities during the first half of i/us centur,. Their general correctness as
confirmed hr a sample census taken oil the eve of independence in 1955 6, nhich
provided a figure of IO26,n. By the ear/v seventies extrapolations from this isolated
sur,e; Here getting cr3 shak; just hon shaky being revealed by a comparison of the 20?
official population estimate for 1973 (17,,;) .,ii/; the result of a ne,, count taken in that
tear (124w). It c a reminder of the fragility of African statistics.
For the first count see The Population of the Sudan. a publication of the
Philosophical Societt of the Sudan (1958): on/~preliminary figures are available as ret
for the second. For the slave trade in this area see Y. F. Hasan, The Arabs and the
Sudan (1967), J. It Gray. A History of the Southern Sudan 183989(1961) and R. S.
OFahev andi. L. Spaulding, Kingdom of the Sudan (1974).

o 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
fl 000000000
0u~ 0100100
0 C.. ~
Ifl 010
00 -I

Africa Area 6
AFRICA AREA 7 The Sahel States,
Mauritania, Mali, The Sahel States
Niger and Chad
5-Urn km 30

The Sahel is the zone immediately south of the Sahara; it has enough rainfall to Nouakehott It NIGER
support pastoralism but not enough for crops. The states that are geographically Cl-lAD
centred on this zone from east to west they are Mauritania, Mali. Niger and Chad Bam4~jf~~1iameY
overlap the zones to the north and south so they include large slices of Sahara and Fort
smaller slices of agricultural land. As population densities are near zero in the Lamy
Sahara, low in the Sahel and high in the agricultural area, the demographic centres
of gravity of all the Sahel states are near their southern borders.
The actual distribution of territory between the different states is as follows:

7a Mauritania l15m km2 (or which about 80. is desert)

7b Mali I-25m km2
7c Niger l-30m km2 (of which about 4O~ is desert)
7d Chad I-30m km2 ~)

Taking the area as a whole, a half is desert and a third is rather poor pasture: the
remaining sixth lies within the zone of potential agriculture, though only a fraction
of it is so used.

Before the introduction of agriculture From the Arab historians of the

and animal husbandry the population of Maghreb we get a reasonably clear pic
the area of the present-day Sahel states ture of the Sahel area over the next few
is unlikely to have exceeded 50,000: once centuries. There was a thin scattering of
pastoralism and agriculture had become Berber tribes across the Sahara, a much 6 (65)
well established the population can more numerous but still low-density
hardly have been less than half a mil population of ethnically mixed pastor
lion. The chronology of the transition is alists in the Sahel and a relatively high-
as yet totally obscure, but there is no density concentration of Negro cul
reason to postulate anything above the tivators along the middle Niger where
50,000 line before 3000 BC or place the this river arcs northward through the
achievement of the half million later Sahel. In the south, in the agricultural
than t000 BC. From this latter point a zone, were similar high density settle
low rate of increase is all that is needed mcnts of purely Negro cultivators. 8 8 ~ 8 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
00000000 0
tO 0
tO 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
t ~ 0 0
The middle Niger was the political 00 ..,
to bring the total to Im by AD I and 2m
by AD 1000. centre of the region and the departure 1975~l
Aft/ca Area 7
point for the caravans that now plied wise preserved its medieval structure.
The French brought the benefits of
AFRICA AREA 8 West Africa
regularly across the Sahara.
On their northward journey these colonialism peace and an orderly 2-6m km2
caravans carried two commodities, gold administration and by 1950 the fruits
and slaves. All the gold and probably of their policies were apparent in an Na Guinea (meaning all West
most of the slaves came from lands to increase in numbers to 8Sm. By 1960, Africa bar Nigeria) P68m km2
the south of the Sahel states, but even if when the French provinces were trans
the slaves were Sahelians the number de formed into the sovereign states of 8b Nigeria O92m km2
spatched was too small to have a direct today, the Sahelians were in the throes
effect on the areas population figures. of the sort of population explosion that West Africa is the cradle ol the Negro and slaves a year may have been des-
At most we are talking of one or two is characteristic of the Third World, and race. From the 100,000 people who lived patched to the Maghreb, by AD 1500 as
thousand a year and that would not it was predicted that by 1975 their in the area in mesolithic times derive the many as 2.000. These figures are of little
be a significant drain on a population in population would be 16m or more. In 225m Negroes of present-day Africa demographic significance for the West
excess of 2m. A more important effect the event the severe drought that struck plus the lOOm strong Negro and part- African population total, which reached
of the caravan traffic was the conversion the Sahel in the early 1970s has Negro populations of the New World, 7m by AD 1000 and lIm by 1500. The
of the nomads of the Sahara and Sahel prevented the population reaching this The only other black race of impor highest rate of despatch postulated
to Islam. The new religion did not pene level. Leaving apart the raised mortality tance, the Nilo-Saharan peoples centred amounts to less than 002,, per annum.
trate further south, the Negro cul directly due to the famine there has been on the Sudan, number at most 30m, an A new outlet for the slave trade ap
tivators of the agricultural zone remain a steady movement of people south order of magnitude less, peared in the second half of the 15th
ing obstinately pagan. The effect is still ward, away from the Sahel and into the The numerical expansion of the century when Portuguese seamen finally
visible today: Mauritania is 8O~ pas agricultural zone. Best estimates are that Negroes begins with their development mastered the geography ol the West
toral and 90c Moslem; Chad, at the the 1975 population is about 15m of a neolithic technology. The dating is African coast. Over the next hundred
other extreme, is only 10, pastoral and (Mauritania l-25m, Mali 55m. Niger currently obscure, but the 3rd millen years this sea route was a Portuguese
400 Moslem. 4-Sm, Chad 375m). nium BC would be a generally accepted monopoly which supplied black slaves
Population growth in the Sahel states The drought of the early 1970s has starting point, with a subsequent slow to Europe. the Atlantic islands and the
in the late medieval and early modern been disastrous in itself: the fear is that rise in the population of West Africa to New World. The slave trade with
periods was slow and unsteady. When it marks the beginning of a phase of the million by 1000 BC. Fresh impetus Europe was barely significant, never
lbn Battuta visited the area in the 14th desiccation which will shift the whole was given by ihe arrival of iron-working reaching a higher rate than 1,000 a year
century it may have held 3m people. Sahel zone to the south. There is no techniques. c.250 BC: these provided the and petering out completely in the mid
Nothing much changed in the next six need to stress how catastrophic this basis for a rather faster upswing which 16th century. The Atlantic islands im
centuries and when the French moved in would be for the Sahel states as carried the total to 3m by AD I. The real ported slaves at about twice this rate
in the early t900s they found a society presently defined, nor how such a rate of growth was actually higher than until the end oF the 16th century when,
which had slowly increased in num change in climate would alter the long- this, for towards the end of this period in their case too, the trade fell otT to
bers to about 6m but had other- term demographic outlook, the Negroes of Nigeria began to push almost nothing. The New World was a
out eastwards into the Cameroons. This different matter: the economy of the
expansion, which ultimately created the European colonies established there was
Primary Sources and Bibliography Bantu world of central, eastern and soon dependent on labour-intensive
The French authorities began making population estimates short/v after they mated southern Africa, has its fbns et origo in plantations which needed a steady input
into the area in the early 20th century. These estimates, often misleadingly referred to Early Iron Age West Africa, of new slaves just to stay in business.
as censuses, are published in the standard handbooks. The independent governments Iron working probably came to Wesi Their demand was measured in the tens
that took over in 1960 have done sonic small-scale sample counts (Mauritania Africa from the Maghreb, via the of thousands and the Portuguese never
19645. Mali 1960 61. Niger 1959 60, and Chad 1963 4) hut none l,aie as set Berbers of the Sahara. Certainly a trans came near satisfying it. Their failure
attempted a full enumeration. Saharan traffic grew up in the course of opened the way for the Dutch to move
the 1st millennium AD, with the in.
Maghreb contributing textiles and other The Dutch revolutionized the Atlantic
manufactures, West Africa, gold and slave trade. They raised the annual rate
slaves. By AD 1000 as many as a thous of shipment from Africa as a whole

from 5,000 in 1600 to 25,000 by 1675. rate of increase wns sharply cut back.
Even that was not enough: the British Towards the end of the 18th century
took over from the Dutch and raised the the brutality inherent in slavery and West Africa
rate again. By 1785 75,000 Negroes were slaving began to trouble the European
being loaded onto the vessels of the conscience: the British, who had made
Atlantic slavers every year. Of these the most money out of the trade.
45,000 (60c) were West Africans. As became the first important nation to
the total West African population had outlaw it and by the early 19th century
now increased to about 19m this figure they were actually spending money on
corresponds to an annual levy of 0250. suppressing it. This was the making of
The effect of the slave trade on West Freetown, which had been founded in
African numbers has been much 1792 as a haven for slaves that had f8b
debated. Some have talked of depopula been liberated in England and become
tion, others have denied any significant destitute as a result. There were never
effect. Putting it at its simplest, a reas more than a few hundred of these and
onable natural growth rate for West it was only in the period after the
Africas population at this time would Napoleonic wars when the Royal
be 035~ per annum (equivalent to a Navys anti-slavery squadron started
doubling of the population every 200 operations in the Gulf of Guinea, and
years) so there is no reason to believe Freetown was designated the official
that even the maximum uptake did landing place for all Negroes found in
more than cause a slowing-down in the holds of intercepted slavers, that the
the rate of expansion. Other factors settlement began to grow. Some 60,000
obviously have their influence and com liberated slaves were put ashore there
plicate the issue: slavery encouraged between 1819 and 1859; Freetown bur
warfare between the maritime African geoned. eventually becoming the capital
states that supplied the slaves and the of the British colony of Sierra Leone.
Africans of the interior who were the For fifty years after its official aboli
raw material; slavery removed from tion the slave trade was far from dead.
African society young adults just enter Something like two thirds of a million
ing on their reproductive period. On the West Africans were forcibly taken from
other hand three men were taken for their homeland in the period 1810-60
every woman and the practice of poly and the Royal Navys interception rate
gamy could have gone a long way to never bettered 1000. But in the end offi
wards compensating for this sort of loss. cial government policies prevailed and
And, unpleasant though the idea is, the there was even an attempt to get some
slave trade did bring a certain amount movement in the reverse direction, re
of material prosperity to the successful settling blacks from America in Guinea.
slaver states, the Ashanti of the Gold Needless to say, the effort was never
Coast for example, as well as leading to more than token and though it is the
the introduction of new food crops such foundation myth of Liberia that its in
as manioc and maize, that resulted in an habitants are descended from liberated
overall improvement in native diet. On American slaves, no more than lO,000ex-
the whole it seems best to take the American Negroes ever set foot there.
figures at their face value and accept The only group with a reasonable claim
that the West African population never to be descended from them are the
S S ~ S 5000000000000020000
50 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 U 0 U, 0) 0 tO 5
stopped growing but that at the peak of 20,000 Amerieo-Liberians who run
the trade, in the later 18th century, the the country today and now, as always,
242 Africa Area 8
keep the I75m natives at arms length. east, where they ruled the block of ESTIMATED POPULATIONS FOR THE PRESENT-DAY STATES
The colonial period in West African densely populated territory that con OFWESTAFRICA 1925 75
history is comparatively brief. The slave stitutes present-day Nigeria.
trade had been run from a series of forts Population growth certainly ac Population
on the coast, with nobody making any celerated during the colonial period, Colonial project ton
attempt to exert administrative control with the West African total rising from status. Population for the
over the interior. The European 27m in 1900 to 35m in 1925 and 51m by Area first half (millions) year 2000
scramble for Africa in the period 1890 1950. It has accelerated again since 000 km2 of 20th c. 1925 1950 1975 (millions)
1910 completely changed this picture, independence and the rate of increase is
the whole area, bar Liberia, being now so high that the population can be Senegal 1% Fr. 16 20 4.5 90
divided between Britain, France, expected at least to double in the next Gambia 10 Br. 02 03 0-5 1.0
Germany and Portugal. The Portuguese twenty-five years. This means that by
holding was limited to the area of the year 2000 West Africa will contain
Bissau 36 Port. 04 05 06 08
Guinea-Bissau, the German was taken about 20Gm people and Nigeria, already
over by the French and British during the most populous state in Africa, will Guinea
the First World War. In the final have some l2Om inhabitants. The other Conakry 246 Fr. 20 22 4.5 90
division the French ended up with states, as the table shows, are too small Sierra
nearly half the territory but little more for any one of them to have reached Leone 72 Br. 17 19 29 60
than a quarter of the people. This was even 20m by then though their ag
because the main British slice was in the gregate will be of the order of SOm. Liberia III Independent 07 10 -8 36
Ivory Coast 322 Fr. 2-0 30 6-7 I 10
(ape Verde Islands Upper Volta 274 Fr. 25 31 5-8 110
The Cape Verde islands, a dozen islands with a total surface area of 4.000 km2. lie Ghana 239 Br. 25 4.5 98 180
400 miles to the west of Cape Verde, itself the westernmost point of Africa (see Fig. Togo 57 Fr. 08 10 2-2 5-0
3.1). They were discovered by the Portuguese in 1456 and settled by them from 1462 Benin 113 Fr. 1-0 1.5 30 60
on. The population, mostly consisting of African slaves, reached 10.000 by 1580,
20,000 by 1700 and 60,000 by 1800. In the first half of this century it seemed to have
levelled off at 0l5m, but since 1950 it has doubled to the present lotal of 03m. Total Area
Africans account for more than 95, of this. 8a GUINEA 1.676

Primary Sources and Bibliography

The earliest quantitative data for West Africa derive from the slave trade. The subject
has recently been thoroughly resurieyed by * Curtin, whose i,ork is an essential basis
for any discussion of the subject. The effect of the trade is put into its quantitative
context by J. D. Fage in his contribution to The Population Factor in African Studies Total area 8
(ed. R. P. Moss and R. J. A. R. Rathbone. 1975). Other rise there is Per) little indeed WEST
for the pre-colonial period. For the British section ulat there is is collected itt AFRICA 2,600
* Kuczynskis first volume.

