Alamos Population History

55… Talking population: past, present and future…

Independence day celebration in Plaza, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Alamos school kids attend Independence Day celebration in the Plaza.

When I think of Alamos I think of its history and my first question is how many Indians were in the area when Diego de Guzman, nephew of Spanish explorer Cortes, passed through the region in 1533 on well traveled native trails. Mexico’s Indian population was estimated to be as high as 25 million in 1519, most living in the great valley of Mexico. By 1523 the considered Indian population had been reduced to 16.8 million and further cut to 6.3 million by 1548. The Indian population continued to decline in 1580 with a thought of 1.9 million and one million in 1605. If these numbers are any way close to what actually happened they speak of apocalyptic times for Mexico’s Indians.

Kissing Alley, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

People from many nations have walked, for centuries, on these cobblestones.

The population of Alamos through the years is sketchy at best. The first information I could find was for 1760 when Alamos had an estimated 800 families and a population of 3,400 with 5 – 6 priests. At this time the world’s population was 846 million.
6,000 are estimated to have died from the plague in 1770.
1780 Alamos reaches its largest population, 15,000 to 30,000. Can you imagine what the lifestyles of both rich and poor were in this protected valley at that time?

Funeral procession, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico.  Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

The stories of population are the stories of birth, migration and death.

Alamos populations fluctuated during the 19th Century as mining and political interests rising rose and fell, came and left.1800, Alamos estimated population was 9,000.
1803, there are some 7,900 folks here.
The world’s population reached one billion by 1804.
1825, Alamos population is an estimated 5,000 to 7,000.
1837, an interestingly specific figure of 2,872 people is noted.
1849, 4,300 inhabitants call Alamos home. At this time many miners have, or are, leaving for the California gold fields.
1850 – 1880, the population apparently remains a steady 5,000.
The first official Mexican census was accomplished in 1895.

Night time in the Plaza, Alamos, Sonora, Mexico. Photo by Anders Tomlinson.

Through feast and famine there has been a Sunday promenade in the Plaza.

Here is an outline of the population in 1908: 10,000 for the region. This figure is then broken down to 3,000 in Alamos, 1,000 in Aduana, 1,000 in Navajoa, 1,000 in Promontories, 1,000 in Minas Nuevas and 1,000 in Camoa.
The world’s population reaches two billion in 1927.
The population estimate for the region in 1940, official census count, was 21,477: 11,543 men and 9,835 women. I found another from another source that the population of the city at this time may have been 5,369 hombres and 4,848 mujeres over the age of six.
The world’s population reaches three billion in 1960, four billion in 1974, and five billion in 1987.
The census for 1990 has Alamos with 6.132 inhabitants and a total of 13,000 for the municipality.
The world’s population reaches six billion in 1999 and is forecasted to reach seven billion in 2011.
Today, Alamos population estimates are 13,000 for the city and 30,000 in the municipality.

And here is a thought for the future, the largest migration across the USA – Mexico border may not be south to north, as it has been in the past, but retired baby boomers heading south during the coming decades. Planet Earth is always in motion, always changing.

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