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torsdag 27. oktober 2011

A demographic note

Finn Olstad[1] says that “I ti-aarene etter 1762 ble Sandefjord langt paa vei avfolket, fra 280 innbyggere til omtrent halvparten”

Counting youngsters going through confirmation in church during the decades before and after 1762 to some extent confirms this: the graph shows the total number each year for individuals explicitly noted in the parish records as living in Sandefjord[2].

To some extent, though, these numbers seem to indicate a longer period of decline in the number of young people living in Sandefjord and, as there is no sharp drop during the 1760’s and 70’s, the picture may be more complex than a contraction of the population following the end of the war 1755-1762.

Of the 313 individuals counted, 163 were girls and 150 boys – but with large variations from year to year: some years had an excess of girls over boys by up to five; in other years, it was the other way around, but in a small population randomness probably plays a significant role and the variation probably doesn’t require any explanation. 

[1] Finn Olstad, “Sandefjords Historie”, Bind 1, ”Strandsitter og Verdensborger” utgitt 1995 av Sandefjord Kommune; ISBN 82-990595-7-7

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