But many of the new immigrants were refugees from communism in Europe, others were former service personnel from British India, others came from Kenya, the Belgian Congo, Zambia, Algeria, and Mozambique.
For a time, Rhodesia provided something of a haven for white people who were retreating from decolonisation elsewhere in Africa and Asia.
Later, Land Apportionment and Tenure Acts reserved extensive low-rainfall areas for black-only tribal-trust lands and high rainfall areas for white ownership, which gave rise to cases of black people being excluded from their own land.
There were influxes of white immigrants from the 1940s through to the early 1970s.
The most conspicuous group were former British servicemen in the immediate post-war period.
It never gained full dominion status, although unlike other colonies it was treated as a de facto dominion, with its Prime Minister attending the Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conferences.
In 1891, before Southern Rhodesia was established as a territory, it was estimated that there were about 1,500 Europeans residing there. In the period 1945 to 1955 the white population doubled to 150,000.
These operations were usually run by white managers, engineers, and foremen.
The Census of found that Southern Rhodesia had a total population of 899,187, of whom 33,620 were Europeans, 1,998 were Coloured (mixed races), 1,250 Asiatics, 761,790 Bantu natives of Southern Rhodesia, and 100,529 Bantu aliens.
Also, the white farming community never amounted to more than around 8% of the total white population and this proportion fell steadily after 1945 up to independence in 1980.
Various factors encouraged the growth of the white population of Rhodesia.
The area today called Zimbabwe (known as Southern Rhodesia from 1895) was selected as a settlement colony by British South African, and Afrikaner colonists from the 1890s onwards, following the subjugation of the Matabele, (Ndebele), and Shona nations by the British South Africa Company (BSAC).