The subject of this study is the white settler population of the Cape Colony, South Africa, in the first century of its existence. 1 The study seeks to locate settler demography in its regional and economic settings with a view to gaining a stronger understanding of the nature of colonial settlement and expansion. The abundance of primary documents and much genealogical research make it possible for the characteristics of the early white population to be reconstituted in some detail. Slaves, former slaves, and their descendants were excluded from the investigation, because their history, as forced immigrants, was very different from that of the whites. It is also clear that the white settlers, notwithstanding some mingling with other races, which will be examined, comprised a distinct social community defined on the basis of race, religion, and legal status. The results of this study are substantially different from the only other detailed demographic investigation of this period. 2