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Puerto Rico's Padrones, 1779-1802 (ICPSR 30262)

Principal Investigator(s): Scarano, Francisco A., University of Wisconsin-Madison; Curtis, Katherine J., University of Wisconsin-Madison


The series consists of 23 annual censuses spanning the years 1779 to 1802, a collection that for its scope and continuity is unique among serial sources of Spanish American colonial history. The padrones were born of a 1776 Royal Order requesting viceroys and executives of Capitanías Generales and Gobernaciones, such as Puerto Rico, to prepare reports on population, broken down by social status, race, and sex. The focus was the civilian population and, therefore, excludes the regular army troops. The series reports the population of Whites, Indians, free Mulattoes, free Blacks, Mulatto slaves and Black slaves for each of 30 partidos in all 23 years (producing a total of 690 observations). Each socio-racial group was subdivided by sex and an ambiguous "age" criterion, which we have interpreted as the difference between dependent (or minor) status and mayoría de edad (adulthood or full age, which in the Spanish American context was 25 years of age). For each group, there are four subdivisions: adult males, adult females, young males, and young females.

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Study Description


Scarano, Francisco A., and Katherine J. Curtis. Puerto Rico's Padrones, 1779-1802. ICPSR30262-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2011-04-07.

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  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)


This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (P30 HD05876, T32 HD07014)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    census records, censuses, colonial history, colonialism, culture change, ex-slaves, Hispanic or Latino origins, indigenous populations, municipalities, population characteristics, slave populations, slaves

Smallest Geographic Unit:    Partido (county-like aggregate)

Geographic Coverage:    Global, Puerto Rico

Time Period:   

  • 1779--1802 (excluding 1796)

Date of Collection:   

  • 1779--1802 (excluding 1796)

Universe:    The 30 partidos comprising the island of Puerto Rico between 1779 and 1802.

Data Type(s):    census/enumeration data


Weight:    none

Extent of Processing:   ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Performed consistency checks.
  • Created variable labels and/or value labels.
  • Standardized missing values.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


Original ICPSR Release:   2011-04-07



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