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-72TUO SOURCES OF POPULATION DATA FOR NINETEENTH CENTURY CHINA Gilbert Roznan Princeton University Ie It for want of useful sources of data that Chinese history scarcely surfaces in the current wave of social science research that engulfs vvrlous parte of the world? My impression Is that many specialist» on China would answer affirmatively. After all, rich finds of data are a necessary, if not sufficient, condition for the application of disciplinary skills, for the testing of hypotheses framed in other settings, «ad for specific insight into how phenomena varied In time and space. And where can one discover reasonably accurate and sufficient data for premodern China to use social science analysis? In this brief report, I shall introduce two sources of data which might make it possible to interprete the population statistics in local gazetteers as well as make a detailed analysis of demographic variations In several areas. In their own right, these new sources of data can shed new light on the mystery of Ch'ing population structure and change. Further, they offer an unexplored route to reassess the population statistics in gazetteers, data that have remained virtually unanalyzed since Ho Ping-ti provided a valuable introduction to them nearly twenty years ago. Although neither of these sources has been examined for its Insights Into population variables, they have already been examined by Japanese 2 scholars. Taken together, the ChIn-men pao-chia t'u-ahuo for Tientsin hsien in 1846 and the Ch'ing hsien ts'un-t'u for Ch'ing hsien (also In -73T lentsin fu) about 1875 offer a rare perspective for comparing settlements in northern Chihli province during the mid-nineteenth century.* Instead of analyzing the population data in these two sources, I will describe their contents and discuss some demographic themes which can be addressed through them. Nature of the Data The Ch'ing hsien data cover the 435 settlements in the county. Along with a variety of information on each settlement, a map appears showing houses, temples and rivers. For each village and city In Ch'ing hsien, the ts'un-t'u record the number of households, the number of males and females both over and under age 16 (Chinese-style ages) , the names and ages of persons over age 70 and of degree holders, headmen and "virtuous" women and figures· on land holdings, inns, temples (including the number of rooms In each) and school attendance. These materials have counterparts in the somewhat less Informative and less complete ts'un-t'u for two other administrative units In Chihli province, Shen chou chih-li chou and a portion of Chengting hsien. The t'u-ehuo for Tientsin county shows clusters of villages and treats separately sections of populous Tientsin city. The format is quite similar to the ts'un-t'u; for each of the 173 units there is a map with descriptive evidence. For each cluster of villages, figures show the number of households classified into more than seventeen social strata and the population size * I am grateful to Professors Shiba Toshinobu and Aoyama Sadao for making microfilm copies of the Ch'ing hsien ts'un-t'u available to me. The Chinmen pao-chia t'u-shuo can be found at the Harvard-Tenchlng library. -74over and under age 16. Unlike the ts'un-t'u. these data do not indicate any breakdown by sex nor do they provide further information about the settlement except for the number of temples; however, the detailed occupational classification, as Indicated by the categories of social strata, Is unique to this source. These two sets of data can be used to check the veracity of population statistics contained in local gazetteers. This evaluation can take three main forms. First, it can assess the distribution by single years of age of degree holders, village headmen, the elderly over age 70 and virtuous women. Do these breakdowns by age correspond to what would be expected, given normal expectaions of birth rates and death rates, by demographers accustomed to measuring these distributions and by historians of China aware of the criteria for becoming a degree holder or a headman? Tee, the distributions prove to be realistic...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3257
Print ISSN
0884-3236
Pages
pp. 72-78
Launched on MUSE
2011-07-06
Open Access
No
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