Chapter 4 - Population
THE sixth largest city in the world, Shanghai, according to accurate semi-official estimates in February, 1934, had a population of 3,350,570. Indications are that Shanghai in 1935 will rank fifth. Latest available statistics:
London 8,202,818 Berlin 4,000,000 NY 6,930,446 Chicago 3,376,438 Tokyo 5,312,000 Shanghai 3,350,570
There is, in fact, a possibility that Shanghai now ranks fifth. Statistics compiled by officials of the City Government of Greater Shanghai at the end of June, 1934, indicated a population for the entire city of 3,402,748, and in this total no allowance was made for increases during the previous few months in the International Settlement and the French Concession, where the Chinese do not make a monthly cheek as they do in their own areas. Assuming that the Chinese authorities are correct, and they are usually accurate, it is not unreasonable to estimate that at this writing (July, 1934) Shanghai has a population in excess of 3,425 000.
Statistical Sources. Divided as Shanghai is, into three separate municipalities, it is impossible to obtain a definitely dated, official population total. The last official census in the International Settlement was taken in 1930; the next one will be taken in 1935. A census was taken in the French Concession in 1932. Statistics of the International Settlement, French Concession, and the City Government of Greater Shanghai were used in the compilation of this chapter.
It is literally true that for the compilation of accurate, up-to-the-minute totals of its population by racial groups, Shanghai is growing so rapidly, the ratio of growth increasing annually, that it is outspeeding its historians and statisticians.
1932 Computation. Figures compiled in 1932 and published in 1933 by the Shanghai Civic Federation, based on the 1930 International Settlement census, the 1932 French Concession census, and the latest available statistics from the City Government of Greater Shanghai, were as follows:
GREATER SHANGHAI (CHINESE): Chinese 1,571,089 Foreigners 9,347 Total 1,580,436 INTERNATIONAL SETTLEMENT: Chinese 1,030,554 Foreigners 44,240 Total 1,074,794 FRENCH CONCESSION: Chinese 462,342 Foreigners 16,210 Total 478,552 Total Chinese 3,063,985 Total Foreign 69,797 Shanghai, grand total 3,133,782
It is interesting, if not convincing, to note that Professor Charles Richet, President of the French Academy of Sciences, announced in May, 1934, that his investigations showed that Shanghai's annual growth, in ratio to population, was the largest of the world's great cities. Furthermore, he estimated on a basis of fixed mathematical calculations that in 1944 the ranking by population would be as follows: New York, Tokyo, Shanghai, Berlin, Moscow, London, and Chicago, with Osaka, Leningrad, Paris and Buenos Aires following in the order named. Territorial accretions or contractions, of course, may upset the professor's calculations.
That there is sound basis for the forecast, however, is disclosed by a brief analysis of Shanghai's growth. Population gains at first were slow. According to one authority the foreign population of the Foreign Settlement was 50 in 1844, and in 1850 the total was 175. A census of 1860 showed 569 foreigners, including 294 British, 125 Americans, 59 Indians and 91 "others." There was a "boom" in the next five years, the first municipal census of 1865 listing 2,235 foreigners, among them 1,329 British, 360 Americans and 175 Germans.
Depression followed the Taiping Rebellion and by 1870 the foreign Population had decreased to 1,569. A recovery to 2,197 was made by 1880, and each subsequent census has shown a substantial gain.
Remarkable Growth. The remarkable growth of modern Shanghai is revealed by the fact that twenty years ago, in 1915, the census listed 18,519 foreigners in the International Settlement and 2,405 in the French Concession, a total of 20,924, including 7,387 Japanese, 5,521 British and 1,448 Americans. At that time the total population of the city was estimated at 1,500,000. Twenty years later, at this writing, Shanghai is nearing the 3,500,000 mark. In 1920 the total population was estimated at 2,000,000, a census then showing 953,375 in the International Settlement and French Concession.
Classification by Nationalities. There are forty-eight distinct nationalities represented in Shanghai, the principal classifications being shown in the following table:
The total listing of foreigners in Shanghai (1930 census) follows: International Settlement, 26,965; external roads areas, 9,506; French Concession, 12,335 -Total, 48,806.
Heavy Russian Immigration. In the past four years, of course, there have been large increases in these figures. For instance, the Russians now probably are the largest single group, due to a continued heavy immigration from Siberia and Manchuria. The Russian population is estimated at 25,000, of whom 22,000 are actually registered. A 1932 census in the French Concession listed 6,045 Russians, an increase of more than 2,000 in two years, which practically accounted for the total increase in the foreign population of the French Concession as of 1932, which was given at 15,462 against 12,335 in 1930.
It is interesting to note that this tabulation shows the French in fourth place among foreigners in their own Concession, being outnumbered by the Russians, British, and Americans, a ratio that still exists, and that in all Shanghai in 1930 they were outnumbered by the Germans by the very close margin of 24. It is believed that the German population has increased much more than the French during the past four years.
So far as is known, the first white woman to come to Shanghai was Mrs. A. Lockhart, a sister of Sir Harry Parkes, British Minister to China, 1882-5. She landed here in 1843, the year Shanghai was opened to foreign trade.