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enormous influx of people from Europe in the most productive ages of manhood and womanhood, who have not only directly added to the number of inhabitants but have contributed to the power of natural increase.

. . It is not necessary to point out the immense influence which the rapid growth of population due to immigration has had on the material development of the country. It has supplied that labor force which was necessary to bring the soil under cultivation. It has enabled us to take up great stretches of territory. It has built railroads, dug canals, made highways, cut down forests, in short turned the wilderness into cultivated land. It is safe to say that without this immigration the growth of the country would have been very much slower and that we should now be where we were twenty years ago. It has quickened the pace of our development and made us do things rapidly and on a large scale. We are apt to attribute our prosperity too much to our own genius and talent. We forget the factors that have worked with us and in our favor. Unlimited land and an army of intelligent workers furnished with the best implements of labor have made great material progress almost necessary.

It has frequently been alleged as proof of the Walker theory that the geographic areas to which the majority of the immigrants go are the very areas where the birth-rate among the Americans shows the most decided decline. The paucity of data on vital statistics makes it impossible to make a satisfactory test of this assertion. The accompanying table, however, brings together three sets of relative figures which may throw some light on the question. The first column gives the percentages that the population of cities of at least 25,000 inhabitants forms of the total population of each state. The states are arranged in descending order of these percentages. The second column gives the percentages that the foreign-born population of each state forms of the total population. The last column gives for each state the number of children under five years of age per 1,000 native white women fifteen to forty-four years of age. The figures in the last column are estimated. The number of children under five years having native mothers and foreign-born fathers is not reported by the census, and the figures in the table are the result of a calculation based on the assumption that the ratio of such children to the total number of children having one or both parents foreign born is the same as the ratio of persons of all ages having native mothers and foreign-born fathers is to the number of persons of all ages having

one or both parents foreign born. The assumption is a safe one and the figures may be accepted as substantially accurate.


States and Territories

Percentage of Population Living in Cities of at

Least 25,000 Inhabitants: 1900

Number of

Children under 5 Percentage of

Years of Age per Population

1,000 Native Foreiga Born: 1900 White Women 15 to

44 Years of Age:


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Continental United States.
District of Columbia
New York...
Rhode Island.
New Jersey.
New Hampshire.
South Carolina.
West Virginia.
New Mexico.
North Carolina.
North Dakota.
South Dakota.

462 280 320 268 265 349 433 418 415 433 308 291 408 444 397 489 403 424 645 412 368 602 476 596 312 452 470 614 453 642 369 589 678 678 492 641 630

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It appears from the table that there are fifteen states in which the percentage of city dwellers is higher than that for continental United States. Of these fifteen states, fourteen show a proportion of children below that for continental United States. On the other hand, there are twenty-four states where the proportion of foreign born is above the average; of these, sixteen states show a proportion of children below the average, while eight states show a proportion above the average. Of the sixteen states, ten have an urban population above the average and four more have fairly high proportions of city dwellers, while of the eight states where the proportions of foreign born and of children are both high, every one has a proportion of city dwellers below the average for continental United States, and four of the states have no city population at all.

The geographical argument that the pressure of immigrants depresses birth-rates is based on the evidence of ten states where the proportion of foreign born is high and that of children low; but it is significant that in these ten states the proportion of city dwellers is also high. It appears from a study of the figures that there is a much closer connection between urban growth and low birth-rates than between immigration and low birth-rates. It may be said that the native mothers in the table include a considerable number of descendants of immigrants, but in view of the wellknown fact that natives of foreign descent are usually indistinguishable from their American neighbors in other respects, it is fairly reasonable to suppose that they conform to American standards in the matter of child-bearing as well. Had the influx of immigrants the tendency to depress native birth-rates that tendency would appear in the figures; as it is, the evidence seems to warrant the statement that the chief influence tending to depress birth-rates is the growth of urban population, and that immigration and birthrates are correlated only to the extent that they are both related to the industrial and urban growth of the country.

All the available evidence points to the conclusion that, were it not for the immigrants, the present population of the United States would be considerably smaller than it is. Industrial development during the nineteenth century would almost certainly have been considerably less spectacular had the immigrants not contributed their share of the human energy necessary to its realization. It is not, however, the object of this article to touch on the general question of the desirability of immigration, but merely to demonstrate that the theory according to which the arrival of the immigrants has checked the natural growth of the native population has no valid evidence to sustain it.



University of Chicago

To one who studies the present movement for vocational education, and especially that phase of it which we designate "industrial education, the conviction becomes more and more firmly fixed that its impulse springs from those profound forces which seem to be impelling a general social advance and which are dominated by the desire to secure for the less prosperous half of the population a larger share in the good things of life.

It is of especial importance to note that representatives of this less prosperous half are themselves contributing to the discussion and that they seem to be coming to the conclusion that their cause can be advanced only by securing a larger measure of social control of the people's institutions. They are also coming to feel and to say that they are entitled to a better opportunity for getting that contentment and comfort which should result from duty well done. To bring this about they are working for the establishment of minimum-wage boards, old-age pensions, industrial insurance, employers' liability laws, and adequate education for themselves and for their children.

It is equally significant that representatives of the so-called ruling classes are frequently found to be working for essentially the same ends with the belief that, in this way only, there can be averted a struggle between employers and employed which, wanting a more equitable adjustment of present conditions, may be fraught with grave and destructive consequences. At all events it seems to be reaching the social consciousness that individual efficiency and the individual's sense of his responsibility to society must be enormously increased.

In working out the solution of these complex problems there is probably no single institution in which society in general places as

* An address at the 1912 convention of the National Education Association.

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