late 15c., "a dweller, a resident," from Old French habitant, abitant "inhabitant," from noun use of Latin habitantis, genitive plural of habitans, present participle of habitare "to inhabit, dwell" (see habitat). Specific meaning "a native Canadian of French descent" attested by 1789; it was the usual word for small farmers in 18c. Quebec.
1. The last chapter analyzes the temporary habitant population by the statistics methods.