Skip to main content Accessibility help
Hostname: page-component-768ffcd9cc-s8fcc Total loading time: 0.758 Render date: 2022-12-04T22:23:03.651Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

8 - Population Change

from Part II - 1000 to 1800

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 February 2022

Debin Ma
Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo
Richard von Glahn
University of California, Los Angeles
Get access


In the preface to his seminal Studies on the Population of China, 1368–1953, Ping-ti Ho called his book “basically an essay in economic history” that “is not intended to be a demographic analysis, which must be undertaken by experts differently equipped than I.” Ho’s approach was endorsed by John K. Fairbank in his foreword to the book, because “statistics of the modern or would-be-modern type – census data and government statistical reports designed for the purpose – are unavailable for China in the Ming and Ch’ing periods.”1 For Ho and Fairbank, the research approach Ho took in his work belonged to population history, not historical demography. Whereas population history is a subfield of historical studies, using historical research methods to investigate population patterns in history, historical demography is a subfield of demography, mainly using research methods in modern demographic studies, in particular statistical analysis of data such as marriage, reproduction, death, and family structures, and investigates the relationship between fluctuations in these indicators and their social and environmental settings.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Further Reading

Shuji, Cao 曹树基, Zhongguo renkou shi, 1368–1953 中国人口史, 1368–1953 (Shanghai, Shanghai Jiaotong daxue chubanshe, forthcoming).Google Scholar
Shuji, Cao 曹树基 and Yixin, Chen 陈意新, “Maersasi lilun yu Qingdai yilaide Zhongguo renkou: Dui Meiguo xuezhe jinnianlai xiangguan yanjiude piping” 马尔萨斯理论与清代以来的中国人口 – 对美国学者近年来相关研究的批评, Lishi yanjiu 历史研究 2002.1, 4154.Google Scholar
Shuji, Cao 曹树基 and Yushang, Li 李玉尚, Shuyi: Zhanzheng yu heping: 1320–1960 nianzhong Zhongguode huanjing yu shehui bianqian 鼠疫:战争与和平: 13201960 年中中国的环境与社会变迁 (Ji’nan, Shandong huabao chubanshe, 2006).Google Scholar
Deng, Kent, “Unveiling China’s True Population Statistics for the Pre-modern Era with Official Census Data,” Population Review 43.2 (2004), 138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Deng, Kent, and Sun, Shengmin, “China’s Extraordinary Population Expansion and Its Determinants during the Qing Period, 1644–1911,” Population Review 58.1 (2019), 2077.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Deng, Kent, and Zheng, Lucy, “Economic Restructuring and Demographic Growth: Demystifying Growth and Development in Northern Song China, 960–1127,” Economic History Review 68.4 (2015), 1107–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dunstan, Helen, “The Late Ming Epidemics: A Preliminary Survey,” Ch’ing-shih wen-t’i 3.3 (1975), 159.Google Scholar
Jianxiong, Ge 葛剑雄 (ed.), Zhongguo renkou shi 中国人口史, 6 vols. (Shanghai, Fudan daxue chubanshe, 2000–2005).Google Scholar
Jianxiong, Ge 葛剑雄 (ed.), Zhongguo yimin shi 中国移民史, 6 vols. (Fuzhou, Fujian renmin chubanshe, 1997).Google Scholar
Harrell, Stevan (ed.), Chinese Historical Microdemography (Berkeley, University of California Press, 1995).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Harrell, Stevan, “The Rich Get Children: Segmentation, Stratification, and Population in Three Chekiang Lineages,” in Hanley, Susan B. and Wolf, Arthur P. (eds.), Family and Population in East Asian History (Stanford, Stanford University Press, 1985), pp. 81132.Google Scholar
Hartwell, Robert M., “Demographic, Political, and Social Transformations of China, 750–1550,” Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 42.2 (1982), 365442.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ho, Ping-ti, Studies on the Population of China, 1368–1953 (Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press, 1959).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Tao, Jiang 姜涛, Renkou yu lishi: Zhongguo chuantong renkou jiegou yanjiu 人口与历史: 中国传统人口结构研究 (Beijing, Renmin chubanshe, 1998).Google Scholar
Lavely, William, and Bin Wong, R., “Revising the Malthusian Narrative: The Comparative Study of Population Dynamics in Late Imperial China,” Journal of Asian Studies 57.3 (1998), 714–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lee, James, “Food Supply and Population Growth in Southwest China, 250–1850,” Journal of Asian Studies 41.4 (1982), 711–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lee, James Z., and Campbell, Cameron, Fate and Fortune in Rural China: Social Organization and Population Behavior in Liaoning, 1774–1873 (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1997).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lee, James, and Feng, Wang, One Quarter of Humanity: Malthusian Mythology and Chinese Realities, 1700–2000 (Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press, 1999).Google Scholar
Changbin, Song 宋昌斌, Zhongguo huji zhidu shi 中国户籍制度史, revised ed. (Xi’an, Sanlian chubanshe, 2016).Google Scholar

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats