Population of deaf people from 1788 to 1920

The statistics shown below are what is available by end of Feb 2013. The number of deaf people who made their appearance from 1788 to 1920 in Australia, regardless whether they were born, arrived or whatever. To make it clear, no person was counted twice. It is possible there would be more out there – we’d need to find them!

Deaf population:

1788-1800: 2 persons

1800-1820: 4 persons

1820-1840: 19 people

1840-1860: 19 people

1860-1880: 33 people (plus 50+ children in the Sydney city alone)

1880-1900: 13+

1900-1920: 23+

Grand total – 165+ deaf people so far…

To make this more interesting and complicated, I am adding the years the epidemics Australia had as they could have impacted on the number of deaf population.

Epidemics and years it occurred:

Scarlatina (Scarlet Fever): 1841 and 1875

Small Pox (Chicken Pox): 1789, 1828, 1881 and 1913

Rubella: 1900

Flu’s (various): 1890 and 1918

The general population of Australia:

1800: 7, 000

1820: 33, 543

1836: 77, 096

1848: 220, 000

1856: 269, 722

1860: 1 million plus

1901: 3 millions plus

1920: 5 and half millions

Overall, the general assumption that 10 percent of the country population would include deaf people does not really applies to Australia at this stage.

Finding deaf people is quite a challenging procedure as most tend to hide or being omitted from the records being ‘disabled’ or ‘feeble’…


With thanks to Neil Ray, for Victoria, approx 613 deaf children were enrolled to VSDC (Victorian School for Deaf Children) between 1860 and 1920. So that would push the deaf population in Australia past 700+



One thought on “Population of deaf people from 1788 to 1920

  1. Neil says:

    In relation to the Deaf population number.
    According to the records kept by DCA approximately 613 students were enrolled at the VDDI/VSDC between 1860 – 1920 established by FJ Rose.
    Source: “Utmost for the Highest: The Story of the Victorian School for Deaf Children” (1964). JH Burchett, Melbourne.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: