Tuesday, 8 April 2014

The Population of Every Municipality in the Americas with more than 5,000 Inhabitants Around the Year 1900

Contents


1 Introduction
2 Methods of Collection
3 Legend
  • 3.1 Column Headers
  • 3.2 Abbreviations
4 The Population Data and Interactive Map
5 Observations
  • 5.1 Population and Number of Municipalities per Colony/Dominion/Country
6 Further Reading and Related Articles
7 Glossary
8 References: Complete External List

1 Introduction


I have an obsession with collecting population data for the year 1900/1901 & I've been collecting data since around 2011. It gives you a lot of insight into how the world was at the time. The further back in time you go the more difficult it is to find reliable comprehensive sources of populations data.

My main interest in historic population data stems from the fact that you can use it to infer where infrastructure would have been built at a particular time in history. Buildings are created by humans, so where there are humans, there ought to have been buildings of some type (even is it's a tent, tipi, or a hut) built by them.

Pre-1900 buildings, particularly those built between 1700-1900, to me comprise some of the most aesthetically pleasing architecture ever built. All of the images below showcase European derived architecture from around this time period in the Americas.


Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico was home to 33,890 inhabitants in the year 1895 making it around the 183rd most populated in the Americas. Explore on Google Street View.

Salvador, Bahia, Brazil was home to 174,412 inhabitants around the year 1900 making it the 29th most populated in the Americas. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985. Explore on Google Street View.

Québec City, Québec, Canada was home to 68,840 inhabitants in the year 1901 making it around the 74th most populated in the Americas. It is one of only four still largely intact walled cities in the Americas. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985. Explore on Google Street View.

Pátzcuaro, Michoacán, Mexico was home to 7,082 inhabitants in 1895 making it around the 1,101st most populated in the Americas. It is named as one of the 100 Historic World Treasure Cities by the United Nations. Explore on Google Street View.

Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia was home to around 10,000 inhabitants around 1900 making it around the 716th most populated in the Americas. It is one of only four still largely intact walled cities in the Americas. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984. Explore on Google Street View.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States was home to 1,239,697 inhabitants in the year 1900. This made it the 3rd most populated in the Americas and the 9th most populated in the world. Explore on Google Street View.

Zacatecas, Zacatecas, Mexico was home to around 39,912 inhabitants in the year 1895 making it around the 142nd most populated in the Americas. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993. Explore on Google Street View.

Cusco, Cusco, Peru was home to around 20,000 inhabitants around the year 1900 making it around the 334th most populated in the Americas. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. It was also the historic capital of the Pre-Hispanic Inca Empire. Explore on Google Street View.

The Park Slope neighbourhood, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, United States. In 1900 NYC was home to 3,437,202 inhabitants making it the most populated municipality in the Americas and the second most populated in the world. Explore on Google Street View.

Ciudad de Cuetzalan, Puebla, Mexico was home to 5,176 inhabitants in 1895 making it around the 1,566th most populated in the Americas. Explore on Google Street View.

Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil was home to 111,556 inhabitants in the year 1900 making it around the 41st most populated in the Americas. Explore on Google Street View.


Campeche, Campeche, Mexico was home to 16,647 inhabitants in the year 1895 making it around the 400th most populated in the Americas. It is one of only four still largely intact walled cities in the Americas. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. Explore on Google Street View.

Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina was home to 663,854 inhabitants around 1900 making it the 4th most populated in the Americas and one of the most populated in the World. Explore on Google Street View.

Tlacotalpan, Veracruz, Mexico was home to 5,770 inhabitants in 1895 making it around the 1,407th most populated municipality in the Americas. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998. Explore on Google Street View.

Staunton, Virginia, United States was home to 7,289 inhabitants in the year 1900 making it around the 1061st most populated in the Americas. Explore on Google Street View.

Salamina, Caldas, Colombia was home to around 8,000 inhabitants around the year 1900 making it around the 956th most populated in the Americas. Note the dramatic mountain landscape the town is build on. Explore on Google Street View.

Seattle, Washington, United States was home to 80,671 inhabitants in 1900 making it around the 63rd most populated in the Americas. Explore on Google Street View.

Just like the other population data I've released, this is a work in progress. I will be adding to & refining the data as I come across new information. I invite you to help me locate reliable sources of data to add to these collections. Below is a series of maps of the Americas for reference. Each has a description which contains a link back to the original high resolution map. 