Front 1900 on. all the official handbooks give population figures. Up to the Second
World War these are o,,l,- educated guesses. fbr the actual head counts litre still
restricted to a fm coastal areas and the totals were based on nothing more than the On the ,iMole. allowing Jbr a rectsonahle rate oJ growth, these counts have confirmed
local administrators ideas of how many people lived in their areas. The first proper pre-war estimates. The Liherians turned oztt to haie bee,, exaggerating lore than
census was held in 1948 in Ghana, at that time known as the Gold Coast. Following this so,newhat (1962 esti,nate 2-5,,t: census return 1-016m) hut to those with e.-perience of
there was a good count in Guinea-Bissau in 1950. a partial count in Nigeria in 19523 the Liberian administration often refrrred to as Africa :~ best argutncnt Jhr colon
and good counts in Liberia in 1962 and in Gambia and Sierra Leone in 1963. ialist,, titis as ttot ati entire surprise. The real shocker was Nigeria s second count.

244 245
held after the country gained its independence in 1962. for this showed such a large
population increase that either the 19523 figures or the new ones had to be wrong. AFRICA AREA 9 Equatoria,
Because the political incentive to return inflated figures Has clear Nigerias federal
constitution means that the power, the glory and the other good things in government
Zaire and Angola
are distributed to the individual states in proportion to their population it ti-as gen 5-35m km2
erally assumed that the new figures it-ere too high. A recount Has ordered for the next
year hut no it everyone it-as in on the game and the 1963 return showed a large further 9a Equatoria l-75m km2
increase. And so it has gone on: the last census in the series, in 1973, yieldedafigure of 9b Zaire 2-35m km2
79,,~ as against the UNs esti,nate. already on the high side because it teas based on the 9c Angola I25m km2
1963 returns, of 59,;;. For a s,nipathetic account nj this situation see the article hi
The basin of the Zaire the Congo as it and the rain-forest where the Pygmies
R. M. Prothero in the Geographical Magazine entitled Nigeria Loses Count (1974).
used to be called is the homeland of had found their final refuge. By AD I,
The current situation is that Gambia (second census 1973), Sierra Leone, Liberia,
the Pygmies. This is an ancient race of when this phase was complete and the
Ghana (repeat censuses 1960 and 1970), Gitinea-Bissau (repeal censuses 1960 and
mankind which has probably had the van of the Bantu advance had passed
1970) and Togo and Ivory Coast (first censuses 1970 and 1975 respectively) have
same range for many thousands of into East Africa, the population of the
established their population figures with reasonable certainty: that Senegal, Guinea
yearsever since the last Ice Age at the area as a whole was over a million.
Conakr;, Upper Volta and Beni,, hat-c take~z sample censuses (in thc period
very least. There are about 200000 The early centuries of the Christian
195561. as (lid Ivory Coast) which hate established the o,der of tnagnitude oj their
Pygmies today: when they were the sole era saw the Bantu now possessors of
populations and that no one knott-s it-hat thc popukttion of Nigeria Lc to tiithin IOn,.
inhabitants of the area there may have iron tools penetrating the rain-forest
been a few more but there is no reason and completing their conquest of Area
to believe that these simple hunting folk 9. Population totals mounted steadily if
ever numbered more than a quarter of a unspectacularly: a rate of increase of
million. We can take 0-2m as the level 0-l4~ per annum, equivalent to a
around which the population fluctuated doubling of the total every 500 years, is
during the period 10,000 to 1,000 BC. sufficient to transform the million of AD
Between 1000 Bc and AD I two new I into the 8m we can reasonably
peoples started to infiltrate the area. postulate for AD 1500. After this date
One group Came from the Sudan in the there will have been a slight acceler
north-east, where a pastorally based ation, for the Portuguese discovery of
style of life had been evolved by the the EquatoriaZaircAngola coastline
Nilo-Saharan tribes: this movement (147286) was quickly followed by
never got further than the northern regular contact between this part of
fringe of the area, the only part suitable Africa and the rest of the world. By
for pastoralism. and even in this 1900 the population had reached 15m
restricted territory the density of popu this despite the fact that the contact had
lation remained low. All in all the total turned out to be almost exclusively a
addition to the population as a result matter of removing as many of the
of the arrival of the Nilo-Saharans is natives as possible and selling them as
unlikely to have exceeded 100,000. slaves in the New World.
Much more important was the The slave trade in this area was
invasion of the Bantu. From Nigeria, primarily a Portuguese venture, with
where they had evolved their agricul Brazil as its major market Up to 1810 it
tural system, the Bantu percolated was overshadowed by the West African
through the Cameroon highlands into sector and contributed only 4 out of
the north of the Zaire basin. Working every 10 slaves shipped across the
their way eastward they soon occupied Atlantic roughly speaking 130,000 out
the whole zone between the Nib of 330,000 In the 16th century, 630,000
Saharan territory in the extreme north out of I-Sm in the 17th century and 3m
out of 7Sm in the 18th century. Alter 19th century. Germany took over the
the official abolition of the slave trade in
the early 19th century the south Atlantic
Cameroons, the French the rest of
Equatoria (bar the Spanish enclave of
Equatoria, Zaire and
route came into its own. Plying between Rio Muni) and the Belgians Zaire. The Angola
complaisant Portuguese officialdom in Portuguese contented themselves with
Angola and eager plantation owners in occupying the hinterland of their long-
Brazil, the contraband slavers of the established settlements on the Angolan
south Atlantic shipped l3m of the 2m coast. The First World War saw the
slaves taken from Africa between 1810 French expel the Germans from the
and 1870. Cameroons: the aftermath of the Second CENTRAL
Impressive though these figures are World War saw the French leaving 7-i REPUBLIC
they probably had little effect on the Equatoria (1960), the Belgians leaving ~ Bangut
growth rate of the native population. Zaire (1960) and the Portuguese leaving 50 EQUAT Yaound, 4,
The natural increase was probably of Angola (1975). Only Angola had ORIAL
the order of 2030,000 a year and it was acquired a significant number of white __j
Princii~ - . ---.
only during the boom years of the late settlers and the Portuguese community Libreville ~CONGO
18th century that the number of people there. 0Sm strong at its peak in the GABON
removed by the slave traders exceeded early 1970s, dwindled rapidly as the
country moved towards independence. ~azzavill ZAIRE
20,000. Even then there was almost cer 40
tainly suflicient reproductive slack avatl During the first half of the 20th cen Kinshasha(Leopoldville)
able to make up the loss. As the slavers tury the population of Area 9 grew from
took three males for every female, poly lSm to 22m: in the period between 1950
gamy was one obvious way of making and 1975 it put on another 18m to reach
good: the new food crops introduced 40m. If things go on at this rate the
from the Americas made the task easier. figure will be 70m or more by the year
The colonial period begins in the late 2000. 30


ANGOLA 1900 1975
1900 1925 1950 /975 Republic 063m km2. pop. l7m;

9a Equatoria 4 5 6 10 Equatorial Guinea 003m km2. pop.

03m; Gabon 0-26m km2. pop. 0Sm;
9b Zaire 8 9 12 24 and Congo 034m km2. pop. l3m.
9c Angola 3 3S 4 6 There are two offshore islands, Sao
Thom and Princip (combined area
15 175 22 40 1.000 km). They were uninhabited
when the Portuguese discovered them at
The present-day division of Equatoria is the end of the 15th century: by 1800
into five states whose areas and 1975 they had a population of 12,000 which
populations are as follows: Cameroon had grown to 40,000 by 1900. Today the
048m km2. pop. 63mz Central African figure is 75.000.

Primary Sources and Bibliography

There haie bee,, counrrisricle counts in Equatorial Guinea (1950 and 1960), Congo o o 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
(/974) and Angola (decennialli three 1940). hut onl; sample cv,it?it5 in rise Ca,neroons ~ 000000000b~Q~
~ 0 t
(/960 61). the Central African Republic (1959 60), Ga/urn (1960 61) and Zaire CC) 0
(1955 8). 1975~~1

248 Africa Area 9

AFRICA AREA 10 East Africa
I-72m km
East Africa
lOa Uganda frZIm km2
lOb Kenya fr57m km2
tOe Tanzania fr89m km2
lOd Rwanda and U ANDA KENYA
Burundi O-05m km2
Bushmen were the sole inhabitants of Towards the end of the t8th century the
East Africa until well on in the last mil Arabs did step up the scale of their
lennium BC. Their culture was that of operations. By the I 780s the export rate
Stone Age hunters and gatherers, their had risen to 2,000 a year, by the early
numbers meagre, certainly no more than 1800s it was more than 3,000. To get
100,000 in all. This remained the total this number of captives the slavers had
population of the region as late as 500 to send marauding expeditions into the
ac, when the first groups of cattle- interior. At the peak of the trade, in the
herders moved in from the north. 1850s and 60s, these raids regularly
The various tribes of cattle-drivers, reached across the whole width of East
who were of Cushite or Nilo-Saharan Africa and some 20,000 people were
stock, didnt have the pastures of East being taken to the coast for sale every
Africa to themselves for long By AD I year. Double this figure to allow for the
advance parties of Bantu were crossing loss of life caused by the raids and the
the present-day Zaire Uganda frontier lotal is probably big enough lo stunt
and settling on the shores of the eastern the growth of the areas population, even
lakes, As agriculturalists, the Bantu though this was now more than tOm.
naturally lived at higher densities than Even so the effect was momentary. In
the pastoralists and by the time they had 1873 the British. bit of (he moral
spread over the whole area which took lbrvour that marks reformed sinners.
till about AD 500 they comfortably forced the local Arabs to give up the
outnumbered them. The total popula trade and Zanzibar, the last great slave
tion will have been over the million mart in the world, shut up shop.
mark by then: by AD 1000 it will have The British action heralded the begin
further increased to 3m. ning of East Africas colonial era.
East Africas isolation from the rest Initially the 13m people that the area
of the world had ceased to be absolute contained in 1900 were divided between
by this time. Arab seamen, shopping for the British (67m: 3m in present-day
ivory and slaves, began regular visits Uganda, 3Sm in present-day Kenya and
during the 10th century and by the 14th 02m in the Zanzibar islands) and the
century there was a string of small trad Germans (63m: 38m in Tanganyika
ing posts along the coast. Their effect and 2Sm in Rwanda and Burundi).
was strictly limited: the slaves exported After the First World War the British
amounted to a few hundred annually, took over Tanganyika and the Belgians
perhaps as many as a thousand in an Rwanda and Burundi. Population 0 0 0 0 0 0 Q 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
exceptional year, but even the higher growth was rapid in all parts and by the 00 ~

~0 82 ~ 00
0 ~



figure is of no significance in relation to early 1960s, when the east African states 1975i
overall population figures of 4m or Sm. of today achieved their independence,
250 Africa Area 10
their numbers were double or more than able religious tension between Moslems
double what they had been at the begin- (5c of the population) and Christians
fling of the century. They have con (60~) and this is a potential source of
tinued to grow at an accelerating rate trouble everywhere in East Africa,
since, so the area seems likely to contain which has a large number of Christians
something like lOOm people by the year (48c) and a smaller but increasing per
2000. centage of Moslems (l2~).
Most East Africans are Bantu, the Alien minorities include Ol2m Arabs
proportion varying from 70, In (mostly in Zanzibar). 0-Im Somali (in
Uganda and Kenya to 9000 in Rwanda northern Kenya) and 0-3m Indians (in
and Burundi and 95c in Tanzania. East Tanzania and Kenya). The Indians,
African society, however, is less har originally brought in by the British to
monious than these figures suggest. For run the railways, have established them
several centuries the Bantu peasantry of selves as the most successful and
Burundi have been ruled by the Nib unpopular of these groups. At one
Saharan Tutsi even though they out time there were another 0-I m in Uganda
number their masters by nearly ten to but in 1972 they were expelled en masse
one. Until a spectacularly bloody up and without warning: most of them
rising in 1962 the same was true in ended up in Britain,
Rwanda. In Uganda there is consider-

Primary Sources
Thefirst esiima tes of the population of East Africa li-crc made in the years inunediately
folio wing the Anglo-German occupation of the area- By the beginning of the Firs!
World War the estimates crc reasonahi, well grounded in administrative experience
and there had act uallr been a count in Zanzibar (1910). The firs! count on the mainland
n-as carried out in Uganda in 1931. Thefirst census in the area li-as a simultaneous joint
effort by the athninistrations of Uganda, Kenya. Tanganvika and Zanzibor in 1948.
The second round was held in sequence in Tanganyika (1957), Zanzibar (1958).
Uganda (1959) and Kenya (1962) and a third in Tanzania (1967) and Uganda and
Kenya (1969). In Rwanda and Burundi there have been onlt sample cowits.

