THE STRUCTURE AND PROCESS OF WELSH EMIGRATION TO PATAGONIA' EMIGRATION is often discussed as if it were a phenomenon removed from the individual emigrant. In reality, it is a selective, adaptive process involving selection by the emigrant from among many alternatives, including the status quo. Unfortunately, the historian's data rarely afford an opportunity to come to terms with this decision- making process and he is obliged to limit his discussion to the factors which may influence the decision rather than to the selection itself as an individual adaptation. Even here, however, most of the discussions one encounters are obliged by the nature of the data to focus primarily upon a simple 'push-pull' analysis based upon economics as an independent antecedent variable. With reference to Welsh emigration, the Patagonian settlement is a special case if only because the comparatively small number of 3,000 or S02 who were involved makes it possible to obtain informa- tion about when they emigrated and who these emigrants were. Together with information about the conditions at either end of the emigration spectrum, this helps to throw more light upon the emigration process than is normally the case. In order to understand the adaptive process within the new location, such background information is essential and it was with this goal in mind that the data were collected. It contains much that will be of relevance to the historian who is interested in emigration from Wales during the last century. This paper considers some of the forces determining the period- icity of emigration from Wales to Patagonia, that is, why the migrants left when they did rather than at other times; where the emigrants were drawn from and why there should have been a selective process operating in favour of these source areas; what the demographic characteristics of the emigrating population were and why they varied with time; and, to a limited extent, what the alternatives were to emigration to Chubut. 1 The project of which this paper is partly a product has been in progress since 1964, during which time it has been financially assisted by a number of institutions, including the following: the University of San Francisco, The National Geographic Society, The National Institute of Mental Health (U.S.A.), The Ford Foundation, the University of Wales, The British Academy, and the Frederick Soddy Trust. The initial part of the work involved establishing, from census data, an estimate of the number of people who emigrated from Wales to Patagonia. This was meant to serve not only as a check for further work but also to ascertain the feasibility of attempting to create an inventory of all the emigrants and their background. This stage of the work is discussed in Glyn Williams, 'The Welsh in Patagonia. A Demographic Note', Lochlann, spring 1969, pp. 96-101. In this article it was calculated that the total number of emigrants was 2,300. The difference between the present estimate and the original results from a failure to include return or subsequent emigration in the original calculations.