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sanitary equipment-facilities for water supply and for toilet accommodations. New York ranks high, as do Buffalo and Chicago.
There seems to be a decided difference, neverthe'less, among the various races-the South Italians and the Syrians among the recent immigrants, the Irish among the older immigrants, not being so well provided with sanitary equipment as are the other races. This depends, of course, to a considerable extent, upon the income, but apparently also upon the insistence of the persons themselves upon having proper water supply and toilet accommodations.
The question of earnings is one of the very greatest interest. Over 10,000 males eighteen years of age and over were studied in this respect. The average yearly earnings of these were found to be $413, or, putting the matter differently, nearly one-half of them received less than $400. The average earnings of the native-born white were $595, of the negro $441. The average, on the whole, of the native-born was $533, of the foreign-born only $385, while of the native-born of foreign fathers, the earnings were $526. Among the foreign-born the earnings were highest among the older immigrants-the Swedes earning $692, the Germans $613, the Bohemians and Moravians $528, the Irish $535. Not enough were taken of the English or of the Canadian or French to make any fair average. Among the lowest were the Syrians with $321, Servians with $325, Poles with $365, South Italians with $368, North Italians with $425, Russian Hebrews with $461, and other Hebrews with $465.
The women, as a rule, earn little more than one-half
as much as the men. Two-thirds of them earn less than $300 per year. Of the races represented by 100 or more women, the South Italians and the Poles report the average earnings of women at less than $200; 66.2 per cent. of the South Italians are reported as earning less than $200. The family income is, of course, greatly increased when the women and children add their earnings to those of the men.
CAUSES OF CONGESTED DISTRICTS
The chief danger arising from the incoming of the immigrants to our cities is the tendency to crowd together in a certain section, and, even when not living in insanitary conditions, to remain isolated from the Americans, thus forming foreign colonies and checking assimilation. Naturally, the great majority that come to these cities come to join relatives or friends. The original selection of a residence is largely a matter of chance, unless it is determined by the residence of friends. The majority of newly arrived immigrants report that over three-fourths of their people have spent the entire period of their residence since they came to the United States in the neighborhood where they now are. Of course, the economic difficulty of changing their location hinders moving; but there is the further influence of a common language, the common race, and usually a common religion, which keeps them. together. Moreover, in many cases the desire to avoid the expense of transportation to and from work prevents them from moving far from the place in which they have first settled.
Naturally, on the other hand, the increase in earnings, their improved education, social ambition, interest in American institutions, all tend to hasten their
scattering and absorption into the general body of residents. Whenever their earnings have become such that the expense of moving is not important, or when they feel that they have finally established themselves as citizens, they naturally look for a place of residence outside the crowded districts. Ability to speak and read English, and familiarity with the conditions of the country, help their choice in selecting a new home. Very frequently, as was noted in this investigation, the influence of the children who have been to American schools and have grown up as Americans, and who in consequence do not like to be identified with a foreign section of the city, is a predominant factor in determining the selection of a new home.
The measures that may be adopted to enable these city dwellers to acquire homes in the country, if they wish to do so, will be taken up in another chapter.
Industrial Cities and Towns
Unsatisfactory household arrangements and crowded living conditions are even more characteristic of the strictly industrial towns and cities than of the principal urban centers of population such as New York, Chicago, and other large cities. This condition of affairs arises in large measure from the less degree of permanency of residence among the purely industrial workers. The constraining motive among the immigrant wage-earners is to earn all they can under the existing conditions of employment, live upon the basis of minimum cheapness, and save as much as possible.
"THE BOARDING-BOSS SYSTEM"
Mention has already been made of the preponderance among industrial workers of recent immigration of single men or, what practically amounts to the same thing, of married men who have left their families abroad. This situation, taken in connection with the low range of earnings and the desire to save, is responsible for the small extent to which an independent form of family life exists in the immigrant colonies of American industrial cities and towns. The heads of families find it necessary to take boarders and lodgers into the home in order to supplement their earnings in the mines, mills and factories, while the larger proportion of males without families creates a demand for a cheap group method of living. The plan usually followed in industrial localities is popularly known as "the boarding-boss system." Under the "boarding-boss" arrangement a married immigrant or his wife, or a single man, constitutes the head of the household, which, in addition to the family of the head, will usually be made up of from two to sixteen boarders or lodgers. Each lodger pays the boardingboss a fixed sum, ordinarily from $2 to $3 per month, for lodging, cooking and washing, the food being bought by the boarding boss and its cost shared equally by the individual members of the group. Another common arrangement is for each member of the household to purchase his own food and have it cooked separately. Under this general method of living, which prevails among the greater proportion of the immigrant households, the entire outlay for necessary living expenses of each adult member ranges from $9 to $15 each month. The additional expenditures of the recent immigrant wage-earners are small.
The congestion resulting from this method of living is very marked. A recent study of 15,127 households of immigrant industrial workers disclosed the fact that 4,978, or 32.9 per cent., kept boarders or lodgers. A similar study of 1,139 American households showed that only 114, or 10 per cent., had boarders or lodgers. The following table shows the situation among the principal races of recent immigration where the tendency toward congestion was most marked.
The average number of boarders and lodgers for each 100 of all immigrant households was 353, as contrasted with only 168 for each 100 native American households. For some of the southern or eastern European immigrant households the average was much higher than that shown for all races. The Bulgarians* had, as a rule, more than twelve boarders or lodgers in each household, the Servians and Croatians eight, the Rumanians six, and the Russians five. The crowding which resulted may be readily realized when it is known, for example, that one-third of the Bul
* The returns for this race are not shown in detail, because they are numerically unimportant as compared with other races of recent arrival.