East Africa, Its People and Resources (ed. W. T. W. Morgan, 1972) has a chapter on
demography by J. G. C. Blacker n-hick gives all the data for Uganda. Kenya and
Tanzania. For an excellent account of the Ugandan and Ken ran populations in this
century see An Economic History of Kenya and Uganda ki R. M. A. van
Zwanenherg and Anne King (1975). For Rwanda and Burundi see the report by the UN
Department of Social Affairs. Population Division (Pop. Si,tdies No. 15)., The
Population of Ruanda-Urundi (1953).

4fl-ket Aires !Oct ci

AFRICA AREA 11 South-Central South Central-

Africa Africa
1-26m 1cm
Ila Zambia O-75m km2
fib Rhodesia O-39m km2 12?
lic Malawi O-IZm km2

The aborigines of south-central Africa, tion of the area has grown rapidly!
the Bushmen, never numbered more indeed its rate of growth has steadily
than 75,000 and it was only with the accelerated. The increase is slowest in ZAMBIA
arrival of the first Bantu in the 3rd cen Malawi, which has the most limited Lusaka
tury AD that the total for the area rose resources so much so that at any one
to the 100,000 mark. Even then popula time 025m ol its adult males are work Salisbury
tion growth remained astonishingly ing in the mines of Zambia and South
slow: there could hardly have been more Africa. Even so, Malawis population RHODESIA
than 0-Sm people in AD 1000 or Im in has quadrupled in the last fifty years to
AD 1500 because there were only 2m in reach Sm today. Rhodesia, from being
1900. This is a remarkably poor perfor the least populous, has become, at 6 Im,
mance for an agricultural people in a the most populous It is also unique in
virgin and not inhospitable land. that sufficient British settled there in the
In the l890s the British established a colonial period to create a white settler 32?
protectorate over the whole of south- problem. By 1965 there were 023m of
central Africa. They divided it into three them, enough to seize control of the
colonial units which they called country and so far hang on to it.
Northern Rhodesia, Southern Rhodesia However, their chances of continuing to
and Nyasaland and which are now do so for much longer must be rated as
known asZambia, Rhodesia and Malawi. slim: they constitute less than 5, of the
Malawi, the southernmost segment of population and even this low percentage
the Rift Valley, had the high population is declining.
density that has long characterized this Trouble in Rhodesia has made diffi
strip of territory: though its area is less culties for Zambia: conversely the
than 10, of the whole it contained well resolution of the Rhodesian problem
over a third of the areas population in would ease Zambias political and econ
1900. The remaining two thirds of the omic situation. With more resources
2m total was spread fairly evenly across than most African states specifically
Rhodesia and Zambia. As Zambia is by the mines of the copper belt and with
far the larger of the two this meant that not too many people currently only
it had 075m people to Rhodesias 0-Sm. 49m this is an African country with
During the 20th century the popula better prospects than most.
1.2515 ~3.25
Primary Sources and Bibliography
0 Q 0 0 00 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
The various estimates and counts made by the British colonial authorities during the 00 fl 000000000 Ou~ 0 tOO tOO 0 tOO
period 1901 56 are given in Table 1 of the introduction to the report on the 1956 census a

of all three territories (published in Salisbury, Rhodesia, in 1960). Since then there have 1975
been censuses in Zambia in 1963 and 1969. in Rhodesia in 1962 and 1969 and in Africa Area 11
Malawi in 1966.
AFRICA AREA 12 Mozambique
O78m km Mozambique

Mozambiques original inhabitants were Reunion and Mauritius and naturally
Bushmen, about 50,000 of them. They looked to Mozambique to meet their
were displaced by Bantu, who entered needs in this department. By the end of
the area from the north and west in the the century the total annual shipment of
4th and SthcenturiesAD. ByAD 1000 the slaves from Mozambique had reached
Bantu had multiplied up to a third of a 10,000. And there it stayed, even after
million and the Bushmen had vanished: the oflicial abolition of the traffic in
Mozambique has been a Bantu country 1810. The British Navys small anti
ever since. The name, however, is slavery squadron was fully occupied off
Arabic: it comes from the first point of West Africa, so the Portuguese in
contact with the outside world, the trad Mozambique were able to supply their
ing post established by the Arabs of compatriots in Brazil without interfer
Zanzibar in the 13th century. ence from anyone. Mozambiques slice
The Portuguese replaced the Arabs in of the shrinking Atlantic traffic rose ten
Mozambique town and indeed as mas fold, to a quarter. Between 1810 and
ters of the whole coast in the early lath 1860 (when the anti-slaving laws were
century. Most of the Bantu there were finally made effective) 0Sm slaves were
about Im of them by this time were shipped from Mozambique for a
quite unaffected by the change, though cumulative total of 09m.
the Portuguese did attempt to establish The late-l9th-century scramble for
some sort of control of the interior, par Africa by the European powers forced
ticularly along the line of the Zambesi. the Portuguese to define the frontiers of
They were hoping to find gold, but Mozambique and establish control over
didnt. Nor did they do very well out of the hinterland. As elsewhere in the con
the slave trade. Mozambique was off the tinent the imposition of an effective
main slaving routes and its contribution administration was followed by a
to the Atlantic traffic initially amounted marked upturn in the rate of population
to only about 2~~ equivalent to an ex growth: in the first half of the century
port rate of 100 or so a year in the 16th numbers increased from 3m to 575m
century and no more than 600 a year and today on the eve of independence
even in the 17th century. the total is 9m. All are black; the
150,000 Portuguese settlers all got out as 5
tn the 18th century there was a
sharp acceleration in the local traflic in soon as the handover of power was an 4
slaves: the French had settled nearby nounced, 3
2 (2.5)
Primary Sources 1 2 II
The first in what has become a decennial series of counts as rake,, in 1940. the quality 0 0 - 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0
of these has gradually improved and it is fair to regard the 1970 count as a census. 0 0 0 0 0 0 c 0 to 0
w to 0
to 0
to 0
to 0
Before 1940 we have to rely on official esrttnares: these are only of any value within this 14, ~ 1975_.l
256 Africa Area 12
AFRICA AREA 13 Southern Africa The Union of S.Africa
2-67m km
Swaziland & Lesotho

13a The Union of South Africa,

Swaziland and
Lesotho 25
I-27m km
13a-I The Union 1-22m 1cm
13a-2 Swaziland O-02m km
13a-3 Lesotho &03m km2

Bushmen, about 75.000 of them. had the lish a revictualling station for its mer
south of Africa to themselves until the chant ships. By 1700 the Cape Colony
first Bantu cultivators crossed the had grown to 1,250 Europeans plus an
Limpopo around AD 500. By AD 1000. equal number of Africans, either
when the total population had risen to coloureds (the local European
300,000, Bantu outnumbered Bushmen Hottentot mixture) or imported Bantu
and the disproportion was increasing. slaves. At this time the remainder of the
The line of the Bantu advance is western half of the country contained
marked by the Drakensberg, the moun some 50,000 Bushmen and Hottentots.
tain range that forms southern Africas The density of settlement in the eastern
backbone. Running parallel to the east half was of a quite different order: there
coast the Drakensberg catches sufficient were now no less than a million Bantu
rainfall to change a naturally arid living in the folds of the Drakensberg,
climate into one favourable to agricul cultivating its valleys and spilling on to
ture. This was what the Bantu needed the veld.
and the eastern half of the country soon The 18th century was not a time of
became their preserve: the western half great change in southern Africa: the
was left to the Bushmen and an inter Dutch multiplied up to 22,000 and
mediate group, the Hottentots, who increased their slaves in proportion, to
were Bushmen who had learnt how to 25,000. The number of Bushmen and
herd cattle. Hottentots slowly fell to 25,000: the
In 1487 Bartholomew Diaz dis number of Bantu slowly rose to lSm.
covered the Cape of Good Hope: in By contrast the 19th century was an era
1652 the first ninety European colonists of dramatic upheaval. In the course of o 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0-0 0 0 0
o o 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 10 0
10 0 in o
10 0
were put ashore there by the Dutch East the Napoleonic wars the British took 00 -4 401
India Company which wanted to estab over the Cape and when the war ended 1975~~1

258 Africa Area 13a

British immigrants started to pour in. ourers. The Bushman and Hottentot separate provinces plus a hit of back extrapolation for the Bantu areas that still
The Cape Dutch the Boers didnt populations had dwindled into extinc retained their independence. These provincial censuses were held in the following
like this at all: they didnt like British tion. iears:
laws, they didnt like British people. In The Boer War (1899-1902) which
the 1830s some 12,000 of them trekked ended with the British incorporating the Cape 1865. 1875, 1891
off to the north and, beyond the area of Orange Free State and Transvaal in the Natal 1867, 1875. 1891
British control, established what even Union of South Africa no longer ap Orange Free State 1880, 1890
tually became the two Boer republics pears the watershed it seemed at the Transvaal 1890 (whites). 1892 (others)
of the Orange Free State and the time. The British Empire has vanished.
Transvaal, The British also expanded: in the Boers (who constitute 60, of the In all cases proper census procedure as lhnited to the iihite population atid the number
the l840s they set up the colony of white population) are in complete con of natives iras either obtained hi indirect ,nea,,,s such as hut counts, or hi adnutu
Natal on the east coast and they trol and it is their ideas that have deter strative estimates.
advanced the frontier of the Cape mined the Unions distinctive social Union censuses have been held in 1904, 1911, 1921, 1936. 1946, 1951, 1960 and
Colony across the Great Fish River, the structure, in particular its policy of 1970.
Iraditional limit of the Bantu zone. apartheid (separation of the races). This During the years 1800 to 1850 population figures can on/i he informed guesses. In
Nearly 2 million Bantu found them means that the Union is run by and for general the evidence suggests that the Bantu peoples Here multiplying rapid/v. certain/i
selves being pushed back into the its 4Im whites, with the 23m Cape rapidly enough to n,ore than make up for any losses iniolied in the (real ion of the Zuhit
Drakensberg by the Boers on the west coloureds, 075m Indians and 18m state in the 1820s. In/act our figure of ISi,, for 1800 can he taken as a high estimate
and the English on the south, At mid- blacks, who together constitute more ,,iore likely to need reiising doirn that, up. This is a point north icr; high
century there were 100.000 whites in the than 80, of its population, having no figures for the beginning of the century up to 5,,; have been proposed as part of a
Cape. 5,000 in Natal and 30,000 in the say and little status in the land of their theory that in 1800 the Bantu Here thickli settled in the Orange Free State and
Boer republics the number of blacks birth. Theoretically the lSm Bantu in Transvaal areas and that this population was later annihilated hi marauding tribes
had risen to l85m. the decolonized and independent pushed out of the Drakensherg h; the Zulu king Shaka. It is all most improbable and
The pace of change accelerated in the enclaves of Swaziland and Lesotho are a seetns to he political/i inspired, a counterblast to Boer propaganda about the Orange
second half of the century. Attracted by lot better off but they are as close- Free State and Transvaal being iiithout ant Bantu at all when the trekkers ,noied in.
the discovery of diamonds (1867) and pinioned by poverty as the Bantu of the Neither of the e,vtreme views is real/i tenable. It is like/i that there were about haifa
gold (1886). European immigrants came Union are by the South African police. million Bantu in the area of the Boer republics during the ear/i 19th centuri (near/i all
in in larger numbers than ever, a total of The different reproduction rates of of the,,, in the Transiaal) and that the number nas increasing, it is not reasonable to
half a million (70, British) arriving be the races of southern African commun helieie that there had ever been as tnany as 2Stn or less that, 0 In,,
tween 1850 and 1900. This brought the ities suggest that the present political Presun,ab/i because it is such a political hot potato nohodi has attempted a syn
white population to more than a million structure can hardly be maintaincd be thesis of the population data for the 19th century. The figures for the tiro enclaies of
and made it for the first time a respect yond the end of this century. By then Lesotho and Sna:ila,,d are giieti in Kuc:inski. Vol. 2.
able proportion roughly a fifth of the there will be 5Sm whites as against 4Sm
whole. Besides its I 2m whites and Cape coloureds. ISm Asians and 36m
375m Bantu, southern Africa at this Bantu (not counting another 3m in
time the end of the 19th century also Swaziland and Lesotho) and the non
contained 04m Cape coloureds and white majority will have increased to
0-Im Indians, mostly indentured lab- near 90,. 18b Namibia and Botswana I4oom km2
13b-l Namibia (South-West Africa) O825m km2
Primary Sources and Bibliography l3b-2 Botswana (Bechuanaland) O575m km
The records of the Cape Colony are as full a.c anione could irish hut 0/course app/i
on/i to the frontiers of the time. The result tc that though lie know the history of the Although Namibia and Botswana lie southern Botswana, the Bushmen have
whie population from 1652 to the present in adequate detail (see the article h R. Ross north of the Union of South Africas found their last refuge, Today there are
in Population Studies 29 (2) 1975), total populat ion figures become direct/i available Cape Province they constitute the real about 50.000 of them (30,000 in
only with the Union census series that begins in 1904. We can, however, get a fair idea terminus of the continent, Here, par Botswana. 20.000 in Namibia). the only
of tile population in the second half of the 19th cent un by using the censuses of the ticularly in the Kalahari Desert of survivors of a population that once
260 261
numbered a third of a million and tion has risen from 0-2m to 0-9m and
roamed freely across the whole of eas
tern and southern Africa.
Botswanas from 012m to 0-66m (see
SouthWest Africa &
The Bantu moved into the area from
the north and north-east in the period
AD 500 1500: the movement was on a
very small scale, for when the colonial BOTSWANA 1900 1975
period began in the 1880s there were 1900 1925 1950 1975
only about a quarler of a million Bantu
in Namibia (German-controlled) and Namibia 0-200 0-250 0400 0890
Botswana (British-controIlcd) together. Botswana 0-120 0-175 0-310 0-660
The 20th century has seen a rapid
increase tn numbers. Namibias popula- TOTAL 0-320 0-425 0-7 10 1-550 - SOUTH
Primary Sources and Bibliography K4L4HARI
Estbnates of ,Va,nibia s population ie,-e published by the Gennans front 1900 on. In
1915 the athninisrranon of tile count?-) it-as taken over by i/ic Union of Sour/i Africa,
situ-c ,ihen the estimates hate gradually been supplemented bj counts in each of the
Unions census years. By 1951 the proportion counted reached 50, and the figures can
non be regarded as entirely reliable,
Estimates of Botsnanas population nere published by rite Bitt is/i fions 1904 on:
there here counts in 1936 and 1946 and censuses have been taken in 1956, 1964 and
1970, See * Kuczynski, Vol. 2.


