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Cape Colony
Population (1904).
Area in sq. m. White. Coloured. Total. Per sq. m.
Cape Colony Proper 206,613 553,452 936,239 1,489,691 7.21
British Bechuanaland 51,424 9,368 75,104 84,472 1.64
Native Territories 18,310 16,777 817,867 834,644 45.50
Walfish Bay and Islands 648 144 853 997 1.50
Total 276,995 579,741 1,830,063 2,409,804 8.70

of the total population are in the proportion of 4 to 6 in the colony proper. The great bulk of the people inhabit the coast region. The population is densest in the south-west corner (which includes Cape Town, the capital) where the white outnumbers the coloured population. Here in an area of 1711 sq. m. the inhabitants exceed 264,000, being 154 to the sq. m. The urban population, reckoning as such dwellers in the nine largest towns and their suburbs, exceeds 331,000, being nearly 25% of the total population of the colony proper. Of the coloured inhabitants at the 1904 census 15,682 were returned as Malay, 8489 as Indians, 85,892 as Hottentots,[1] 4168 as Bushmen and 6289 as Griquas. The Kaffir and Bechuana tribes numbered 1,114,067 individuals, besides 310,720 Fingoes separately classified, while 279,662 persons were described as of mixed race. Divided by sex (including white and black) the males numbered (1904) 1,218,940, the females 1,190,864, females being in the proportion of 97.70 to 100 males. By race the proportion is:—whites, 82.16 females to every 100 males (a decrease of 10% compared with 1891); coloured, 103.22 females to every 100 males. Of the total population over 14 years old—1,409,975—the number married was 738,563 or over 50%. Among the white population this percentage was only reached in adults over 17.

The professional, commercial and industrial occupations employ about ¼th of the white population. In 1904 whites engaged in such pursuits numbered respectively only 32,202, 46,750 and 67,278, Whereas 99,319 were engaged in domestic employment, and 111,175 in agricultural employment, while 214,982 (mostly children) were dependants. The natives follow domestic and agricultural pursuits almost exclusively.

Registration of births and deaths did not become compulsory till 1895. Among the European population the birth-rate is about 33.00 per thousand, and the death-rate 14.00 per thousand. The birth-rate among the coloured inhabitants is about the same as with the whites, but the death-rate is higher—about 25.00 per thousand.

Immigration and Emigration.—From 1873 to 1884 only 23,337 persons availed themselves of the government aid to immigrants from England to the Cape, and in 1886 this aid was stopped. The total number of adult immigrants by sea, however, steadily increased from 11,559 in 1891 to 38,669 in 1896, while during the same period the number of departures by sea only increased from 8415 to 17,695, and most of this increase took place in the last year. But from 1896 onwards the uncertainty of the political position caused a falling off in the number of immigrants, while the emigration figures still continued to grow; thus in 1900 there were 29,848 adult arrivals by sea, as compared with 21,163 departures. Following the close of the Anglo-Boer War the immigration figures rose in 1903 to 61,870, whereas the departures numbered 29,615. This great increase proved transitory; in 1904 and 1905 the immigrants numbered 32,282 and 33,775 respectively, while in the same years the emigrants numbered 33,651 and 34,533. At the census of 1904, 21.68% of the European population was born outside Africa, persons of Russian extraction constituting the strongest foreign element.

Provinces.—The first division of the colony for the purposes of administration and election of members for the legislative council was into two provinces, a western and an eastern, the western being largely Dutch in sentiment, the eastern chiefly British. With the growth of the colony these provinces were found to be inconveniently large, and by an act of government, which became law in 1874, the country was portioned out into seven provinces; about the same time new fiscal divisions were formed within them by the reduction of those already existing. The seven provinces are named from their geographical position: western, north-western, south-western, eastern, north-eastern, south-eastern and midland. In general usage the distinction made is into western and eastern provinces, according to the area of the primary division Griqualand West on its incorporation with the colony in 1880 became a separate province, and when the crown colony of British Bechuanaland was taken over by the Cape in 1895 it also became a separate province (see Griqualand and Bechuanaland). For electoral purposes the Native Territories (see Kaffraria) are included in the eastern province.

Chief Towns.—With the exception of Kimberley the principal towns (see separate notices) are on the coast. The capital, Cape Town, had a population (1904) of 77,668, or including the suburbs, 169,641. The most important of these suburbs, which form separate municipalities, are Woodstock (28,990), Wynberg (18,477), and Claremont (14,972). Kimberley, the centre of the diamond mining industry, 647 m. up country from Cape Town, had a pop. of 34,331, exclusive of the adjoining municipality of Beaconsfield (9378). Port Elizabeth, in Algoa Bay, had 32,959 inhabitants, East London, at the mouth of the Buffalo river, 25,220. Cambridge (pop. 3480) is a suburb of East London. Uitenhage (pop. 12,193) is 21 m. N.N.W. of Port Elizabeth. Of the other towns Somerset West (2613), Somerset West Strand (3059), Stellenbosch (4969), Paarl (11,293), Wellington (4881), Ceres (2410), Malmesbury (3811), Caledon (3508), Worcester (7885), Robertson (3244) and Swellendam (2406) are named in the order of proximity to Cape Town, from which Swellendam is distant 134 m. Other towns in the western half of the colony are Riversdale (2643), Oudtshoorn (8849), Beaufort West (5478), Victoria West (2762), De Aar (3271), and the ports of Mossel Bay (4206) and George (3506). Graaff Reinet (10,083), Middleburg (6137), Cradock (7762), Aberdeen (2553), Steynsburg (2250) and Colesberg (2668) are more centrally situated, while in the east are Graham's Town (13,887), King William's Town (9506), Queenstown (9616), Molteno (2725), Burghersdorp (2894), Tarkastad (2270), Dordrecht (2052), Aliwal North (5566), the largest town on the banks of the Orange, and Somerset East (5216). Simon's Town (6643) in False Bay is a station of the British navy. Mafeking (2713), in the extreme north of the colony near the Transvaal frontier, Taungs (2715) and Vryburg (2985) are in Bechuanaland. Kokstad (2903) is the capital of Griqualand East, Umtata (2342) the capital of Tembuland.

Port Nolloth is the seaport for the Namaqualand copper mines, whose headquarters are at O'okiep (2106). Knysna, Port Alfred and Port St Johns are minor seaports. Barkly East and Barkly West are two widely separated towns, the first being E.S.E. of Aliwal North and Barkly West in Griqualand West. Hopetown and Prieska are on the south side of the middle course of the Orange river. Upington (2508) lies further west on the north bank of the Orange and is the largest town in the western part of Bechuanaland. Indwe (2608) is the centre of the coal mining region in the east of the colony. The general plan of the small country towns is that of streets laid out at right angles, and a large central market square near which are the chief church, town hall and other public buildings. In several of the towns, notably those founded by the early Dutch settlers, the streets are tree-lined. Those towns for which no population figures are given had at the 1904 census fewer than 2000 inhabitants.

Agriculture and Allied Industries.—Owing to the scarcity of water over a large part of the country the area of land under cultivation is restricted. The farmers, in many instances, are pastoralists, whose wealth consists in their stock of cattle, sheep and goats, horses, and, in some cases, ostriches. In the lack of adequate irrigation much fertile soil is left untouched.

The principal cereal crops are wheat, with a yield of 1,701,000

  1. This is an overstatement. The director of the census estimated the true number of Hottentots at about 56,000.