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Writing history backwards or sideways : towards a consensus on African population, 1850–2010

Frankema, Ewout LU and Jerven, Morten LU (2014) In Economic History Review 67(4). p.907-931
Abstract
This article aims to make an empirical and theoretical contribution towards the creation of a continent-wide dataset on African population extending into the pre-1950 era. We investigate the reliability and the validity of the current population databases with the aim of working towards a consensus on the long-term series of African total population with a reliable 1950 benchmark. The cases of Kenya, Nigeria, and Ghana are explored to show the uneven coverage of census taking in colonial and post-colonial Africa and to demonstrate the need for an upward adjustment of the conventional 1950 benchmark. In addition, we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of Manning's approach of projecting population growth estimates backwards in time by... (More)
This article aims to make an empirical and theoretical contribution towards the creation of a continent-wide dataset on African population extending into the pre-1950 era. We investigate the reliability and the validity of the current population databases with the aim of working towards a consensus on the long-term series of African total population with a reliable 1950 benchmark. The cases of Kenya, Nigeria, and Ghana are explored to show the uneven coverage of census taking in colonial and post-colonial Africa and to demonstrate the need for an upward adjustment of the conventional 1950 benchmark. In addition, we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of Manning's approach of projecting population growth estimates backwards in time by adopting the available Indian census data as African ‘default growth rates’, and we propose an alternative approach by incorporating the demographic experiences of tropical land-abundant countries in South-East Asia. (Less)
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author
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Economic History Review
volume
67
issue
4
pages
25 pages
publisher
Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN
1468-0289
DOI
10.1111/1468-0289.12041
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
9b722654-ce14-4642-a9a7-8cd4d3e02d86
date added to LUP
2017-06-19 05:55:27
date last changed
2017-06-26 11:13:55
@article{9b722654-ce14-4642-a9a7-8cd4d3e02d86,
  abstract     = {This article aims to make an empirical and theoretical contribution towards the creation of a continent-wide dataset on African population extending into the pre-1950 era. We investigate the reliability and the validity of the current population databases with the aim of working towards a consensus on the long-term series of African total population with a reliable 1950 benchmark. The cases of Kenya, Nigeria, and Ghana are explored to show the uneven coverage of census taking in colonial and post-colonial Africa and to demonstrate the need for an upward adjustment of the conventional 1950 benchmark. In addition, we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of Manning's approach of projecting population growth estimates backwards in time by adopting the available Indian census data as African ‘default growth rates’, and we propose an alternative approach by incorporating the demographic experiences of tropical land-abundant countries in South-East Asia.},
  author       = {Frankema, Ewout and Jerven, Morten},
  issn         = {1468-0289},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {907--931},
  publisher    = {Wiley-Blackwell},
  series       = {Economic History Review},
  title        = {Writing history backwards or sideways : towards a consensus on African population, 1850–2010},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1468-0289.12041},
  volume       = {67},
  year         = {2014},
}