0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
00 fl 000000000010 Q tO 0100100100
0 t ~ 0
00 -I ot
Africa Area Jib
AFRICA AREA 14 The Islands of the
Western Indian
O-6m km2

14a Madagascar O59m km2

The island of Madagascar received its own devices until the coming of the
first colonists at the beginning of the French.
Christian era. They came not from The first French move was made in
Africa but from Indonesia and the voy 1643 when Fort Dauphin was estab
age across the 3,000 miles of Indian lished on the south-east corner of the
Ocean that separate the two must have island. The hope was that East
been either totally accidental or of the Indiamen would find it useful as a re
blind migration type usually associated victualling station. However, it soon
with Polynesians rather than became clear that the nearby island of
Indonesians. Intended or not, the colon Reunion was far better suited for this
ization of Madagascar was successful; function. Fort Dauphin was abandoned
by the end of the 1st millennium the and the French connection was reduced
island contained some 02m Malagasy. to visits by slavers operating from
all descended from the few boatloads of Reunion and, later, Mauritius. About a
Indonesians who had arrived over the third of the slave population of Reunion
previous ten centuries. No one in and Mauritius apparently came from
Indonesia, indeed no one anywhere, Madagascar, which means that the
knew of the colonys existence. islands rate of export in the 18th cen
The era of total isolation ended in the tury will have been around 500 1.000 a
14th century, when the Arabs trading year. This is of no numerical significance
along Africas east coast finally got this in relation to a population that must
far south, The Arabs introduced two now have been over a million and any
new elements into the islands ethno how it is likely that many, maybe most,
graphy themselves and their Negro of the slaves exported from Madagascar
slaves yet neither Ihe newcomers nor had been brought over from the main
their commerce really prospered. land of Africa in the first place.
Malagasy society was too unsophis Probably the most significant effect of
ticated to generate much in the way of the slave trade on the islands popula
demand, there were no natural resources tion was the appearance of a definite
of significance and slaves were more Bantu element as a result of escapes and 2.75
readily obtained from the mainland. emancipations at the slaving ports.
Even the Portuguese, who in 1500
became the first Europeans to recon
France resumed official contact with
Madagascar in the 1880s; this time she 00- 000000000000000 0 0 0 0
II 0
00 fl 000000000 0h~ 0 U Oh 0 tO 0 U 0
noitre the island, could find nothing to came to stay. In 1895 a French ex

detain them. The Malagasy 07m of peditionary force landed on the island
them by this time were left to their and reduced the Malagasy who at this
264 ,4fka .4 icc? 14a
time numbered about 275m to colon
ial status. During the subsequent period
1960. there were Sm of them. Now, in
common with most underdeveloped
14d Mauritius 1,865 km2
the conventional wisdom was that countries, an accelerating rate of
Madagascar was underpopulated: there population increase is a factor threaten The Dutch planted a colony on 60.000 were slaves whose Origins lay in
was even talk of recolonizing the island ing future prosperity, for the current Mauritius in 1638. It never prospered Madagascar or Mozambique.
with more prolific peoples from Africa population of 8m is likely to have and the few hundred souls there were In 1810 the British took Mauritius.
or Asia. Actually the Malagasy were multiplied up to l5m by the end of the evacuated in 1710 when the success of They prohibited first the slave trade,
reproducing at a perfectly respectable century. the Cape Colony made its revictualling then slavery, introducing Indian coolies
rate and, by the time the French left in function superfluous. A few years later instead 300,000 of them between 1834
the island was settled by Frenchmen and 1910. As a result the islands
from nearby Reunion: they successfully population zoomed from 176,000 in
Primary Sources developed the islands present sugar 1850 to 370,000 in 1900 and 500,000
plantation economy. In 1750 the islands (two thirds Indian) in 1950. The present
The first population esthuate produced by the French administration as based on a
population was 10,000; by 1800 it had figure is 900.000,
census of taxpayers in 1900; later estimates were based on greater administrative
grown to 60.000. Nearly 50,000 of the
experience but on equally indirect data. The situation has improved a bit late4. in 1966
a sample census was taken which is estimated to have covered about i2~ of the islands
popu/at ion. However, there has been no true census to date.
Populations in thousands, to the nearest 10.000
1500 1600 1700 1750 1800 1850 19(X) 1925 1950 975
14b The Comoro Islands 2,170 km3 COMORO5 tO 20 30 40 50 60 80 120 160 300
REUNION 20 70 120 180 190 260 500
The Comoros, which lie in the Negro and Malagasy underdogs ruled MAURITIUS 10 60 180 370 390 500 900
Mozambique channel between Africa by a few Arab overdogs. Annexed by SEYCHELLES 20 30 40 60
and Madagascar. were probably unin the French in the 19th century, they
habited when discovered in the 14th were estimated to have a population of The Seychelles, a group of ninety-two islands and islets in the Indian Ocean with a
century by Arab seamen from Zanzibar. 80.000 in 1900. Today the figure is total area of 400 km2. were colonized by the French in the 1770s and annexed by the
Gradually they collected a population of thought to be about 300.000. British in 1810. They then contained a few hundred colonists and a few thousand
Negro slaves. By 1900 the population had grown to 20.000. today it is about 55.000.

Primary Sources and Bibliography

14c Reunion 2,511 km2
The precolonial population of the Comoros could be a subject for controversy if anyone
Previously uninhabited, Reunion was in 1848 indentured labourers from was interested; there are no data bearing directly on the subject and numbers have to be
colonized by the French in 1665. The India. Indo-China and China were inferred front general considerations and back projections from the first French
intention was to provide a revictualling brought in to work the sugar planta ~vti,,iates. Bt cont,-a.ct the ,iiatcrial on Reunion and Maurilius is all one could ifs/i;
station for their East Indiamen. Popula tions which had become and still counts were made right front the start and there is no doubt about the size of the
tion grew from 1,000 in 1700 to 15,000 remain the islands economic raison population of eithcr ctt any time. For a soup/c tabulation ofthcfiguresfbr RCutno,, and
(two thirds of them slaves) in 1750 and dtre. By 1900 the population was Mauritius (ctncl the Seychelles) see the statistical appendix in Auguste Toussaint
65.000 (three quarters of them slaves) in 175,000; today it is over haIfa million. Histoire des lIes Mascareignes (1972). We have been unable to find anything on the
1800. Following the abolition of slavery Comoros beyond the material in the standard handbooks.
Part Four

