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Thread: Historically Slavs were only a small part of Europe's population

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    Historically Slavs were only a small part of Europe's population

    Today Slavic-speakers are perhaps the most numerous linguistic group in Europe, at least if you include Russians. But this only really became a reality in recent centuries. In the Early Middle Ages Slavs lived over vast territory but population density was low.

    Population estimates for several areas in the Early Middle Ages:

    France in 1000 AD: low estimate 6.5 million, high estimate 9 million
    Iberia in 1000 AD: low estimate 4.6 million, high estimate 9 million
    Italy in 1000 AD: low estimate 5 million, high estimate 7 million
    Germany* in 1100 AD: low estimate 10 million, high estimate 12 million

    *Only "Altdeutschland" west of the Elbe - without East Germany, which was a Slavic land back then.

    On the other hand, for Slavs I found the following estimates:

    West Slavs in 1000 AD: low estimate 1.8 million, high estimate 2.5 million
    South Slavs in 1000 AD: low estimate 1.2 million, high estimate 2 million
    East Slavs in 1000 AD: low estimate 3.5 million, high estimate 4.5 million

    TOTAL Slavic population in year 1000 AD: 6.5 million (low) to 9 million (high)

    Poland in 1000 AD had 1 million up to 1.25 million, so around half of all West Slavs.

    The remaining half of West Slavs lived in Czecho-Slovak lands and in East Germany.

    =========

    As you can see Germany, France, Italy and Iberia each had a comparable population size as all Slavic lands altogether.

    I also have data about Slavic populations at the beginning of the 19th century. I will post this data below.

    Even at that time (early 1800s) France alone had more inhabitants than the total number of ethnic Russians.
    Last edited by Tomenable; 09-24-2018 at 12:50 AM.

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    Stanisław Plater in his book "Geography of Eastern Europe...", published in 1825, gives the following numbers:

    East Slavs - 36 million (28 million Russians, the rest Ukrainians, Belarusians and 1 million Cossacks)
    West Slavs - 14 million (including 8 million Poles)
    South Slavs - 5 million, but he forgot about Bulgarians, we should add at least 1 million Bulgarians

    TOTAL - around 56 million in the early 1800s (ca. 1820). France alone had over 30 million people at that time.

    For ethnic Poles, I also have estimates for the 17th century and for year 1900:

    1000 AD - 1 million
    1600 AD - 5 million
    1648 AD - 6 million (it then declined due to wars in late 1600s & early 1700s)
    1800 AD - 8 million
    1900 AD - 20 million (including Diaspora, in the USA already ca. 1.9 million)

    =====

    Today Wikipedia estimates Slavic population worldwide to be 360 million, this includes Diasporas outside Europe:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavs#Population

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    It is interesting that around year 1000 AD South Slavs were ca. 1/5 (18-22%) of all Slavs.

    Over time their share has declined to around 1/10. The share of East Slavs has increased.

    In 1000 AD East Slavs were only slightly over half of Slavs, in 1800 already around 2/3.

    =====

    Also estimates for some other areas (estimated population in year 1000 AD):

    Britain and Ireland - 2.5 up to 3 million
    Norway and Sweden* - 1 million together
    Belgium - around 400-600 thousand

    Compared to France and Germany, Britain was a small population back then.

    *Ancient Scandinavia: https://anthrogenica.com/showthread....ermanic-Tribes
    Last edited by Tomenable; 09-24-2018 at 12:37 AM.

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