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Medicine Amongst the Maoris, in Ancient and Modern Times

The Population

The Population.

The census has been taken from time to time by the Government, but owing to the many difficulties besetting the task, the earlier ones can only be taken as approximate. The numbers given are:-

1858.-56,049. 1881.-44,097.
1861.-55,336. 1886.-41,969.
1867.-38,540. 1891.-41,993.
1871.-37,502. 1896.-39,894.
1874.-45,470. 1901.-43,143.
1878.-43,595. 1906.-47,731.

It will be seen that owing to many causes already mentioned, the population in 1871 fell as low as 37,502. The last census taken in 1906, shows that there has been an increase. Though many are disinclined to accept the increase to the full extent that the figures would seem to show, it can at least be assume that the rapid decrease of the earlier decades of European contact, haves been stayed. If the present population is compared with that of over ten years ago, it is an undoubted fact that the population has materially decreased. There are tribes and sub-tribes sadly diminished in numbers and the number of dwelling houses in the villages has lessened. But if the present is contrasted with the last few years, then I am confident that, whilst a few villages still show a decrease and others are practically stationary, the majority show a steady if somewhat slow increase of births over deaths. People are apt to think of the fine old chiefs whose deaths cause large assemblies to gather and to forget the children whose numbers are increasing. Though the adult population may be less, this is more than compensated for, from the numerical standpoint, by the increased number of children.