The Amer cas



9 Fig. 4.1 The Americas subdivision hi area

The Americas 40m km2

The land bridge between north-east Asia and north-west America, cur
rently submerged under the Bering Strait, is the starting point for the
population history of the American continent. Before the last Ice Age
began no man had ever crossed it and there was no such thing as an
American. By the time the Ice Age was over and the land bridge finally
disappeared beneath the waves it had served its purpose: the last of the
habitable continents had received its inoeulum of Horno sapiens.
The land bridge emerged in the Ice Age because the immense quantities
of water locked up in the ice caps meant that the level of the sea was lower
than today. But one of these same ice caps usually blocked the Alaskan end
of the land bridge so that there were actually only three periods during the
60,000-year span of the last Ice Age when the bridge could be used to enter
America. According to geologists these occurred in 35 30,000 BC, 25
20,000 Bc and, comparatively briefly, around 10,000 BC. Despite many
claims to the contrary there is no convincing case for any settlement in
America earlier than 10,000 BC, so it looks very much as though it was
during the third period that the successful colonization was made. The
credit should probably go to a band of Siberian mammoth-hunters
prepared to follow their mammoth and their hunches further than
Whether or not they were the first men ever to set foot on the continent,
these Americans of the 10th millennium BC were quite certainly the first to
be fruitful and multiply. During the next ten centuries their numbers
rocketed from less than 10,000 to more than 100,000 and they began to
penetrate into every corner of the land mass. They also killed off most of
the big game: of the various elephants, camels, horses, ground sloths and
bison that they preyed on, all bar one species of bison became extinct over
the next few millennia. It was from necessity as much as invention that a
new life style evolved during this period, the more varied pattern of small
game hunting, fishing and general foraging that is labelled mesolithic. By
- s the 6th millennium BC this was the way of life of nearly all the 025m
0 ~fl 0 tfl 0 ~ 0 ~ 0 1St 0
eo t- ~ a~ 0
people living in the New World, only a few thousand on the Great Plains
o 0 -I -~ .02 following the bison and the upper palaeolithic tradition.
The changeover from palaeolithic to mesolithic was soon followed by
Fig. 4.2 The Americas. continental total 271
another, much more important development. People living oft the edible but microbes. Smallpox and measles were unknown in pre-Columban
fruits and roots of the American tropics diseovered that a bit of attention America and Amerindians had no resistance to them. In the course of the
to the right plants at the right time resulted in a big improvement in the 16th century repeated epidemics of these diseases swept through the native
food supply. Knowledge filtered out to the tribes living in the tropical population cutting it back again and again until, towards the end of the
temperate borderlands and they in their turn tried their hand at cultivating period, a new equilibrium was established. The new level was usually about
the local grasses. The end result was the appearance of two societies prac three quarters of the pre-Columban figure, though it could be better or
tising true agriculture, one on the northern tropical temperate border, in worse than this.
meso-America (Mexico and Central America), one on the southern
tropical temperate border, in Peru. The New World had achieved its
neolithic revolution. The pay-off in demographic tetms was continuing
growth to 45m by AD I, 9m by AD 1000 and 14m by 1492.
The end of the 15th century marks the end of this road. By then both
Mexico and Peru had reached a cultural stage equivalent to the Near East
of 2000 BC, and as Fig. 4.3 shows they had achieved comparable popula
tion densities. This means that the Aztec Empire, the final hair-raisingly
cruel expression of meso-American society, had 3m or 4m subjects and the
Inca Empire, its more benevolent Peruvian equivalent, much the same
number. Beyond or between these two along the eastern seaboard of the
USA, in the Caribbean, in south Mexico and central America, in
Venezuela and Colombia, were various predominantly or semi-agricultural
tribes which together added another 5m or 6m to the continental total.
Beyond these were the food-gatherers living in the immense and empty
landscape of the western USA and Canada, in the Brazilian jungles and the Aztec Empii
desolate wastes of the southern Argentine. Altogether, counting every little
group from the Eskimo of the Arctic fringe to the Yahgan of Tierra del
Fuego, there may have been a million of them.
This world, its people and its achievements, were now to be mauled,
degraded and largely destroyed by a handful of ruthless adventurers from
across the Atlantic.
Inca Empi:
The first impact of the Europeans was deadly. Within a century of
Columbus reaching the Antilles the population of the Americas had been Food-gathering only,
density less than 01 per km2
reduced by a fifth. Allowing for the fact that considerable areas and
populations remained (as yet) unaffected by the invasion for example the Predominantly agricultural,
million natives north of the Rio Grande this translates into an average density averaging 04 per km2
drop of about a quarter in the occupied zone with some really catastrophic
declines in particular places. Fully developed agriculture,
It is easy but entirely wrong to blame the Spaniards for this demographic V174Yth~4 average density between I and 3 per km
disaster. Their combination of brutality, cupidity and religiosity make
them popular scapegoats, but they probably killed no more people in the
course of their conquest of the continent than the Aztecs had in their
wars of the preceding quarter century. The killers, in truth, were not men Fig. 4.3 The Americas. agricultural deielopmenr and population densities in AD 1500
272 273
One area that fared much, much worse was the Caribbean. This was
The rule of Spain in the Americas was the rule of an elite: by 1600 some
largely because the individual populations of the islands were relatively 025m Spaniards the successors and descendants of perhaps 01 m trans
small and completely isolated. They were quickly reduced to the low atlantic migrants were established as a master race over 9m natives. The
absolute levels from which recovery is difficult. Here the Spaniards policy 30,000 Portuguese in Brazil formed a similar ruling class, though in their
of rounding up the natives and working them to exhaustion may have been case, because natives were thin on the ground in this part of the Americas,
a significant additional factor, causing the epidemics to spread laster and most of the lower orders consisted of specially imported African slaves.
kill more, cutting the time available for adaptation and so reducing the A quite different concept lay behind the north European colonial effort
time to extinction. For extinction is the late that overtook the natives of of the next half-century. New France, Nova Scotia, New England and New
the Caribbean. By the middle of the 17th century they were a vanished Netherlands were exactly what their names implied all-white commun
race: a community 300,000 strong had been simply wiped out. ities. living by their own labour and intended to grow into replicas of the
In terms of absolute numbers the mortality on the mainland was far mother countries.
greater, the drop there being of the order of 2Sm. However, though the It is instructive to look at present-day America to see how the different
loss was terrible, the size of the populations involved protected them from colonial concepts have fared. As Fig. 4.4 shows, the Amerindian contribu
annihilation and the continuance of the native stock in most areas was tion is effectively restricted to the meso-AmericanAndean strip which
never in any doubt. The two vice-royalties which constituted the Spanish- formed the demographic backbone of pre-Columban America and of the
American Empire were erected on the same demographic foundations as Spanish Empire. The rule of Spain was, in every sense, conservative. The
the Aztec and Inca Empires: indeed it is no exaggeration to say that the rest of the continent has been restocked from Europe or Africa. It is with
structure of post-Columban America in its first hundred years was entirely
these movements the migration from Europe and the slave trade that
determined by the pre-Columban population map. we are now concerned.
The Spaniards and their diseases did not take long to penetrate to the The slave trade first. This grew naturally out of Portugals 15th-century
mainland centres of population. In 1518 Cortez broke through to the Aztec interest in African exploration. The slave trade was one means of financing
capital Tenochtitlan: the next year, as smallpox raged among the defen the voyages, particularly as slaves proved to be an ideal labour force for
ders, he stormed the city house by house. Tenochtitlan became Mexico the sugar plantations Portuguese entrepreneurs set up in Madeira and the
City, the Aztec Empire became the nucleus of the Vice-royalty of New Azores during this period. After its discovery, Brazil turned out to be an
Spain. The Inca Empire lasted until 1532. when Pizarro reached its nor
even better place for growing sugar and ultimately the Caribbean islands
thern frontier. This time the microbes had outmarched the men: the whole proved best of all. At this point the trade ceased to be purely Portuguese.
Andean zone had been ravaged by smallpox several years earlier and its For though the British and French initially founded all-white settlements in
population was already falling when Pizarro moved in for the kill. His
the Caribbean (when they were able to wrest suitable islands from Spain)
overthrow of the Incas cleared the way for the creation of the Vice-royalty
these colonies were, as originally conceived, an economic failure. Only
of Peru. Both vice-royalties expanded their frontiers to include the con when the Brazilian system of sugar growing was introduced did they start
tiguous settled areas, until by the end of the 16th century they contained to flourish.
between them some 9m subjects. As the continental total had now fallen to
The change came around 1650. The earlier settlements contained about
II Sm, this amounted to nearly 80,, of the population of the Americas. 50,000 colonists by then (as many as the colonies in North America) and
At this point the Spanish advance came to a halt. The remaining areas only a few thousand blacks. Now the British, French and Dutch began to
were too thinly populated to support an administration and their exclusion bring in African slaves on a big scale. By the end of the century there were
seemed no blemish on the Iberian claim to ownership of the entire contin
something like 300,000 of them in the Caribbean (relatively few in the
ent. But though the other European powers were prepared to recognize islands that remained to Spain) as against 200,000 Europeans (at least half
that Spain ruled all she occupied they would not concede that her sover of whom were in the Spanish sector). Rapid though this growth may seem
eignty extended over the rest. In the first half of the 17th century the it was completely outclassed by the staggering expansion that took place in
British, French and Dutch all established settlements in the New World in the 18th century, during which some 275m slaves were landed and sold in
defiance of Spanish prohibition. The second phase in Americas colonial
the Caribbean markets. This was the high point, though the 19th century
era had begun. added, legally or illegally, another 075m, which brought the total input for
the area during the period 15001850 to 4m. Disease, brutality and an
unfavourable sex ratio meant that the African population was less than the
cumulative input nearer 3m than 4m and it was only when slavery was
abolished that the Negro community in the Caribbean became self-
sustaining. But by the middle of the 19th century the repopulation of the
Caribbean was essentially complete: the islands, with the exception of
Cuba, had assumed the predominantly African complexion that they have
retained ever since.
Next to the Caribbean the biggest market for slaves was Brazil (see Fig.
4.5). Either the climate or the overseers were kinder here and the Africans
did better. Up to the mid 19th century 35m Negroes were imported: they
always held their own numerically and in the last century have multiplied
rapidly. Where there has been so much mixing of stock it becomes very


USA q imported
20m from
Mexico Venezuela 0-Sm
Caribbean bbean 4m
I 8m

Ecuador, Peru
& Bolivia 3-Sm
1500 population,
square Im
.~ 130m Brazil 0-25m
~20m 1975 population Total
(double scale values 9.5
lOm for USA and Brazil) Brazil million
Amerindian component in 1975
Chile ~

Total 95m

Fig. 4.5 The African contribution to the demography oft/ic Americas: s/are imports
15501850 and the pitcem-da, populations of African stock

Fig. 4.4 The Amnerindian contribution to the demography oft/ic Americas 277
unfavourable sex ratio meant that the African population was less than the
cumulative input nearer 3m than 4m and it was only when slavery was
abolished that the Negro community in the Caribbean became self-
sustaining. But by the middle of the 19th century the repopulation of the
Caribbean was essentially complete: the islands, with the exception of
Cuba, had assumed the predominantly African complexion that they have
retained ever since.
Next to the Caribbean the biggest market for slaves was Brazil (see Fig.
4.5). Either the climate or the overseers were kinder here and the Africans
did better. Up to the mid 19th century 35m Negroes were imported: they
always held their own numerically and in the last century have multiplied
rapidly. Where there has been so much mixing of stock it becomes very


USA q imported
20m from
Mexico Venezuela O5m
Caribbean ribbean 4m
I 8m

Ecuador, Peru
& Bolivia 3 Sm
1500 population,
square Im
.~ 30m Brazil 025m
20m 1975 population Total
(double scale values
tOrn for USA and Brazil) Brazil 9.5
Amerindian component in 1975
Chile .i

Total 95m

Fig. 4.5 The African contribution to the detnographr of the Anierica.c: slave imports
15501850 and the present-dar populations of African stock

Fig. 4.4 TI,c Amerindian contribution to the demography of the Americas 277
the first place it was voluntary: apart from a rew thousand British convicts
difficult to define the black element in the population, but it is generally
agreed that the African contribution to the Brazilian gene pool is about sentenced to transportation in the 17th and 18th centuries all the
500~, which is the equivalent of 50m individuals today. Compare this IS- European settlers went to America because they wanted to. In the second
place the flow was largely to North America: four out or every five or the
fold increase with a less than 5-fold increase of the Caribbean Negro.
migrants landed in the USA or Canada. Lastly it was very slow to get
Best of all for the African was North America. Only about O4m
Africans were landed there and the use of slaves never spread outside the started. Whereas more than three quarters of the Africans brought to the
southern states. Nevertheless the number of black citizens of the United Americas had arrived by 1800, less than 3,, of the Europeans had. The
States today is near enough 25m and. even if this is reduced to a genetic Great Migration is a comparatively recentstory.
equivalent or 20m to allow for the undoubted white component in this To take the early days first. In the 16th century the movement was
coloured population, it still represents an amazing 50-fold increase in two exclusively Iberian, with 100,000 Spanish settling in the Spanish-American
centuries. The North American Negro has become one or Africas most Empire and 10,000 Portuguese in Brazil. Not till the 17th century did the
significant contributions to the demography of the New World. North Europeans join in. Then about 100,000 of them headed for the
When we turn to the European contribution the contrasts are striking. In Caribbean, where most of them died of fever within a few years. At the
same time another 100,000 settled on the Atlantic seaboard of North
America: there life, though harsh, was healthy and the result was a com
munity that was soon multiplying vigorously. By 1700 there were 03m
colonists in North America as compared to Im whites in Latin America.
The net transatlantic movement for the century amounted to some
Canada 9(4 net) 350,000, which means that the cumulative total since Columbuss day was
still under 05m.
q Transit figures for the Atlantic remained within this order of magnitude
~J Mostly British Isles during the 18th century. North America absorbed another 04m migrants
USA via British Isles and ended the period with a white population of 45m. Latin America took
Canada S (nearly half Irish) in 02m immigrants and ended up with a slightly smaller number of whites,
USA DGerm~Y and about 4m. It was not until well into the 19th century that the scale of the
42 ~ Eastern Europe traffic began to change. When it did the upturn was sharp. From an aver
Mediterranean Europe age of less than 10,000 a year in the opening two decades of the 19th
(mostly Italy)
century the migration rate rose to double this figure in the 1820s and then
IJ (especially
IberiaEurope moved up to near the 100,000 mark in the late 1830s. It shot way past this
C and Italy) level in the decade following the Irish famine of 1846 8 it touched the
Total 65m half million mark in 1854 and though it fell back below 200,000 during
Brazil 5 the 1860s the retreat was only temporary: throughout the last quarter of
the century it was as often over as under the half million. The peak was
reached in the decade before the First World War, when the rate was over
a million a year. The outbreak of war caused a sharp decline and shortly
Argentina after its end the United States imposed an annual limit of 350,000, soon
reduced to 160,000, on immigrants from outside the Americas. As four out
of five of the pre-war immigrants had the USA as their immediate or
ultimate destination this effectively cut back the continental input to about
300,000 a year, the level it has averaged ever since.
The Great Migration of 18451914 brought 41m people to the
Americas. All bar 6m of them arrived in the north and of the 35m who did
Fig. 4.6 The European coniribut. ion to the demography of the A,nerkas: immigration
15001975 33m of them settled in the USA. This input, combined with a high rate of

278 279
Z 100 against the USAs recent l0~ are those which have retained an important
African Amerindian element in their populations: Mexico, the Central American
republics, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. By contrast
Mulatto .
the rates for the South American countries that are most truly Latin, I.e.
80 have populations drawn almost exclusively from Mediterranean Europe,
like Argentina and Uruguay. are nearer to North American than meso
70 American or C!entral Andean values. Fig. 4.7 shows the effect of this: since
1914 the white segment has been contracting and the most dynamic
60 European element in the population of the Americas has been the Amerindian
Mestizo. Which is as it should be: it is. after all, the Red Mans continent.


1500 1600 1700 1800 1900 1975
Fig. 4.7 The .4,nericas, el/zn/c structure 15001975

natural increase, boosted the US share of the continental population total

from 400,, to 55c. The absolute figures are perhaps even more impressive:
the population south of the Rio Grande nearly tripled (from 30m in 1845 it
grew to 80m in 1914): the population of the USA quintupled (from 20m in
1845 to lOOm in 1914). The effect on the ethnic structure of the continents
population was equally dramatic: the European segment expanded at the
expense of both the African and Amerindian sectors (Fig. 4.7).
The prodigious growth of the USA in the late 19th century made it the
worlds most powerful nation: during the 20th century its material power
has continued to expand but its population growth has slowed. Latin
Americas has accelerated. As a result the population division between
America north of the Rio Grande and America south of it is now falling
back towards the 40 60 distribution that existed on the eve of the Great
Migration. By the end of the century when the expectation is that there
will be something over 800m people in the Americas the division is likely
to be 33 66.
Strictly speaking this comeback is not really Latin, it is Amerindian. The
countries with the highest rate of increase 3~ per annum or more as
10-Urn km

