The Census

The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser

26 September 1829

In our front page will be found a Government Notice presenting an abstract of the population of New South Wales, as ascertained by the census of last year.

This is a curious and highly interesting document. In the first place it shews us the fallacy of our contemporary journals, who are forever talking of this large and populous Colony, which they will have it contains upwards of 80,000 souls. We now see that it contains not half the number, only 36,598.

In the next place we see how erroneously the Roman Catholics have been all along said to compose at least a majority of the population. It has indeed, been maintained by some that they amounted to one-fourth or one-third; whereas it now turns out that they are barely as one to three, the grand total being 36,598, and the total of Catholics only 11,236.

The emancipist body, including those free by servitude and those who have been pardoned, amounts to 7,530; the number of actual prisoners of the Crown 15,668; so that the total of those who compose the class distinguished from that of emigrant, is 23,198.

The number of emigrants is 4,673; and of persons born in the Colony, 8,727; making a total of the class distinguished from emancipist of 13,400: but as a large proportion of the native-born are the off spring of emancipists, we cannot fairly reckon the emigrant body, including their children, at more than 9,000. The two bodies, then, as to numerical strength, stand thus  



                                          =  27,598    

Emigrant................................. 9,000   

Majority of Emancipists....... 18,598    

This shows how important a part of the body politic are the emancipists, and con firms our arguments in favour of the expediency of conceding to them an equality of civil rights.

Several other curious statistic calculations are suggested by these tables, but we   must reserve them for another opportunity.