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New estimates of settler life span and other demographic trends in South Africa, 1652–1948

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  • Jeanne Cilliers

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)

  • Johan Fourie

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)

Abstract

To date very little has been known about the demography of European settlers in South Africa, since descriptions have only been based on Ross’s 1975 calculations of a small sample of 300 observations in the Cape Colony. In this paper we provide a broader and deeper account, using a dataset drawn from the Genealogical Institute of South Africa (2008) that includes information on 401,602 observations of settlers in South Africa and spans the period 1652 to 1948. We estimate useful descriptive statistics on key demographic indicators: population dynamics, age distribution, longevity, marriage patterns, and dependency burdens. These shed new light on the development and demographic transition of the South African settler population and enable international comparisons.

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File URL: http://www.ekon.sun.ac.za/wpapers/2012/wp202012/wp-20-2012.pdf
File Function: First version, 2012
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 20/2012.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:sza:wpaper:wpapers173

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Related research

Keywords: historical demography; economic development; population dynamics; living standards; family life; life span; age distribution; marriage patterns; South Africa;

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  1. An ode to demography
    by Johan Fourie in Johan Fourie's Blog on 2013-01-20 21:07:23
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Cited by:
  1. Piraino, Patrizio & Muller, Sean & Cilliers, Jeanne & Fourie, Johan, 2013. "The transmission of longevity across generations: The case of the settler Cape Colony," SALDRU Working Papers 113, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.

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