What would the population of the Portuguese Empire have been in 1800 or 1850? How many Europeans were there in Angola, or in Goa? Where was the enslaved population percentage higher? This research aims to quantify and analyze the living conditions of the various ethnic, religious, free, and non-free groups that existed in the Portuguese Empire. The Counting Colonial Populations’ project goes far beyond numbers and quantification. It aims to uncover new

evidence for research, particularly in the area of social history, but also political and administrative history. What were these censuses used for? To what degree were population statistics used as a means by European states to control and secure sovereignty in their overseas possessions?

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  General objectives
  • To identify and analyse the demographic patterns in the Portuguese Empire between 1776 and 1875.
  • To explain how the population statistics had a significant role in the consolidation of the Portuguese colonies in Africa, Asia and the Americas.
Specific objectives
  • To identify and reconstruct the main demographic indicators of the colonial populations.
  • To Identify and explain the demographic regimes.
  • To reconstruct the bureaucratic circuits used in the gathering and creation of statistical data and to identify the evolution of the population’s categories.
  • To assess how theses statistics met the needs of the colonial administration, militarily, fiscally and regarding territorial occupation.