Rand McNally and Company. (1903). North America, Rand McNally & Co.'s Enlarged Business Atlas and Shippers' Guide. Retrieved from the David Rumsey Collection. [9]

Rand McNally and Company. (1903). South America, Rand McNally & Co.'s Enlarged Business Atlas and Shippers' Guide. Retrieved from the David Rumsey Collection. [9]

Rand McNally and Company. (1903). Mexico, Rand McNally & Co.'s Enlarged Business Atlas and Shippers' Guide. Retrieved from the David Rumsey Collection. [9]

Rand McNally and Company. (1903). Central America, Rand McNally & Co.'s Enlarged Business Atlas and Shippers' Guide. Retrieved from the David Rumsey Collection. [9]

Rand McNally and Company. (1903). West Indies, Rand McNally & Co.'s Enlarged Business Atlas and Shippers' Guide. Retrieved from the David Rumsey Collection. [9]


2 Methods of Collection


The data used for the American municipalities came from the U.S. Bureau of the Census. (1900). [2]. It appears to be a complete source of information for the majority of the American municipalities. A problem arose concerning New England's municipalities since many times what they define as a "town" is more like a township with a few village centres in it. It is because of this and the inability to discriminate between many actual municipalities and those that included a large rural population thereby inflating it, there may be an overrepresentation of municipalities especially in Massachusetts and Connecticut due to their high population counts.

One exception to note concerning the American population data is that although St. Joseph, Missouri's official population figure for 1900 was 102,979 inhabitants I have calculated a different figure of approximately 68,000 inhabitants. I did this because the official was questionable since the civic leaders at the time tried to artificially inflate St. Joseph's population count. When one looks at the trends for St. Joseph, the population in 1890 was 52,324 and in 1910 it was 77,403. There is no known explanation for why the population would have lost 25,576 inhabitants during the first decade of the twentieth century. This is a very significant decline especially at that time since many municipalities were still growing.

Although Hawaii isn't part of North America, I include it in the data since it is currently a constituent state of the U.S.

Since Britain and its dominions did censuses during the second year of each decade opposed to the USA which did them during the first year, the population data for Canada is for 1901 opposed to 1900 for the USA. Newfoundland's data is very difficult to come by since it was a colony not yet part of Canada at the time. Some fairly good figures have been made for the municipalities with more than 5,000 inhabitants from Darling & son Ltd. (1901). Census of the British Empire. [1] and I'm fairly sure that nearly all of them are listed in this article. Much of the data for Canada came from the Dept. of the Interior, Canada. (1906). Atlas of Canada. [7]. Which included the populations of urban areas in Canada for the year 1901.

The data for Mexico from Rand McNally & Co.'s Enlarged Business Atlas and Shippers' Guide. (1903). [9] is for 1895. Not many other sources were used since this one was the most comprehensive and accurate single source I could find. Other sources tend to round up the population figures. This source also correlates with Noriega, E. (1898). Geografía de la República Mexicana. [52] which also cites 1895 population figures for Mexican municipalities.

Rand McNally's business atlas also provided and supplemented much of the data for the Caribbean and Central America. For places like Costa Rica though, it appears that some of the figures might have been estimates since they tend to be rounded to the nearest thousand. Other sources found also rounded the figures to similar amounts. Overall, Rand NcNally's business atlas has been quite helpful in supplying a lot of data for many places in this article.

Data collected for many places in Haiti was rounded and in some cases it appears to be bit higher in population than expected. This observation was made when plotting the municipalities onto the interactive Google map. I speculate that some of the figures may have included large adjacent rural parish populations (i.e., some municipalities and parishes might have been consolidated). Although it is also possible that some municipalities have simply lost population and infrastructure.

Rand McNally's business atlas also provided much of the data for the South American population data. It was also supplemented with Cram, G. F. (1901). Cram's Standard American Railway System Atlas of the World. [5]. The population data from this atlas is rounded to the nearest thousand and it appears to be less accurate. Some figures appear to be a bit on the enthusiastic side. Due to this, municipalities that had a population figure of 5,000 were excluded. 

When it comes to data from Lahmeyer, J. (2006). Population statistics. [6] it is also rounded. Many of the figures from Rand McNally's atlas tend to be quite close to the figures cited by Lahmeyer except Lahmeyer's is typically rounded to the nearest hundred or thousand keeping a minimum of three significant figures. Lahmeyer's data seemed a bit off from Rand's South American population data so I excluded it as a source for South America's data.

A couple of other sources were used for Latin America. The data for the Chilean municipalities was corroborated by the 1895 Chilean census [53]. The data for Paraguay was corroborated by a document published by the U.S. Government Printing Office in 1892 [54].

The administrative division between different places in Latin America varies (like the aforementioned New England example). There may be a number of urban areas that were not incorporated & were part of regional municipalities or departments (i.e., in Puerto Rico) so it's difficult to speculate their populations. Also, some incorporated municipalities might cover larger areas leading to a higher population count (i.e., in El Salvador).

 

3 Legend


In this section I outline what each column header and abbreviation means in section the following section, 4.