The first Americans had no option but In its first hundred years it was essen
to pass through Canada as quickly as tially French and centred on the St
possible, the land being almost entirely Lawrence. By the time of the British
covered by the Wisconsin ice cap. conquest in 1760 a population of 70.000
Gradually, as the ice retreated north had been bred from just over 10,000
ward. Canadian territory suitable for French immigrants, most of whom ar
permanent colonization became avail rived before 1700. Frontier fertility
able and the peopling of the country produced a birth rate of 50 per 1,000
could begin. The first inhabitants came and a growth rate of 25, a year, This
from the hunting communities estab growth continued after the British
lished on the Great Plains to the south: takeover, which virtually ended French
later they were joined by the only two immigration. There were 02m French
groups of pre-Columban Americans Canadians in 1800, 07m in 1850 and Im
who clearly arrived from Asia long after by the mid- 1870s. despite the emigration
everyone else, the Indians of the Pacific of around 0 Im in the mid 19th century.
north-west and the Eskimos. Between Even so, the Canadian population of
them these three groups brought the French origin fell from about three
total population of Canada up to 01 m quarters of the total in the mid 18th cen
by AD 1000 and, with the addition of tury to 30, a century later, remaining at
some maize-growing tribes to the St that proportion until recently.
Lawrence area, to 02m by AD 1500. Before the later 18th century. the
Contact with Europeans reduced this British had little impact on Canada,
total to OIm by 1900, but happily the Though they held the far north (Ruperts
20th century has seen a more than com Land), they made virtually no settle
plete recovery, the current figure being ment there, while their claims on the
about 025m, cast coast, which amounted to
Leaving aside the abortive Norse Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, pro
discovery of AD 1000 we can take the duced very little in the way of results at
the years following Cartiers voyages first, Nova Scotia, which received 2,500
(15345) as the period in which British settlers in 1749, still had a British
Europeans acquired a working know population of less than 20,000 in the
ledge of Canadas Atlantic coast. mid-1770s, while Newfoundlands popu
Despite this there were no more than a lation was only half that. The arrival
few hundred Europeans in Canada at of some 35,000 Loyalists exiles from
any one time before 1650 and these were Republican America was to double
mostly fishermen temporarily estab the British element in the Canadian
lished on the east coast. Proper settle population, which finally drew level
ment began in the mid 17th century. with the French element soon after 1800,

Migration from Britain to Canada In the 20th century the migration
gained momentum after 1815, with 05m balance became positive again. The two
settlers arriving in the period 18 1560.
This, plus natural increase, was sum
great periods of immigration were the
years around the First World War (l2m
cient to push the population up to its net immigrants between 1900 and 1930)
first respectable totals: Im by 1825. 2m and after the Second World War (2m
by 1840 and 3m by 1860. For the rest of net immigrants between 1945 and 1975). 30?
the 19th century the story is an odd one: The origins of these migrants changed
very substantial numbers of migrants significantly as the century advanced.
continued to arrive at Canadian ports The proportion of Canadians of other
(nearly Im in the l880s alone) but they European origin, which was only 7, in
left for the USA even laster. Between the late 19th century. had risen to 26,,
1880 and 1900 there was a net annual by 1971, with French Canadians slip
loss of 20,000, which is why a popula ping slightly to 28, and Canadians of
tion that multiplied five times in the first British origin to 44, (not forgetting the
half of the 19th century could manage original Canadians at 12,,).
only to double in the second half.

Primary Sources and Bibliography

The French Canadians are one of the best recorded populations in the world. Frequent
censuses thirt i-six between 1666 and 1760 and a good ecclesiastical registration
.st~ctenl provide an al,nost complete record from the 17th century. This Li sununarized in
Hubert Charhonneau (ed), La Population de Qubec: etudes retrospectives (1973).
and in English hr J. Hen ripin and Y. Peron in and Revelle.
After the British conquest there crc cou,tts in Canada proper in 1765, Nova Scotia
17667, New Bruns;ick 1767, Lo,rcr Canada 1784 and Prince Edward Lcland in 1798
and 1805. Upper Canada act uallt held an annual census in 182642, other parts joining
in from tune to time. A general Canadian census as tnore or less established in 1851.
and regularly on a decennial basis from 1861. Nenfoundland emphasized its separ
ateness ki producing a series running 1845, 1857. 1869, 1874. 1884 before conforming.
The Jirderal census has been quinquennial since 1951.
Volutne I of the 1931 Census has afull kit of all previous counts and estimates, and
post-1851 ,naterial Li sum,narizcd hr M. C. Urquhart and K. A. H Buckley in
Historical Statistics of Canada (1965). Useful general sources are: F. Verret, La
Population du Canada (1953) and J. Warkentin (ed). Canada: A Geographical
Interpretation (1968).
The basic source Jbr the preEuropean population of Canada ~5 J. Mooney in
Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections 80, 7 (1928).

0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 C 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 p 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 i0
0 t

The Americas Area I
THE AMERICAS AREA 2 The Continental
The Continental USA
9-4m km2
(including Alaska (l52m km2) but
excluding Hawaii (002m km2)
North America was not an important board from Maine to South Carolina had
sector of the Amerindian world. Though become British North America, a land
it constituted half the continental land of some 028m people.
mass it contained only I m people, 7~ of The population in 1700 represented a
the 1492 population of the Americas. transatlantic migration by some 0Im,
figures which, if Canada is excluded, im of whom 80,, were British, l0~ unwill
prove only marginally to 08m and 6,, ing Africans. In the next century there
in a quarter of the total area. Culturally, was, at least as far as the white popula
too, the North American Indian was a tion was concerned, relatively less
backwoodsman: the savage splendours migration and a great deal more multi
of Mexico and Peru had few counter plication. Natural increase reached an
parts in the simple hunting, fishing and nual rates of 3c, sufficient to take the
semi-agricultural communities that were white total to Im by 1750, 2m by 1775
scattered across the present USA. and 43m by 1800. (Black slaves
This very backwardness protected the increased these figures by 02m. 05m
North American Indian from exploita and Im respectively.) It was not for
tion in the first century of the post nothing that Malthus used the
Columban era. A few disastrous at Americans as proof of the irrational
tempts at exploration convinced the reproductive capacity of human beings
Spaniards that there was little to be left to their own devices.
gained from attempting to expand their It was Ireland and not America that
Empire in this direction. As the 16th proved Malthus right, and it was the
century opened, the total white popula Qight of the Irish from demographic
tion of the area was limited to a few disaster, at first merely threatening but
hundred bored Spanish soldiers gar then all too actual, that began to make
risoning the forts of Florida and the the United States a land of immigrants
outpost established in New Mexico. again. Since natural increase began to
Over the next half century the situa fall from the early 19th century this im
tion was transformed. In 1607 English migration played an increasingly impor
settlers founded Jamestown and the tant part in sustaining the growth rate
colony of Virginia. In 1620 by which during the period up to the outbreak of
time the population of Virginia had the First World War, The Irish began
reached 2,400 ninety-nine pilgrims arriving in America in significant num
landed from the Maiflower and estab bers in 1820; after the famine of 1845 00~00000000000000000000
000000000000 0u~ 0 U 0 too too to
lished the first of the New England the movement became a stampede. U 0. w
00 .-~
colonies. By 1650 Virginia (with neigh Figures reached the 020-4m range in
bouring Maryland) contained more every one of the next five years.
than 20,000 people, New England Meanwhile one form of immigration
30.000. By 1700 the entire Atlantic sea- had been definitely stopped, the landing The Americas Area 2
of slaves. But though the prohibition of By that date two Americans out of every viewed as expensive consumer durables on impulse. And theres nothing wrong
I 808 was effective as far as slave im five were either foreign-born or had an to be budgeted for rather than bought with that.
ports were concerned (there were no sig immigrant parent, the net total of immi
nificant additions to the cumulative grants in the previous hundred years
total of 0-4m after that date) slavery had reached 35m and these immigrants Primary Sources and Bibliography
itself remained a legal and highly impor and their descendants accounted for half The estimate o/ In; A,nerindians north of the Rio Grande which breaks do.,,, into
tant institution in the southern states. the total growth of the United States 0-2w in Canada. aos,., in Alaska a,,d 0-75 ,n in tile rest of the continental USA goes
By 1860 the Negro population of during the period. hack at least as far as J. Moone, (Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections 80, 7
America amounted to 45m (90, of It was not migration alone that (1928)): it seenis to he generalh, accepted. though the Califbrnia school of reiisionists
them slaves) and the southern states de changed the face of America in the cen has issued a trial balloon in favour of 20n, (sic). The present population qf 06w
termination to protect and when possible tury after 1825. A great drive westward represents a recoven front the all-time low of 05,;, reached in 1925.
promote their peculiar institution was reduced the East Coast population from For the colonial period the records are cotnparativeli speaking excellent and fix the
imperilling the union. The nation, now 97, of the total in 1790 to 41, in 1910. population of the individual colontes ,.ithin narrow lin,its. The first federal census li-as
30m strong, faced its first major crisis. This change, which was largely the work held in 1790 and there ha,e bee,, regular and reliable censuses through the US territory
The Civil War, which was fought with of white native-born Americans (the e,ert ten 3-ears since then. The adjusttnetns needed to conipensate /br hou,,dari
a population balance two to one in migrants went to the cities, the blacks changes are, as the table shoii-s - surprisingly stnall.
favour of the North. killed some 062m stayed in the south), laid the basis for The Bureau o/the Census pours out inforniation:for instance Historical Statistics of
Americans (mostly by disease) and the present picture of population the United States: Colonial Times to 1957 (1960). Other basic sources are: W. S.
resolved the slavery question. It also distribution. Considered state by state Thompson and P. K. Whelpton. Population Trends in the United States (1933): C,
marked a demographic turning point. (see table) it is an extraordinarily even and L B. Tauher. The Changing Population of the United States (1958): D. J. Bague,
Immigration, massive though it was. one, with the top three places now held The Population of the United States (1959); H. T. Eldridge and 13. S. Thomas.
could no longer entirely counteract a fall by representatives of the three main Population Redistribution and Economic Growth. United States, 18701950; Ill
in the native birth rate and overall population concentrations, California (1964). On tnigration there is E. P. Hutchinson. Immigrants and Their Children:
growth dropped to 25, a year or less. for the west, New York for the east and 18501950 (1956).
Yet the absolute figures for immigration Texas for the south. A great deal of all this inJbrtnation has bee,, ,rell su,,,n,ari:ed in two places: J.
continued to be amazing. As the Irish Though the heroic age of American Potter. The Growth o/ Population in America, 17001860. in * Glass and Everslev.
flood dwindled it was replaced by new demography came to an end with the and the chapter on population in L. E. Davis et at.. American Economic Growth
overflows from (he equally poor lands First World War, migrations both exter (1972).
of eastern Europe. Up to 1890. four out nal and internal have continued to play
of five American immigrants came from an important part in reshaping
north-west Europe; between 1890 and American society. The blacks have POPULATION OF THE CONTINENTAL USA
1920 this fell to one in four, while two in moved from the south to the cities of the (in millions, to the nearest ten thousand, except for rounding of the totals)
three now came from the Russian and north; their numbers have risen impres 1700 1775 1800 1850 1900 1950 1975
Austro-Hungarian empires or the sively from 9m in 1900 to 15m in 1950
Mediterranean lands. It was an extra and 25m today. External migrants have Connecticut 002 020 0-25 037 091 201 310
ordinarily various mixture of Europeans come from Puerto Rico and Mexico, Delaware 004 006 009 019 0-32 058
that pushed the annual figures to their producing communities with current Georgia 003 0-16 0-91 222 345 4.93
all-time high of l-285m in 1907. populations of I-75m and 7m respec Maryland 003 023 0-34 0-58 1-19 234 4-10
The great days of immigration came tively. The overall growth rate has Massachusetts 0-07 0-34 058 100 281 4-69 583
to an end in the 1920s indeed by the received disproportionate support from New Hampshire 0-01 008 018 0-32 041 0-53 0-82
end of that decade more people were these minority groups but even so has New Jersey 0-01 012 0-21 049 1-88 4~84 7-32
leaving America than were entering it. been falling steadily. It is now well New York 002 0-19 059 310 7-27 14-83 18-12
The expansion of the economy slowed below I, per annum. This causes no North Carolina 001 025 0-48 087 1-89 406 5.45
down and hostility grew to an influx distress, in fact zero population growth Pennsylvania 0-02 027 060 2-31 630 1050 11-83
which, if it was white, was hardly is being actively promoted as a desirable Rhode Island 001 006 0-07 015 043 0-79 0-93
WASP. In 1921 Congress limited immi goal. Education has certainly changed South Carolina 001 017 0-35 067 1-34 2-12 282
gration to a maximum of a third of a attitudes, though personal concerns are Virginia 007 0-50 089 1-12 1-85 3~32 4-97
million a year, and three years later cut probably responsible for more of the fall Vermont (1791) 015 0-31 0-34 038 047
the figure again, to a sixth of a million. than global worries: babies are now Kentucky(I792) 022 0-98 2-15 295 340
1700 1775 1800 1850 1900 !950 1975
Tennessee (1796) 011 100 202 329 419 THE AMERICAS AREA S
Ohio (1803) 198 416 795 1076
Louisiana (1812) 052 138 268 379 Mexico
Indiana (1816) 099 252 393 531 2-Om km2
Mississippi (1817) 061 155 2(8 235
Illinois(l818) 085 482 87! IllS
Alabama (1819) 077 183 306 }6l
Maine(1820) 058 069 09! 106
Missouri (1821) 068 311 396 476
Arkansas (1836) 021 131 191 212 By 7000 ac the food-gathering of the rule and its population was falling fast.
Michigan (1837) 040 241 637 916 Mexicans was beginning to assume the The decline in native numbers con
Florida (1845) 009 0-53 277 836 form of incipient cultivation, which tinued until the beginning of the 17th
Texas (1845) 021 305 77! (224 meant that meso-America had started century. when the figures stabilized at
Iowa (1846) 019 223 262 287 on the road to civilization. By the about two thirds of the pre-Columban
Wisconsin (1848) 03! 207 344 460 middle of the 2nd millennium BC this maximum. It stayed much the same for
California (1850) 009 149 1059 2119 road had led to village farming and a the next two centuries, during which
Minnesota ((856) population of 0-Sm; by the middle of the time the Spanish element increased from
175 298 393
Oregon (1856) 1st millennium BC to towns, an elabor 0-Im (in 1600) to Im (in 1800) and the
04! 1-52 229
Kansas (1861) 1-47 191 227 ate religious system and a population of Mestizo element grew to a similar total.
West Virginia (1863) Im; and by the middle of the 1st millen During the 19th century there was a
096 20! 180
Nevada (IBM) nium A D to city states with masstve modest rise in the number of Indians (to
0-04 016 059
Nebraska (1867) ceremonial centres, scribes capable of 4m), a considerable increase in the num
107 133 1-55
Colorado (1876) accurate calendrical inscriptions (if not ber of Spaniards (to 2m) and a massive
0-54 133 253
North Dakota (1889) 0-32 062 0-64 quite of true writing) and a total rise in the Mestizo population (to 7m,
South Dakota (1889) 0-40 0-65 068 population of 2m. The culminating more than half the 1900 total of 13Sm).
Montana (1889) 0-24 0-59 075 point was reached in the 15th century This ratio 55% Mestizo, 30%
Washington (1889) 0-52 2-38 3-54 with the Aztecs of Tenochtitlan. Their Amerindian. 15% white has proved
Idaho (1890) 016 059 082 empire extracted tribute from more than rehiiikably stable, presumably because
Wyoming (1890) 009 029 037 half the Sm people then living in the the tendency of the Mestizos to reclas
Utah (18%) 028 069 121 area. sify themselves as white balances their
What happened next is like a time- higher reproduction rate.
Oklahoma (1907) 223 27! warp story from science fiction. In 1518 In the first half of the 20th century the
New Mexico (1912) 068 115 the Spanish adventurer Hernan Cortez growth in Mexicos population was
Arizona (1912) 075 2-22 landed on the Gulf Coast to find himself rather slower than might have been ex
Alaska (1959) 035 in a world of pyramids and human pected: l00~, as compared, for example,
District of Columbia 0-0! 005 028 080 072 sacrifice, of stone idols and flint knives. with Central Americas l30~. A short-
Territories (whites only) 006 009 I-I There could be no compromise between term explanation of this is to be found
TOTAL POPULATION OF THE Catholic Spain and this fantastic in the events of the l9lOs, when a
l3coLoNIEs USAOFTHE neolithic structure. The Aztecs hurled bloody civil war and the influenza pan
TIME 028 250 530 2330 76-00 150-00 21000 themselves forward to be slaughtered by demic reduced the 1910 census popula
the arquebuses, swords and pikes of tion of 15-2m to one of 14-8m in 1921.
Whites in areas later Emigration to the USA also played its
Cortez tiny army. And also by disease.
annexed to the USA 0-02 0-05 0-06
For even more deadly than their part. There were already 0-2m Mexicans
Indians 070 065 060 0-30 living in the USA in 1910: by 1930 this
weapons were the new microbes the
Alaska 0-05 0-05 004 0-04 0-06 0-13 invaders had brought with them small chicano population (immigrants and de
TOTAL POPULATION pox. influenza and measles. Within a scendants) numbered I-Sm. Since 1950
WITHIN THECONTINENTAL few years all Mexico was under Spanish growth rates both at home and in the
USA, PRESENT BOUNDARY 1-00 3-25 6-00 23-50 76-00 150-00 210-00
USA have been very high. The Mexican I 25~. in 25 years, and the number of 70
total has shot up to 60m, an increase of chicanos has risen to 7m.
Primary Sources and Bibliography
The size of the population of Mexico in 1492 has lateR heco,ne the subject of much
academic argument. There are Iwo basic approaches to the problem: one (exemplified 60
by K S. MacNeish on the Tehuacan alley in P. Deprez (ed), Population and
Economics (1970)) seeks an average dens ity figure by looking at the cultural, economic
and archaeological evidence. The other utilizes post-Conquest documents, particularly
taxation records (see S. F. Cook and W. Borah in Essays in Populalion History I
The debate is summarized ~ * Sanchez-A lhornoz and by * Stewart. The main
,noponcntc ate * Rosetjhkti (besides the geneial itfrictjc see cttvo his La Poblacin dc Mexico City MEX(C9
America en 1492 (1967)) and S. F. Cook and W. Borah (in The Indian Population of (Tenochtitlan
Central Mexico 1531 1610 (1960) and mans other places). The point at issue is this:
las the population in Mexico In 1492,10 more than Sm (Rosenblat) or was it lore than
30,,i (Cook and Borah)7 Comparison nit/i other parts of the world at comparable levels
of culture leads us to throw in our lot with Rosenhlat. This saves us frotn having to face
the second improbability in the CookBorah thesis, a fall of 90. in the course of the , I
16th century. History knotts of no population of comparable magnitude suffering such
a catastrophic decline.
After 1600 Mexico ~s population is relatively nell documented and little debated. The
primary sources are sum,narized by Cook and Borah in Essays in Population History I
(1971), while the 1960 Census Summary Volume gives a list of the results of the large
number of counts and estimates. The first proper census ,tas taken in 1895; others
followed in 1900, 1910, 1921 and the series became regular and decennial in 1930.


