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The Decline of the Khoikhoi Population, 1652-1780: A Review and a New Estimate


  • Sumner La Croix

    (Department of Economics, University of Hawaii)


Fourie and Green (this journal, 2015) construct estimates of the Khoikhoi population over the 1652-1780 period using benchmarks for the initial and terminal populations and punctuated population declines during two smallpox epidemics. I provide a brief survey of the history of Khoi population estimates and conclude that several factors point to a higher rate of population decline between 1652 and 1723 and a smaller rate of decline between 1723 and 1780 than specified by Fourie and Green. I provide a revised series of Khoi population estimates that uses the Fourie-Green methodology while incorporating a new terminal population benchmark and qualitative evidence pointing to a higher rate of population decline in the 1652-1723 period.

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  • Sumner La Croix, 2016. "The Decline of the Khoikhoi Population, 1652-1780: A Review and a New Estimate," Working Papers 201622, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hai:wpaper:201622

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    1. Carlos, Ann M. & Lewis, Frank D., 2012. "Smallpox and Native American mortality: The 1780s epidemic in the Hudson Bay region," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 277-290.
    2. Johan Fourie & Jan Luiten Zanden, 2013. "GDP in the Dutch Cape Colony: The National Accounts of a Slave-Based Society," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 81(4), pages 467-490, December.
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