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  Researching the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site of Canada
  Recherche sur la Forteresse-de-Louisbourg Lieu historique national du Canada

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What was the population of the Fortress in 1744?

While there is no information which would provide a definitive answer to this question, we have the results of the several census conducted during the life of the Fortress including the one closest to this time in 1737. According to Louisbourg Primer: An Introductory Manual for Staff at the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site, (Revised March 1991):

"...Census of Louisbourg recorded the town's population at 2,023 (65 per cent civilians and 35 per cent soldiers). During the summer months that number was augmented by hundreds of visiting fishermen, sailors and merchants".

The next census was in 1752, four years after the English occupation, where there were 3940 people at the Fortress (68 per cent civilians and 33 per cent military. Available data indicates that the population continued to increase during the entire life of the French fortress. Thus we might extrapolate that in 1744 (seven years after the 1737 census) the population was likely to be substantially greater than 2,000 people but was not likely to have reached the 1752 level of roughly 4000 people.