Population in the 1840s

"The foreign population of the Settlement gradually increased. In 1844 it was 50, in the following year, 90, and after five years it had grown to 175. In addition there was a floating population, consisting of the men on shore from the ships in harbour." - F.L. Hawks Potts

Census 1915

According to the 1915 census the total population of the International Settlement as 638,920 of whom 620,401 were Chinese and 18,519 foreigners. The figures for the French Concession were: Chinese residents 146,595, and foreign residents 2,405. The total for the two Settlements was 787,920. Including Chinese living in the adjoining districts, the population of Shanghai was about 1,500,000. Among the foreign residents, more than thirty nations were represented. The totals of the different foreign nationalities are as follows:

Nationality Settlement Concession Total
Japanese 7169 218 7397
British 4822 699 5521
Portuguese 1323 29 1352
American 1307 141 1448
German 1155 270 1425
Russian 361 41 402
French 244 364 608
Spanish 181 4 185
Italian 114 55 169
Danish 145 33 178
Austro-hungarian 123 27 150
Turkish 108 2 110
Norwegian 82 27 109
Swiss 79 35 114
Swedish 73 10 83
Dutch 55 23 78
Belgian 18 32 50
Greek 41 7 48
Persian 39 39
Korean 20 20
Rumanian 16 2 18
Egyptian 8 8
Armenian 5 5
Latin-American 5 4 9
Montenegrin 2 2
Bulgarian 2 2
Arabian
Indian 1009 18 1027
Sundries 13 364 377
Total 18519 2405 20924

Census 1920

The 1920 census showed a further increase over 1915. The foreign population was 23,307 and the Chinese 759,839. In the foreign community, the principal increase was in the number of Japanese and Americans.

Census 1925

The 1925 census showed a big growth in population over the previous five years. The total number of foreign residents in 1925 was 29,947 as against 23,307 in 1920, and the number of Chinese residents was 810,299 as against 759,839 in 1920. In the French Concession the population was foreigners 7,811 and Chinese 297,072.

There was a big increase in the number of Germans and of Russians. The Japanese were by now the largest group of foreigners, numbering 13,804 as against 10,215 in 1920. The British and Portuguese remained stationary, while the number of Americans declined.

Census 1930


Foreigners in Shanghai

Figures from Lynne Pan

1910 - 11,497
1920 - 23,307
1930 - 36,471
1942 - 150,931 (including stateless persons)
1945 - 122,708
1946 - 65,409
1949 (Nov) - 28,583

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