0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
00 fl 000000000 Oh 0 tOO 00 too toO
OJ 0J~CD~0 .-iOJOD .tO 0 0 0 0
The Americas AreaS
Central America Central America
O-52m km2

Despite its name and position Central beginning of the 16th century when
America has usually been a back~ater. the first conquistadors arrived on the
The one exception occurred during the scene. There were then about 0-Sm
development of the northern. meso natives in Central America, a number
American focus of Amerindian civiliza that European diseases and rapacity
tion to which the top tier of Central gradually reduced to less than 0-6m. The
American states particularly Guate loss was made up by 1750. and by 1800
mala and Belize, but to some extent the population was over the million. It
El Salvador and Honduras as well was heterogeneous now: a fifth Spanish.
made a significant contribution. The a fifth Mestizo and three-fifths Amer
population rise associated with this indian. Between these fifths a pocket
development was by American stan has to be found for Africans though
dards considerable: there was an the total input of slaves into the
increase from the 25,000 hunters and area was small no more than a few
gatherers of 5000 Bc to a peasantry tens of thousands.
numbering 0-3m by AD I and OSm by Since 1800 the story can be told in
Al, 800. By this last date the Maya. the two words: multiplication and mixture.
people who lived in the South Mexican Growth rates that were about average
Guatemalan region, had brought their for Latin America took the total
culture to its classic peak. population to nearly 4m by the begin
The Maya are famous for their ning of the 20th century and to over 9m
pyramids and their dating inscriptions. by 1950. Since then rates of increase as
Both activitiescame to an abrupt halt in high as any in the world have boosted
the 9th century, which has led some the figure to 18-Sm. The steepest part of
Americanists to postulate a demogra the curve may be past now the last
phic collapse at this time. They find a round of censuses turned in figures that
cause for this either in an invasion by were fractionally below expectation
bloodthirsty Mexicans or. rather more but even so the prediction is still for a
plausibly, in soil exhaustion. Actually total of more than 30m by the end of the
there is no reason to think that anything century.
much happened except that people gave The Central Americans of today
up a religious activity that had got divide their loyalties between six sover
completely out of hand. After all, the eign states and two semi-colonial
Egyptians stopped building pyramids anomalies the American Canal Zone
presumably for just this sort of reason. with a population of 45,000. and Belize
not because there were too few of them (former British Honduras: population g ~ 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
to r- ~ to 0
to carry on. IOMOO in 1850, 40,000 in 1900 and o o
m ~ 1975i
A real disruption occurred at the 140,000 today). The table below shows
The A,nerkas Area 4
the trends in the sovereign states since
1850. The only important point to note
has less than a third. The shift in ethnic
proportions has been to a MThizo
is the southward shift in the areas
centre of gravity. Guatemala. which
majoril~J55%)EWiilfihe remaii~der
apartirom a sprik1i~Thrblks
The Caribbean
probably contained half the population dividing equally between whites and Islands
total in the Mayan and early colonial Amerindians,
periods and still had 400. in 1850. now fr24m km2

THE POPULATIONS OF THE CENTRAL AMERICAN The Caribbean islands were among the reduced to less than a tenth of their
REPUBLICS SINCE 850 last areas in the Americas to be settled original level. I oday a I~9housand
area by man. The first arrivals, the Ciboney. l3ominicans make dubious claim to
(000km2) 1850 1900 1925 1950 1975 were simple food-gatherers who drifted Amerindian ancestry but effectively the
Guatemala 109 0-9 1-4 2-0 3-0 SS on to the scene towards the end of the original Caribbean population had
El Salvador 21 04 0-9 1-4 1-9 4-I 1st millennium ac: there cannot have dwindled to zero by the mid 17th cen
Honduras 112 0-4 0-6 0-9 -4 2-7 been more than a few thousand of them. tury.
Nicaragua 130 0-3 0-5 0-7 II 2-I They were followed early in the The second quarter of the 17th cen
SI 0-1 0-3 0-5 0-9 2-0 Christian era by the agricultural tury saw the final collapse not only of
Costa Rica
Panama 76 0-I 0-3 0-4 0-8 1-7 Arawak from the area of Venezuela. the native population of the Caribbean
The Arawak gradually spread through but of the Iberian claim to ownership of
the islands in the next thousand years. the whole New World. In the Caribbean
Primary Sources and Bibliography driving the Ciboney into the remote cor the British took St Kitts ~weB~bidos,
ners where the first Europeans found thFF~EWGuadloupe_andM~?tJique
For primary sources there are the usual Spanish taxation documents, 18th- anti 19th- them. By then another Venezuelan and the_Dutc,~ Curaao: byl l90there
century estitnates, partial counts anti a not icr; impressive collection of late 19th and people, the Caribs, were just beginning were 3o,ooo turopeans in the area, a
earl; 20th-century censuse.c: Costa Rica 1864. 1892, 1927. El Salvador 1901, 1930: to move into the Windwards, but they third t em British, nearly a third
Guatemala 1880, 1893. 1921. 1940: Honduras 1881, 1887. 1901. 1905. 1910, 19)6. contributed little to the 300.000 total FreWThd no more thanThtliird
1926. 1930, 1935, 1940, 1945. Nicaragua 1906. 1920, 1940: Panama 1911. 1920. 1930, that can be postulated for the West Spanish, though Spain still held all the
1940. In 1950 censuses n-crc held in all the republics. hut the hope dial this would lead Indies at the end of the 15th century. larger islands. As an attempt at direct
to a single decennial cettvusJbr die n-hole area ha.;- not bee,, fitljilled. .411 of them haie This consisted almost entirely of settlement the invasion was a failure.
managed to hold two censuses shu-e then, hone ye,: one in the ear/i sixties and another Arawak of whom there were perhaps The favoured crop, tobacco, grew better
in i/ic ear!) seventies, 100,000 on Hispaniola and some 50,000 in North America and the second
Al. J. MacLeod, Spanish Central America: A Socio-Economic History 1520 1720 each on Cuba. Puerto Rica and choice. sugar, needed slave labour, not
(1973). is good on tile ear/i- data, a,,d 8. Baron Castro. La Poblacin de El Salvador Jamaica. European farmers. As the Negroes were $_ ~-
(1942). gites an excellent synthesis of one coiaitrt :~ material. Unfo,tunately. tampa? Into this island world, in 1492, came ~jpped in the Europeans left. The result
able tnonographs for the others are lacking. For summary t,-eattneuts see Rosenhlat. Columbus and his crew. Nowhere did was a big increase in numbers (from
* Baron Castro and * Sanchez-Albornoz.
the arrival of the European have 02m in 1650 to 0-Sm in 1700) butafall
a more devastating impact. To get in the Euro can component that was
the labour they needed the Spaniards not ely proportional (fr~iW75%to
soon resorted to brutal razzias: the 2O~)_ but absolute (from130 4
simple patterns of native life were en ~ The repopulatioW of the
tirely disrupted and a system of near earibbean islands with a predominantly
slavery imposed in their place. Even African stock was already achieved by
more important, the diseases the Euro the beginning of the 18th century.
peans had brought with them re Politically and economically the 18th
peatedly decimated this wilting society century was a period of relative stab
until by the 1570s its numbers had been ility. By its opening the British and
French had added a major island apiece to mount. In the case of Cuba the 35
r to their Caribbean empires: the Btitisji increase was boosted by substantial im
The Caribbean

Jamaj~a and the French Haiti (Western migration of Spaniards (O75m) and
Hisnai~jola). The slave populations of
~ these two were built up from almost
black labourers from the poorer islands
(O25m, mostly Haitians) which helped
nothing to Q~Li1 and O5m respectively to keep this, the largest of the Antilles,
by 1800 (as agthi ~i~opulaJions of well ahead of the rest in population 30~
which means that terms, It also kept the upper half of
thty~ook nearly half the Negroes im Cubas population genuinely white. By BRITISH LEEwARDS
ported in the course of the century, say contrast Haiti. which at the end of the
l25m out of 275m. For the slave 18th century was the site of the Havana a -.

populations were not self-sustaining: Caribbeans only successful slave revolt,

they grew only because the input was
more than sufficient to make up for the
has been 100,, black since then and so
poor as to be unable to sustain the rates 25
cuBA~~HAmREPuBLic~f~,/4q/ ~ !
loss inflicted by cruel overwork, chronic of increase achieved elsewhere.
undernourishment and an unfavourable In this century there has been sub Kingston. Poit
a~ S~
sex ratio. This is, indeed, quite obvious stantial emigration from the Caribbean
Prinoe BRiTISH I - St L~a. BARBA
from the fact that it took an input of to the USA (where there are presently 1
WINDWARDS 51 iw11; a DOS
nearly 3m during the 18th century to 075m people of Cuban origin and 175 DUTCIIANTILLES{ Ambo Curacao I Grenalao
obtain a growth in numbers of t5m. Puerto Ricans) and Britain (075m, 20 ~Bon,ire - - fl.TRINI
Nowhere else did the African suffer mostly Jamaicans) which has gone some DAD
quite so badly as this. way towards mitigating the problems
The slave trade was suppressed and of increasing numbers and limited VENEZUELA
slavery itself abolished in the course resources. The figures for the various
of the 19th century. Another 075m islands and island groups are given in
Africans were landed in the Caribbean the table on page 301. together with
before this state of affairs was consum estimates for the earlier periods and a
mated: they were mostly brought in by rough indication of the present ethnic
Spanish shippers, who took advantage composition. The non-African percen
of the lack of competition to expand tage is mostly white except in the case of
their trade in its last few decades. Once Trinidad and Tobago where it is almost
freed, the Africans natural talent for entirely Asian, the result of the import
reproduction soon asserted itself and on of indentured labourers from India in
all the islands population totals started the period 1838 1917.

