Jin Dynasty population.

Sep 2018
46
Germany
The population of the Jin dynasty, especially in comparison to that of the Southern Song does surprise me.

Supposedly by 1100 25 million people did live in the areas of the future Jin dynasty (+ an unknown but probably small population in the sixteen prefectures), this was followed by a period of war, devestation and mass flight to the south. This war ended 1142 and in their first census of 1187 the Jin did register 6,789 million households and 44,7 million "mouths", meaning that after a period of warfare the population of the north had grown massivly. Meanwhile the south, which before the war was inhabited by over 75 million people records 12,3 million households in 1187, which is transfered by Dieter Kuhn into 61,8 million people. By 1207 the Jin population had grown to 8,413 million households and 53,5 million "mouths", meanwhile the Southern Song population had grown to encompase 13,6 million households and between 75 and 80,6 million people.

The picture these numbers paint is that the war torn north had a vast growth rate under the Jin, while the peaceful and fertile south bearly recovered to pre Jin war levels over the course of 80 years. This is despite the claims of just about all historians I have read on this topic, that this period saw a strong shift of population and economic weight to the south and that the southern Song had more food security then the Jin, due to more fertileand better developed agriculture.

This is made even stranger by Kublais 1290 Yuan census, where thecombined "hanren" population (including the former Jin, Xia and Korean realms) counted 10 million vs 60 million "nanren" in the former areas of the Southern Song, while Mongol devestation was stronger in the north then in the south and many northerners must have fled south during the Mongol-Jin wars, these numbers are still surprising concidering the Jin census numbers.

Cambridge-History 5 does mention that the Jin census system was among the most effective in China, but that would indicate a horrible undercounting in the south.

Thank you in advance and sorry for my bad English.
 
Sep 2012
1,121
Taiwan
Where does the 25 million in 1100AD figure come from? If it's (extrapolating from) a Song figure, it may not have included women, which could explain the inconsistency?
 
Sep 2018
46
Germany
Where does the 25 million in 1100AD figure come from? If it's (extrapolating from) a Song figure, it may not have included women, which could explain the inconsistency?
It comes from Dieter Kuhns "The age of Confucian rule" and does rely on prefectural numbers. I doubt that he does use only males here, since he in other places also states that by 1100 the north did have only 25% of the Chinese population, meaning that the 25 million would fit for an overall northern Song population of about 100 million.
 
Sep 2012
1,121
Taiwan
Then how to explain the essential halving of census data between the N. Song and S. Song? If only 25% of the population was in the north, then another 25% (from the south) would seem to disappear somewhere.
 
Sep 2018
46
Germany
Then how to explain the essential halving of census data between the N. Song and S. Song? If only 25% of the population was in the north, then another 25% (from the south) would seem to disappear somewhere.
I do ask this question above, it is indeed strange. One could assume that the first Southern Song census didnt count masse sof refugees,were it not for the fact that all following censuses did register an only slightly higher population. Its as if not only was the northern population unharmed by the Jin-Song war, but 1/3 of the Southern population migrated north after said war ended. This is outright bizarre, but thatswhat the census numbers tell us.
 
Sep 2012
1,121
Taiwan
The only other explanation I can think of would be that Liao and NE Asia populations made up the shortfall. I think the Liao were estimated to have around 9 million by 1110 and Franke estimated a combined Khitan/Jurchen population in the Jin of around 4 million, so a weighed average of those figures brings us a little closer to 44 million by 1187; that and the fact the Jurchens (we presume) included slaves in their censuses, whereas the Song did not. That said, it doesn't explain S. Song populations, and Kuhn's estimation of 25% above still seems low, even if it is based on the raw data. I don't have access to that book though, unfortunately. Of course, interpreting these numbers isn't an exact science, and certainly not one I have much experience in.

Edit: also, an 1161 estimate puts the Jin population at around 19.5 million, which would lend credence to the idea of a lower base starting population, but it makes the jump to 44 million just twenty years later seem even more unbelievable, so perhaps better not to put too much faith in it.
 
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May 2009
1,346
Ive read that the Southern Sung had an epidemic of people living "off the grid", never registering and living quasi-outlaw existences, sometimes as boat people. This could mess with the numbers too.
 
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Sep 2018
46
Germany
The Zhongguo renkou shi lists 9 million for 1111 AD (Vol.3, p.372).
Ok so if we do concider that the population of the north did grow between 1100 and 1140 from lets say 25 to 31 million and add 9 million Liao to it we will get 40 million. The problem is that there was large scale devestation and southwards migration during the war, but if we assume that it wasnt large at all, then Jin numbers would make sense. It would also mean that the Mongols did manege to kill the vast majority of northerners. Still southern Song numbers remain problematic, with the south suffering a greater population drop then the north during the Jin-Song war. A solution would be to argue that the Jin census aparatus was far superior to that of the sothern Song and the true Song population by 1200 would be around 100 million. Now all of this is still far from satisfying and leaves many questions.