78 votes

Why are many African-Americans in Mississippi concentrated in the northwestern area?

You are describing part of what is referred to as the Black Belt in the American South. It can be seen here in a map of majority-black US counties. Your suspicions for the reason for this are quite ...
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  • 109k
51 votes
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Why did the population of Descartes, France increase by so much in the 1960's?

Based on this page from the French School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences, it appears that the neighbouring Balsesmes merged into La Haye-Descartes in 1966, before the combined commune was ...
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  • 95.8k
44 votes

Why are many African-Americans in Mississippi concentrated in the northwestern area?

T.E.D.'s answer (+1) is complete with regard to the human history of the Americas, but the rich soil in the "cotton belt" or "black belt" has a geological explanation as well. The article "How ...
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  • 27.3k
40 votes
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Did people use to marry much younger during the last millennium?

Not really. Generally speaking, most European women since married in their early to mid twenties, to men in their mid to late twenties. The age gap for the commoners, i.e. the vast majority of the ...
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  • 95.8k
39 votes

Why does Latin America have a higher number of surviving Native Americans than North America?

I think you are missing the true pattern of that map. Note that it shows a higher percentage of natives in Canada than it does in the US, and shows the same lower percentage of natives in the USA as ...
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  • 109k
39 votes
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When and how did the Han ethnic group become by far the biggest ethnic group in China?

China is a continental scale country, thus "Han" is a category sorta like "European". One visit to Beijing or Shanghai will make it obvious that China is indeed a cosmopolitan, ...
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  • 7,204
37 votes
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Why did the population of Anchorage, Alaska, increase by so much in the 1970s?

There were two major, interrelated events that caused this population boom in the 1970s. The first was the discovery of oil on Alaska's North Slope at Prudhoe Bay and elsewhere in 1968 and 1969. The ...
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  • 103k
36 votes
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Why are the majority of Dresden inhabitants atheists or agnostics?

For the vast majority of Germans, religious and non-religious alike, religion matters little in daily life. In some families, the babies are baptised, marriages have both civil and religious ...
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  • 16k
30 votes
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What was the relatively most populous city in history?

I've combined the data in: List of largest cities throughout history World population estimates The winners are: Modern Tokyo (metropolitan area), home to 0.55% of the world's population 700 AD ...
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  • 14.5k
28 votes

Why did the population of Anchorage, Alaska, increase by so much in the 1970s?

University of Alaska, Anchorage published a study into People and Economy of Alaska, which can be viewed here. From that source, I'd say there are following reasons for their population boom: ...
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  • 8,133
28 votes
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What was the ratio women to men after World War 2 in the Soviet Union

According to this article the ratio rose from 1.10 to about 1.54 (ratio of men/women fell from 0.91 to about 0.65) between 1941 and 1946 in the draft-age group (people born around 1887 to 1927), which ...
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28 votes

Demographics: Were diseases the sole reason for the decrease in native Hawaiian population?

There's nothing really odd about this. The same thing historically has happened all over the globe any time an immunologically naïve population meets up with one that is tapped into all of the ...
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  • 109k
27 votes

Why are the majority of Dresden inhabitants atheists or agnostics?

80% does not seem to be way off compared with other industrial countries like Sweden (85%), Denmark (80%), Norway (72%), Czech Republic (61%), Finland (60%)...
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  • 2,018
21 votes

Why are the majority of Dresden inhabitants atheists or agnostics?

German here. You see here a chart of the predominant confessions in Germany: Wikimedia Commons, Martin Sander, CC BY-SA 3.0, 2013-06-23 As you see, approximately one third is Roman-Catholic (yellow),...
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  • 5,008
17 votes

Why does Latin America have a higher number of surviving Native Americans than North America?

Apart from other reasons here exposed, I think it is worth mentioning a) some groups of South American natives were adapted (culturally, and even in some cases, physically) to environments which ...
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  • 12.1k
17 votes

What was the ratio women to men after World War 2 in the Soviet Union

The Soviet population in 1941 was 196,716,000. In 1946, it was 170,548,000.[1] That's a difference of 26,168,000 people. According to a study published by the Russian Academy of Science[2], there were ...
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16 votes

Are there any examples of overpopulation?

Because people are quibbling in comments over the meaning of "overpopulation", it might suggest that this question is broad or unclear. So let's look at it from a different angle. In the 1960's, Dr. ...
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  • 3,667
15 votes
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How common was it for people to live 80+ years in the 17th century?

Actuarial science was just getting started in the 17th century, so we can answer this question with some specificity--for London and Breslow, anyway. John Graunt made the following life table for ...
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  • 17.8k
14 votes
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What percentage of the population in the Thirteen Colonies in 1776 were first/second generation immigrants?

UPDATE: Aaron Fogleman estimates that 585,000 people "immigrated" (many involuntarily) to the 13 colonies between 1700-1775. If they all survived until the time of the Revolution, then 24% of the ...
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  • 17.8k
13 votes

Are there any examples of overpopulation?

Maybe not Joseph Tainter argues, in Archeology of Overshoot and Collapse, that so far there is no evidence of a Malthusian catastrophe. Whether you follow Tainter in this assertion will in part depend ...
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  • 4,683
13 votes

When did Northern India and N. China begin to dominate in global demographics?

Using the delta areas as proxies for the entire river valley systems: The area of the Ganges delta (about 59,000 km2) is nearly 4 times as large as Mesopotamia (about 15,000 km2), and 3 times as ...
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12 votes
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What factors contributed to the United States having a larger proportion of Jews than other British colonies?

The answer is simple - the US population is not primarily British in descent. The states have had large numbers of immigrants from all over Europe. Canada, New Zealand, and Australia have a much ...
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12 votes
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Were death rates greater than birth rates in premodern urban populations?

While Peter Turchin has overstated the case, it is most likely that this was usually true. Infant mortality rates were very high until they started to decline in the early decades of the 20th century (...
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12 votes

Are there any examples of overpopulation?

As noted in the discussion on the question, there are two kinds of overpopulation which I'll call "chronic" and "acute". Chronic overpopulation, where the full production capacity of agriculture in ...
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  • 5,438
11 votes

Why does Latin America have a higher number of surviving Native Americans than North America?

Pre-columbian population of North America was only a couple of million people, most of them are pre-agricultural hunter-gatherers. This kind of lifestyle does not allow more than 2-4 million people ...
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  • 1,208
11 votes
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What was the average size of French families during the Middle Ages?

As far as we can tell, Medieval French families were significantly bigger than modern western families - averaging perhaps around five to six. In contrast, modern France has an average household size ...
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  • 95.8k
9 votes

What was the estimated population living in Egypt around 1446 BC?

Population estimates A number of estimates have been made for the population of ancient Egypt but, as the article The people of ancient Egypt says, Egyptologists tend to dodge the issue of ...
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9 votes
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What was the estimated population of the Mississippi Valley before contact with Europeans?

That passage is based on the works of Henry F. Dobyns. In his 1983 book, Dobyns advocated for a 18 million strong pre-contact population in North America. Specifically, he gave an estimate of 5,250,...
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