National Life and Character/Appendix A

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Country. Whites. Indians. Mixed. Negroes.
Mexico (1882) 1,909,000   3,765,044 4,785,940  
Guatemala (1889) 184,000 ? 876,000 400,000 ?
Honduras (1889) 82,000 ? 350,000
Salvador (1886) 10,000 ? 654,000
Nicaragua 50,000 ? 330,000
Costa Rica 40,000 ? 3,500 160,000 ?
British Honduras 15,000 ? 26,000  
Colombia (1881) 450,000   1,800,000 1,500,000   120,000
Venezuela (1888) 480,000   326,000 1,200,000   50,000
Peru 474,390   1,832,000 650,000   50,000 Chinese
Ecuador 100,000   890,000 300,000
Bolivia 500,000   1,100,000 600,000
Brazil 3,787,289   386,955 3,801,787 1,954,452
Paraguay 66,000 130,000 264,000
8,187,679 11,696,999 13,661,727 2,174,452  
1,334.000 pure and mixed.

Of these numbers, taken merely from the Statesman's Year-Book, it may be observed—

1. That the number of pure whites allotted to Brazil seems extravagantly large. It probably includes all half-castes, except mulattoes.

2. In Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and British Honduras, the number of whites is given conjecturally, or by collection, from all estimates. The estimate of whites for Colombia is taken from Lanier's Amérique du Sud, p. 372.

3. The last census of Venezuela shows a decisive increase of half-castes and diminution of pure Indians. Former censuses give the numbers as follows:—

  Whites. Indians. Half-castes. Slaves.
1800 200,000 120,000 406,000 62,000
1810 (Alison) 212,000 120,000 341,000 62,000
1839 (Wayle) 260,000 222.000 414,000 50,000

We must take into account in considering Venezuela—(1) that in 1881 there were 34,916 foreign residents of white extraction; (2) that a great many wild Indians have been civilised after a fashion during the last half-century; and (3) that half-castes are bound to increase disproportionately, other things being equal.

4. If the numbers given above are approximately correct, the coloured races, pure and mixed, are as 28,000,000 or 29,000,000 to 8,000,000 or 9,000,000 of whites, or practically white, If, however, the whites are over-calculated for Brazil, as seems certain, the proportion of the coloured to the white races in these regions is probably as four to one. What are the chances that the white races will be reinforced by immigration so as to preserve its present ratio? and, if it is not so reinforced, must it not gradually be absorbed? Putting the Indians out of the question, the negroes alone, though now inferior in numbers to the whites, would easily increase in a century so as to swamp them if the two races multiply in the same proportions as the whites and coloured people of the Black Belt in the United States. It is not at present likely that the negroes will absorb Colombia, Venezuela, or Peru. It seems at least very possible that they will make Brazil practically a negro state with an influential white minority.

5. In the preceding calculation the negroes of the Black Belt in the United States have not been taken into account. It is obvious, however, that from 8,000,000 to 9,000,000 blacks, increasing at a rapid rate, and settling by preference in the warmer climates, are likely at no very distant time to reinforce the coloured population of Central and Southern America. They may contribute a yearly tide of immigrants by sea, simply because they want more space, or the legislation of the United States may be so framed as to dispose them to settle elsewhere. Central America at present would appear to offer them more inducements than Africa.[1]

  1. Bryce says of Mexico: "The population was in 1884, 10,460,703, of whom 20 per cent are stated to be pure whites, 43 per cent of mixed races, and the remaining 37 per cent Indians." American Commonwealth, vol. iii. p. 260, note.