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Estimated pre-colonization population of the Americas~1492

Estimated indigenous populations of the Americas at the time of European contact, beginning in 1492

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Sources

Release date

1983

Region

North America, Central and South America, LAC

Survey time period

~1492

Supplementary notes

The totals for each source are as follows:
Lowest estimate: 8.4 million
Middle estimate: 57.3 million
Highest estimate: 112.55 million

The "Middle estimate" source acknowledges the hazards and difficulties of estimating these populations. The numbers used in the "Middle estimate" source have been frequently cited by modern historians. The "Lowest estimate" and "Highest estimate" figures appear to be the most extreme figures from reputable sources.

*The source used for "Highest estimate" figures shows a lower number for the Caribbean population than those of the "Middle estimate".

The source used for the "Lowest estimate", from Alfred Kroeber's article in American Anthropologist (1934), can be found here (page 24). Figures from Henry Dorbyns' article An Appraisal of Techniques with a New Hemispheric Estimate (1966) estimates can be found here (page 3).

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