3.1 Column Headers


  • Untitled: This number column is permanent in its order and doesn't change as you sort by different columns. This can be used for reference as you're comparing data. 
  • # (Number): This column indicates the population rank of the municipality within all of North America. 
  • Municipality: The name of the municipality is given. Alternative spellings are separated by "/" and if the municipality has been renamed (but not absorbed, amalgamated, or reincorporated as massive area) the new name will be in (parentheses). 
  • Admin. (Administrative Division): The principle administrative division the municipality is found in (i.e., state, province, territory, department, etc.). 
  • C/D/C (Country/Dominion/Country): For a complete breakdown, see section 5.1 
  • Population: The population of the municipality in c. 1900. 1900 (USA), 1901 (British Empire), 1895 (Mexico). 
  • # in Admin. (Number in Administrative Division): This is the municipality's c. 1900 population rank relative to the other municipalities in its administrative division. 
  • Total in Admin. (Total in Administrative Division): This is the total number of municipalities with more than 5,000 inhabitants c. 1900 present in the administrative division the municipalities is found in. 
  • Admin. Cap. (Administrative Division): If the municipality is the capital of the administrative division that it is found in a "yes" is displayed. 
  • # in C/D/C (# in Country/Dominion/Colony): The municipality's c. 1900 population rank relative to other municipalities present in the country, dominion, or colony it is found in. 
  • Total in C/D/C (Total in Country/Dominion/Colony): The total number of municipalities with more than 5,000 inhabitants c. 1900 present in the country, dominion, or colony that the municipality is found in. 
  • Cap. (Capital): If the municipality is the highest capital in the country, dominion, or colony c. 1900 a "yes" is displayed (London, Washington, Paris, Amsterdam/The Hague, and Copenhagen take precedent over their colonies though). 
  • Continent: North America (including the Caribbean) or South America. 
  • # by Continent: The municipality's population rank within the continent it is found on. 
  • Empire: Which empire the municipality is found in. i.e., USA, British, French, Dutch, Danish, 
  • # in Empire: If the municipality is part of an empire this column displays the municipality's population rank relative to the other municipalities in that empire with more than 5,000 inhabitants found within the Americas. 
  • Total in Empire: If the municipality is part of an empire this column displays the number of municipalities with more than 5,000 inhabitants found within that empire within the Americas. 
  • Language: The primary languages spoken in the country the municipality is found in. French and English speaking Canada is differentiated. 
  • # by Language: The municipality's population rank by language predominantly spoken. 
  • Navigable Waterbody: The name of the navigable waterbody the municipality is on [5]. 
  • Ocean: If the municipality is on or is in some way connected to an ocean by a navigable waterway (naturally, by canal, or other engineering projects), the name of that ocean is displayed in this column. If the municipality is on a landlocked navigable waterbody "Inland" is displayed [5]. 
  • Sources: The sources for the population figure. Each number corresponds to the numbers used in the reference section at the end of this article.

3.2 Abbreviations




4 The Population Data


In this section is one interactive table and an interactive Google Map. The table has its own independent scroll bars on the bottom and on the right of its interface. You can use them to navigate from column to column and row to row.

Beneath the table is the interactive Google Map, close by to allow one to go back and forth easily. A star icon represents 100,000+ inhabitants, diamond 20,000-100,000, square 10,000-20,000, and circle 5,000-10,000. When you click on an icon it will display the corresponding municipality's population and rank. Since initially making the map I've updated the ranking so it might be a little bit off the further you go down. The table is the most reliable source. There's a full screen option on the map in the upper right of its interface, that version has a search bar that you can use to search for any of the municipalities.

- Map of the Americas with Street View enabled (Unstable, reverts to normal map frequently).

- Information last updated 10/11/2014.



5 Observations


5.1 Number of Municipalities per Colony/Dominion/Country


The following table shows all of the colonies, dominions, countries in the Americas in the year 1900. They are ranked by their populations. The entire population of the Americas in the year 1900 was around 145,720,075 inhabitants. 140,250,475 lived in one of the countries or dominions and 5,469,600 lived in a territorial possession.



Below is a pie chart showing the distribution of population between the individual entities listed in the table above.


Below is another pie chart, this one showing the distribution of municipalities in the Americas by the entities listed in the table at the beginning of this section.



6 Further Reading and Related Articles


For links to all of my related writings you can visit my Population Data and Architecture Articles page.

You can help support me and my work by becoming a patron: http://www.patreon.com/billywilson

7 Glossary



  • Amalgamation: The process of combining or uniting multiple entities into one form. 
  • British North America: A term to refer to the colonies and territories of the British Empire in continental North America. Largely used in the 19th century. 
  • Commuter City: A smaller city that is found on the periphery of a much larger city. Commuter cities are also commonly referred to as a "bedroom community" since many of the inhabitants may live in them but travel to the primary city for their occupation. 
  • Incorporated: Refers to a "municipal corporation" which is a political subdivision composed of citizens and a geographic area. In this article's case it may be a village, town, or city. 
  • Urban Designation: The official title of "unincorporated", "village", "town", or "city". 
  • Primary Predecessor Municipality: The dominant municipality that is usually thought of as absorbing other municipalities through the process of amalgamation. Typically the name of the dominant municipality is retained. 

8 References


To keep things neat and manageable, I utilize one universal reference list for all of my population and architecture related articles: Reference List for Population Data and Architecture Articles.