Does anyone have any sources mentioning the percentages of citizens at various times, or the populations of citizens and corresponding total populations so I can calculate percents? I looked at dozens of sources online without finding this kind of information.

  • I dont think there are percentages available. But a key date for you is the year 212AD when the Constitutio Antoniniana was issued giving all free men in the Roman empire citizenship regardless of ethnic origins – Notaras Feb 11 '16 at 23:00
  • Surely someone's done some estimation of such numbers in the last 2000 years. – B T Feb 12 '16 at 0:42
  • How many censuses were taken for the Roman republic during its history? Censuses conducted every 10 years or so, has only been a practice in some developed countries for aprox the past 200 years – Fred Feb 15 '16 at 0:29
  • 1
    @Fred Censuses were regularly taken in ancient rome, although they were obviously not as reliable as they are today, and their purpose gradually shifted over time. – B T Feb 15 '16 at 0:30
  • 1
    @PieterGeerkens Alright, another point is official censuses are not the only sources of population and demographic estimates. – B T Feb 15 '16 at 1:15

I found two estimations about the number of slaves for the 2nd and 1st centuries BC.

  • P. Brunt [1] estimates there were 3 000 000 slaves in a total population of 7 500 000 people.
  • J.C. Dumont [2] estimates that at least 32% of the population was in slavery.

From these numbers, we deduce that roughly 60% of the population were free. Halve this proportion to exclude women, further exclude children, and the proportion drops to 20-25% of free men (I have no precise idea for the proportion of children). Not all of them were citizens, but at least we have an upper bound.

[1]: Italian Manpower, 225 BC -- AD 14, Oxford, 1971

[2]: Servus. Rome et l'esclavage sous la République, Rome - Paris, 1987

  • Was there not a significant number of non-citizen freedmen at that time? – B T Feb 14 '16 at 23:45
  • @BT My bad, edited. However, all free men in Italy are given the citizenship in 89 BC. Furthermore, a freedman has the right to vote, but not the right to be elected. The children of a freedman are citizens. So I would say that the proportion of non-citizen freedmen is reasonably low. – Boson Feb 15 '16 at 0:15
  • Ah i see, alright, that makes sense. Thanks for the clarification! – B T Feb 15 '16 at 0:22

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.