U.S. Population in 1776 and 1790

The first census was done in 1790. The population of the U.S. was found to be 3,929,214 people. In 1776, at the time of the Declaration of Independence, historians estimate the population to have been about 2.5 million people. That is less than the population of San Diego County today.

It’s also interesting to compare population and population growth of the white versus African-American population, including the percentage of black slaves:

19 thoughts on “U.S. Population in 1776 and 1790

      1. I actually don’t know for sure, but I would assume that Native Americans were not even counted or considered as part of our nation. This is a good question, and it prompted me that I would want to research this further and expand the post.

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    1. There is no source for that, so my careful guess would be: NO. Most Native Americans were not part of the “United States” as they lived farther out west than the original colonies. I am sure no census counted them. There may be anthropological sources that estimated the population count of the Native Americans, but I have not researched those for this.

  2. Bill

    Hey…. Thanks or the info. The ratio of blacks to white appears to remain the same. Interesting… You should add a line for the 2010 census to complete the chart.

  3. Anonymous

    I was under the understanding that only 318,000 slaves were brought to the USA. The numbers here must record the natural growth of the black population.

      1. TorgerTheTruthTeller

        They (Blacks) had many descendants? Does that happen with a beaten-down, brutalized community?

        FACT IS: Living in the Balmy South, their life was much better than it was for most homesteaders in the Far North, and, many of the European immigrants were sent to logging or mining camps, stuck in barracks, no wives, no families, free men, but still, lived a life of brutal slave labor, more so than others in the Balmy (i.e., warm) South where men had wives, 10-15 kids was common, average was over 6, and, if working on some other plantation due to seasonal work, or type of work, that is, logging or building in winter, on farms in summer, then they were allowed to go home to their wife and kids on Saturday after noon and made to come back on Monday – they had more time off work every week than men in mining or logging camps in the North, and, farmers had to work 7 days a week – I know – I lived it, and, the people who homesteaded the farm I lived on, lived in a log cabin too.

      2. This is an interesting rationalization. The living conditions of slaves were forced, and their offspring was relegated to slavery. These humans had no choice in their condition. Homesteaders, whether in the balmy south or in the brutal north went there by choice. Yes, I can see how, once there, live was brutal, and unexpected, but they were free men who made the decisions to be there. In my estimation, there is a HUGE difference between the two.

      3. Brandon

        Was interested as how you define a slave? Most commonly defined as a person who is the legal property of another, and it seems your using that definition. Citizens of USA (jus soli & jus sanguinis) fall under this definition and have only a few more choices than did slaves, but are still property.

        Sovereign States, by UN standards, 195 with a max of 390 Sovereign Individuals (heads of state/government).

        0.01% of land area with no claim of ownership by State
        0.001% human population,10 million, with no State claim of property
        We have a long ways to go to abolish slavery, the most disgusting aspect of human character.

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  5. Lamar MOreland

    Mr Haupt,

    Please append citations for your census chart published on January 16, 2011. Thank you very much for the information.

    Lamar Moreland

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