- 1666 census of New France
The 1666 census of New France was the first
censusconducted in Canada(and indeed in North America). It was organized by Jean Talon, the first Intendant of New France, between 1665and 1666.
Talon and the French Minister of the Marine
Jean-Baptiste Colberthad recently ( 1663) brought the colony of New Franceunder direct royal control, and Colbert wished to make it the centre of the French colonial empire. To do this he needed to know the state of the population, so that the economic and industrial basis of the colony could be expanded.
Jean Talon conducted the census largely by himself, travelling door-to-door among the settlements of New France. He did not include Native American inhabitants of the colony, or the religious orders such as the
According to Talon's census there were 3215 people in New France, and 538 separate families. There were 2034 men and 1181 women. Children and unmarried people were grouped together; there were 2154 of these, while only 1019 people were married (42 were widowed). 547 people lived in Quebec, 455 in Trois-Rivières, and 625 in
Montreal. The largest single age group, 21-30 year olds, numbered 842. 763 people were professionals of some kind, and 401 of these were servants, while 16 were listed as "gentlemen of means."
* [http://www.statcan.ca/english/kits/jtalon1.htm Statistics Canada info kit]
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