Primary Sources and Bibliography

The size of the pre-Conquest population of the West Indies is hotly debated between A.
Rosenblat (in La Poblacin de America en 1492 (1967)). whose estimates are used
here, and S. F. Cook and W. Borah (in Essays in Population History 1(1971)), who
suggest 7m or Sm for Hispaniola alone! If anything, Rosenblat s O3m for the area is
prohahlr a bit on the high side.
For the colonial centuries there is an embarras de richesse because it teas both
necessary and easy to caunt the small embattled European populations and the slaves
they used.
For Cuba see J. Perez ik Ia Vita in Cahiers des Amriques Latines. srie Science de S S SS~ 000000500
Ihomme. 8, 1973, and the historical section of the 1899 census (reprinted in the 1907 ~~ocflO~U, ~ 105
and 1919 censuses). There doesnt seem to be much of use to the historical demographer 1975~1
298 The A,nericas AreaS
on either half of Hispaniola or for Puerto Rico since tile US War Department Report
of 1900 (Vol. I, Part 13). For Jamaica and tile British Lesser Antilles see R. V. Wells! ~ N? ~ Se ~e -e~e N? ? ~e
The Population of the British Colonies in America before 1776 (1975), B. Edward5, enoono
~ ,,_ .,~ oboooooo 00 o ~o
History of (he West Indies (1793). and G. W. Roberts, The Population of Jamaica

The best general surrey is by * Rosenhlat, though his figure of 065,,; ~r 1650 fl
~ 0
N 0 0 0 0 0
fl0Cr~ 0~ fl VTh ~
OflflenNN ~ 0 e ~
0 0
dc,iredJron,lVileo.v istoohigh.Forthe.cloretrodeseeCurt,n. 2: c~i++eh Lo 6 S

a ~ aaaaoooo a a

~ ~ oorlNno rfl
0 0
2: eoc~__ a 6

~ =
a ~
~ oooaaaaa a
1NO 0

en 00000 ~enen_flen 0 I
o clea~Nym .OO 0 C
o ~ a ~aaaa aa;;aaoa a +
cococle 0
z C
cc !n ~r0\tfl.n
000000 en
0 -. C

aoo aoaa a a .~-

0 0~~n0
000 rnrlrloo
0 0
n ~-
LU oaaaa aaaaaa a a tt
x E
F- .0
Li.. en nr,
o C 00 C
0 0
ci, = 00 0 6 a
o S
(N ,~ ~
F C 0000 0 N oc C
a aaaaa a a z~
I .,~

0 0
4, Cci
o .0
C & ~ ci
Z Z ~. C

4 ~ ;0 fl
<_~tc. ~,

cc ~
<~$~~~) 3~
~o~~zcc..:cctv ~
S <
F aig0
~ ~OflOc. caDccQ~ccccF-Z ..
(2 -J F
Colombia, Colombia
Venezuela and
the Guyanas
2-52m km
6a Colombia F14m km2
6b Venezuela O-91m km2
6c The Onyanas O47m km2

The cultural gradient of this area in pre besides the Mestizo we have to count
Spanish times was from west to east, the white (mainly Spanish) settlers and
western Colombia being on the fringe their black slaves, each group number
of the Andean zone that eventually ing some 0lm by the later 17th century.
produced the Inca Empire. It is in this During the 18th century the white
western section that the areas first ex population grew rapidly largely by
periment in agriculture took place (c. natural increase so that by the time
5000 Bc) and here that the first farming independence was gained in the early
villages appeared (during the course of 19th century it accounted for about a
thc 2nd millennium Bc). When the quarter of the total. The black and
Europeans arrived the level of this peas Mulatto populations, a scattered and
antry was, by Amerindian standards, miscellaneous group of runaways and
relatively sophisticated. By contrast the slaves in various degrees of freedom,
east was sparsely populated with simple contributed another eighth. The rest
food-gatherers. This explains why were Mestizos or Amerindians.
Colombia had always contained two Since independence the populations
thirds of the overall population and of the two successor states. Colombia
specifically Im of the ISm living in the and Venezuela, have continued to
area in AD 1500. develop mainly by natural increase. The
The Spanish conquest brought its only major exceptions to this generaliza
usual and awful consequences, com tion are two brief outbursts of migration
pounded in this part of Latin America from Europe (and Colombia) to
by forced labour in the mines. By 1650 Venezuela, the first immediately before
the native population had fallen by a the Second World War and the second
immediately after. These added nearly 5
third. In terms of pure-blooded
Amerindians it has continued to fall 05m people mainly Iberians and 4 I
ever since, until today they represent Italians to the Venezuelan population 3 I
only a per cent or two of the total and helped the white element maintain
its traditional one fifth share of the
2 I
population. However, from the 17th
century the growth of the Mestizo whole.
population has compensated for this de East of the two big states are three
cline and secured the continuance of a little ones, the Guyanas. respectively
British. Dutch and French in colonial
strong non-European element in the
population. The total never fell far, for days and now known as Guyana,
The Americas Area do
Surinam and (this one still un Surinam is racial heterogeneity of an
decolonized as yet) French Guiana. almost unique complexity. Guyanas 25
Their populations remained trifling until 0Sm population is 50% Asian Indian,
the introduction of a plantation econ 30% black, 5% Amerindian, 2% white
and 1% Chinese, with the rest mixed.
omy in the 19th century. This was
dependent on Asian indentured labour Surinams 04m is 40% black, 40% Asian
in the Dutch case brought from both Indian, 16% Indonesian, 2% Chinese.
India and Indonesia, in the British case 1% white and 1% Amerindian. French 20
from India, with 024m imported be Guiana contains only 60.000 people
tween 1838 and the end of the system in altogether.
1917. The result in both Guyana and

Primary Sources and Bibliography

The primary sources are the usual ones for Latin America: vague estimates in the lath
century, taxation documents in the 17th and 18th. then counts and censuses. Census
years are Colombia 1778, 1782.1803.1810,1825.1835.1843,1851, 1864.1870,1905,
1912, 1918. 1928, 1938. 195), 1964, 1974; Venezuela 1787. 1838. 1844 7. 1854. 1857,
1873, 1881, 1891. 1920, 1926, 1936, 1941, 1950, 196), 1971: Guyana 1841 4. decen
nially 1851 1931 (except 1901), 1946. 1960, 1970; Surinam 1964.
Snchez-Albornoz has a summary of work done on the aboriginal population of
Colombia. As usual we follow * Rosenblat for pre-Conquest figures, which are close to
those in J. H. Steward, Handbook of South American Indians, VoL 5 (1949). Post-
Conquest figures are based on lbornoz, Rosenblat and * Barbn Castro.
See also F. Brito Figueroa, Historia econmica y social de Venezuela (1966). T. L.
Smith on Colombia in Journal of Inter-American Studies 8. 2 (1966), and J. L. de
Lonnoy and G. Perez Estructuras demograficas y sociales de Colombia (1961). For
Guyana see 11 lVath. A History of Indians in Guyana (1970). and for Surinam I-f. E.
Lamur, The Demographic Evolution of Surinam 19201970 (1973).

The Americas Areas 6b and c

Brazil Brazil
8-5Im km2 ~bS0

When the Portuguese discovered Brazil was only 15,000 and it took to the end
at the beginning of the 16th century the of the 16th century to double. By 1650 it
whole vast area contained no more than was about 70,000. These settlers ran a
Im natives. Settled agriculture and the plantation economy manned first by vir
relatively high densities of population tually~enslaved Indians. then, as 111~F
associated with it were almost entirely unfortunates died off, by specially im
limited to the lower reaches of the port~d and entirely enslaved Africans.
Amazon; in the rest of the country the In 1650 the latter outnumbered their
people depended more on gathering white masters two to one. The total
than growing and the density figures population remained at the million
were correspondingly low. In the years mark as the growth of white and black
immediately following the arrival of the populations did no more than offset the
Portuguese this low density operated in fall in the number of Amerindians.
the natives favour: they were so scat At the end of the 17th century a gold
tered that neither the newcomers nor strike injected a bit of speed into this
their microbes could easily get at them. sleepy situation. There was substantial
However the pattern of contact. decline internal movement of population, a
and destruction was only postponed. As wave of new immigration from Portugal

I white colonization progressed, so native

numbers fell to 0-7m ii lZ~9,05m in
,1800 and 02m today.
Brazil is the enduring monument to
Portugals century of maritime glory but
and a step-up in slave imports. This last
was no flash in the pan: slave imports
were to continue at a very high level till
the mid 19th century. Indeed it was only
after nearly everyone else had with
most of the effort made by the mother drawn from the Atlantic slave trade that
country at the time went into the crea the Brazilian end of it recorded its peak
tion of its empire in the East. It has been figures: a third of a million landings in
calculated that to maintain a force of the 1820s and the same again in the
10,000 men in the East cost the lives of 1840s. It is this prolongation of the
100,000 Portuguese in the course of trade through the first half of the 19th
the 16th century, a heavy drain on a century that puts Brazil at the top of the
country with a total population of only table of slave-importing countries. The
l25m 2m. By contrast the settlement final sum adds up to 35m Africans for
of Brazil was achieved with a net out the period 15501850, or 40c of the
flow (up toAD 1600)>oI no more than entire Atlantic traffic.
15,000. _Brazil became an independent state in
For a long time thc number of 181 The extent to which its society o o -. 0 00 0 0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
00 Q 000000000 0b~ 0100100100100
Portuguese settled in Brazil remained rested on slavery is shown by the ee ~ CD N ~ 0 0
population figures for that date. Out of oo_~ r,4 -
very small. In 1550 the white population
306 The Americas Area 7
_!~~~b-~- ~
a total of 4m more than 2m were black increased to 6Gm 550 and if th
THE] slaves, only Im free whites. Amerin. states the genetic t because
dians were down to O4m, the remaining one who can get away with it call
02m being free blacks and Mulattos. self white it doesnt do so b)
Since independence two things have than l00~. Blacks by contrast are
happened: the total population has an official figure of 15% (ma
grown very fast and the white element, 5 in reality) with mulatto
because of massive im ra has mestizos sharing the remainder
grown even faster. From 2 at between them.
independence the whites have o daily
When the Pc
at the beginn
whole vast a, Primary Sources and Bibliography
I m natives. The census years arc 1775, 1798, 1803, 1822, 1872, 1890, 1900, 1920, 1940 an
relatively hi~ tent/i year since the,,. The early censuses need carejid interpretation; this (and,
associated w else) is supplied by 1). Aide,, in Hispanic American Historical Review 43. 2
limited to Earl3 c/ala, ilL/ut/mg apparent/I good figures Jbr rIse cokmisis, ore quoted h
Amazon; in Hugo,, in Dcmografia Brasileira (1973) and hr Rosenhiat, who gives Iii
people dept estimates for 1650, 1570 and 1492; he is again at die Ion end of die range of es
than growir of the pre-Conquest population, which runs from Itn to 3Sn,.
were corres Racial proportions are also given by Rosenbiat (there is a good official est
immediately 1818), and the trends discussed by T. Lynn Smith in Brazil: People and Instil
Portuguese (1972). .4 great deal of work has been done on slavery in Brazil. Curtin provic
the natives best numerical introduction and represents die modern consensus. Migration sino
tered that is covered by both Hugon and Lynn Smith, and net estimates are quoted by *
their microt Albornoz.
However th
and destruci

I white colon
numbers Ic!
800 and 0
Brazil is
Portugals c
most of the
country at
tion of its ci
calculated I
10,000 men
00,000 Pc
the 16th cc
country wit 3
l25m 2m.
of Brazil .
flow (up to
15,000. 00 ~ ~0 000000000
For a