Story: European ideas about Māori

Māori population, 1840–2013

Click on the key at the top of the graph for a close-up view of the period 1840–1901; click on the key again to restore the full graph.

As this graph shows, it was a conceivable view up to the turn of the 20th century that Māori were dying out. Certainly there had been a clear fall in their population since the settlement of Europeans. However from about 1920 it became very clear that this was not the case, and the Māori population began to make a strong recovery in numbers.

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Source: Ian Pool, Te iwi Māori: a New Zealand population, past, present and projected. Auckland: Auckland University Press, 1991; Statistics New Zealand

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How to cite this page:

James Belich, 'European ideas about Māori - The dying Māori and Social Darwinism', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 20 February 2020)

Story by James Belich, published 5 May 2011