New statistics on the Atlantic slave trade show remarkable findings

The study “Aggregate statistics on trafficker-destination relations in the Atlantic slave trade”, by Prof. Philip Hans Franses and Dr Wilco van den Heuvel of Erasmus School of Economics, reveals that of all slaves who arrived in Dutch colonies, 37.4 % were transported by the Portuguese, and 12.6 % by the Dutch.

Up to now it was unknown how many slaves, at an aggregate level, were transported to where and by whom. The available aggregated data on the Atlantic slave trade in between 1519 and 1875 concern the numbers of slaves transported by a country and the numbers of slaves who arrived at various destinations. Franses and Van den Heuvel filled in the void and estimated the trends in the deceases per transporting country, and also estimated the fraction of slaves who went to own colonies or to others. They found that of all slaves who arrived in Dutch colonies, 37.4 % were transported by the Portuguese, and 12.6 % by the Dutch. In addition, of all slaves who were transported by the Dutch, 26.0 % went to Portuguese colonies, and 7.4 % to Dutch colonies. The Dutch seafarers had the most casualties, that is, 18.3 % of the slaves carried by the Dutch did not make it across the Atlantic.

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The study “Aggregate statistics on trafficker-destination relations in the Atlantic slave trade” will be published in the September issue of International Journal of Maritime History.

 

For more information, please contact Ronald de Groot, Communications Officer at Erasmus School of Economics, at rdegroot@ese.eur.nl, or +31 6 53 641 846.