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Early French settlements (1605 to 1691)

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As a result of the discontinuation of E-STAT, some of the links to the tables available in the publication 98-187-X Introduction to Censuses of Canada, 1665-1871 were broken. The tables can be requested via the Statistics Canadas Data Liberation Initiative ( For the convenience of users, the tables are also available on the Queens University website: ( The website is in English as Queens University is not subject to the Official Languages Act.

The first in date of the Colonies which became successful, and which consequently marked the starting point of European settlements on our soil, was the foundation of Port Royal, Acadia. The year in which it was founded is, therefore, the date at which the following statement begins :

1605--Port Royal founded.--44 settlers surviving of the 79 persons who had wintered on Ile Sainte-Croix during the preceding winter.
(Champlain, Edition Laverdière, tome III., pages 41, 42 & 78.)

1608--Quebec founded.--28 settlers wintered there, including Champlain.
(Champlain, Edition Laverdière, tome III., page 173.)

1613--St. John’s, Newfoundland, founded.--62 persons wintered, who had been left by Whitburn.
(The British Empire in America, Vol. I. Page 7.)

In the first relation of the Jesuits (Relation de 1611, Vol. I., page 15, Edition Canadienne,) will be found an estimate of the Indian population of the territories now constituting Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, the State of Maine, Parts of others of the New England States and the Lower Saint-Lawrence, as follows :

All the Souriquois 3,000 to 3,500
The Eteminquois as far as Pentagoet 2,500
From Pentagoet to Kinibequi and Chouacoet 3,000
The Montagnets (a tribe of the Algic race inhabiting the highlands of New England) 1,000

1620--Population of Quebec : 60 persons.
(Champlain, Edition Laverdière, tome VI., page 8.)

1622--Wintered at Newfoundland with Captain Wynn, 32 persons.
(The British Empire in America, Vol. I. Pages 10 & 11.)

1628--Population of New France, 76, who wintered, including 20 French and the Missionary returning from the Hurons.
(Champlain, Edition Laverdière, tome VI., pages 205 & 231.)

1629--After the taking of Quebec, about 117 persons wintered, 90 of these being English belonging to Kertk’s Expedition.
(Champlain, Edition Laverdière, tome VI., page 320.)
(Relations and Parish Registers of the time.)

1641--The sedentary population of New France was still only 240, at the end of the year.
(Dollier, Edition 1868, page 31.--Relation de 1642, page 36.)

1653--Population of New France about 2,000.
(Mère Marie de l’Incarnation.--Lettres Historiques XLVIII.)

1663--Population of New France : 2,500, of whom 800 were in Quebec. The public debt was about 200,000 livres ; the Customs tariff was raised to 10 per cent ad valoremon all merchandise.
(Leclercq, Edition 1691, Vol. II., pages 4 & 66.--Boucher, Edition Canadienne, page 61.)

1665--Population de jure of New France : 3,215.
(Census.--See summary tables in E-STAT 1 & 2 & 3.)

1667--Population of New France : 3,918.
(Census.--See summary tables in E-STAT 1 & 2 & 3 & 4.)

1668--Population of New France : 6,282.
(Archives de Paris.)

1671--Population of Acadia : 441.
(Census.--See summary tables in E-STAT 1.)

1671--Resident French population of Plaisance, Newfoundland : 73.
(Archives de Paris.)

1673--Population of New France : 6,705.
(Archives de Paris.)

1673--Population of Plaisance, Newfoundland : 63.
(Archives de Paris.)

1675--Population of New France : 7,832.
(Archives de Paris.)

1676--Population of New France : 8,415.
(Archives de Paris.)

1679--Population of New France : 9,400.
(Enumeration summarized in E-STAT 1.)

1679--Population of Acadia : 515.
(Archives de Paris.)

1680--Population of New France : 9,719 ; besides 960 Indians collected in villages.
(Archives de Paris.)

1681--Population of New France : 9,677.
(Census.--See summary tables in E-STAT 1 & 2 & 3 & 4.)

1683--Population of New France : 10,251.
(Archives de Paris.)

1685--Population of New France : 12,263 ; including 1,538 of the Indian population collected in villages.
(Census.--See summary tables in E-STAT 1.)

1686--Population of New France : 12,373.
(Archives de Paris.)

1686--Population of Acadia : 885.
(Census.--See summary tables in E-STAT 1.)

1687--French Population of Newfoundland : 663.
(Census.--See summary tables in E-STAT 1 & 2.)

1688--Population of New France : 11,562.
(Census.--See summary tables in E-STAT 1 & 2.)

1691--Resident French Population of Newfoundland : 155.
(Archives de Paris.--See summary tables in E-STAT 1.)