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Chapter Summary

The first major enumeration of the population in Ceylon took place in the year 1789 under the Dutch Governor Van der Graaf. According to the Population Censuses of 1881, 1891 and 1901, the total population of Ceylon grew from 2,759,738 in 1881 to 3,007,789 in 1891 and to 3,565,954 in 1901-excluding the Military and the Shipping personnel stationed on the island. The Average Annual Growth (AAG) rate for the whole island is 0.864% in the period from 1881 to 1891. In the case of the three large communities-the Sinhalese, the Tamils and the Moors-further distinctions are possible. The Sinhalese are generally divided in Low-Country Sinhalese-i.e. the inhabitants of the former Maritime Provinces-and Kandyan Sinhalese. The number of Hindus in the Central Province and in Uva greatly increased between 1891 and 1901, while it had remained almost stagnant in the previous decade.

Keywords:Average Annual Growth (AAG) rate; Ceylon; Moors; Sinhalese; Tamils; Uva



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