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Immigrants who were under 14 years of age when they came to the United States show a much larger per cent speaking English at the time the information was secured, according to the foregoing table, than those who were older at the time of arrival in this country. This is naturally the case, as the younger immigrants are able to learn more easily, since they have the advantage of attending American schools and associating with native-born children. The older the immigrant at the time of landing in this country the greater the difficulty he experiences in acquiring the English language. The table shows 101 Dutch reporting, 96.2 per cent of whom under 14 years of age and 80 per cent over 14 at the time of immigration speak English. Of the 760 French, 97 per cent under 14 and 63.6 per cent over 14 are able to speak English. Of the 2,639 Germans reporting, 99.9 per cent under 14 and 87.2 per cent over 14 speak English. Out of 306 of the Swedes reporting, 100 per cent under 14 and 95.7 per cent over 14 are able to speak English. A comparison of the above races shows the Bulgarians with the lowest per cent over 14 at time of coming to the United States, and the Croatians with the lowest per cent under 14, speaking the English language at the present time.
North Italians reporting complete data number 6,528, 94.1 per cent of whom under 14 years of age on coming to this country and 60.7 per cent over 14 are now able to speak English. Of the 4,188 South Italians shown in the table 87.5 per cent under 14 and 59.4 per cent over 14 at the time of their arrival can at present speak English. Data were secured from 2,394 Croatians, of whom 74.2 per cent under 14 years of age at time of landing and 57.6 per cent above this age speak English. Eighty-nine and one-tenth per cent under 14 years and 50.8 per cent over 14, of the 4,470 Magyars reporting; 95.3 per cent under 14 years and 50.1 per cent over this age, of the 7,190 Poles; and 84.6 and 59.9 per cent of those under and over 14 years
age, respectively, of the 1,810 Russians reporting, are able to speak the English language. Slovaks report in the greatest numbers, and of the 11,137 of this race shown in the table, 92.7 per cent under 14 years and 56.9 per cent over this age at the time of coming to this country, can now speak English. The Slovenians, numbering 1,864, show percentages of 95.1 and 59.3 for immigrants under and over 14 years, respectively, at the time of immigration, who can speak English. Of all the Slavic races, Croatians, Servians, and Ruthenians show the lowest per cents speaking English at the present time of those who were under 14 years of age at the time of arrival in the United States.
Lithuanians who furnished information number 1,870, 96.1 per cent of whom under 14 years of age and 74.6 per cent over this age at the time of coming to the United States are now able to speak English. These people rank well up with the races from northern Europe and, considering the fact that they segregate themselves, the showing made denotes progress toward Americanization.
As regards the relative progress of the different races in acquiring the use of English, the table next presented exhibits by race the proportion of foreign-born employees able to speak English after designated periods of residence in the United States.
Table 128.--Per cent of foreign-born male employees who speak English, by years in the
United States and race.
(STUDY OF EMPLOYEES.) (By years in the United States is meant years since first arrival in the United States. This table
includes only non-English-speaking races with 100 or more males reporting. The total, however, is for all non-English-speaking races.)
This table, showing the per cent of foreign-born males who speak English, by years of residence in the United States, includes only races with 100 or more males reporting. As the table is divided into three periods, showing immigrants who have been in the United States under five years, those with residence of five to nine years, and those living in this country ten years or over, the percentages indicate which races have mastered the language in a short time and which have been slow in learning to speak English. A general idea is also given of the progress made toward Americanization, for as immigrant races have progressed in the knowledge of English so have they advanced in adopting American ways and customs.
Of the total of 48,656 non-English-speaking immigrant employees covered by the above table, 38.8 per cent who have been in the United States under five years, 68.2 per cent in this country from five to nine years, and 85.6 per cent with a residence of ten years or over, are able to speak English.
A review of the entire table shows the races from northern Europe to be the older immigrants, with a larger average per cent speaking English than of other immigrant races. Lithuanians also show high percentages able to speak English, and the majority of those reporting have been in the United States over five years. Italians are more recent immigrants than the races mentioned and show only fair progress in acquiring English.
Slavic races shown in the table are very recent immigrants and are very slow in learning to speak English. Some reasons assigned for the backwardness of the Italian and Slavic races are their living in colonies and settlements by themselves where little English is spoken, their being in many instances segregated at work where conversation is entirely in their own language, and a certain amount of racial prejudice between them and Americans, as a result of which they are not encouraged to associate with natives. The same conditions do not obtain among races from northern Europe, and this fact is clearly illustrated by the progress these races have made toward Americanization.
RECENT IMMIGRATION IN ITS RELATION TO ACCIDENTS IN
Death rate reported for the mines of the United States Distribution of accidents
in coal-producing areas—Comparison with conditions in foreign countries—The responsibility of employees for accidents,Inexperience as a cause of accidentsRacial composition of the operating forces of bituminous mines—Recent and old immigration compared --Lack of experience on the part of recent immigrantsFatalities in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Indiana-Opinions of state mine inspectors and agents of the Federal Government–Opinions of mine workers and attitude of labor organizations-Conclusion—[Text Tables 129 to 152].
DEATH RATE REPORTED FOR THE MINES OF THE UNITED STATES.
In the year 1908, 2,450 men lost their lives in the coal mines of the United States. During the period of fourteen years, 1895 to 1908, inclusive, the loss of life reached a total of 23,857, an average of 1,704 lives a year. The following table shows for the period the actual number of fatalities, and the number of fatalities for each thousand men employed and for each million tons of coal mined. Table 129.-- Number of fatalities per 1,000 men employed and per 1,000,000 tons of
coal produced, in the coal mines of the United States, 1895 to 1908. (Compiled from Bulletin No. 333 of the United States Geological Survey, 1907. “Coal-mine Accidents:
Their Causes and Prevention.”]
The figures of the table are given graphic presentation in the accompanying charts.
It will be noted that from 1895 to the present time there has been a marked, though by no means constant, increase in the yearly number of fatalities. In 1895 the fatalities numbered 1,057, and in 1908, there were 2,450, an increase of 131.8 per cent. The loss of life for each thousand men employed was 2.67 for 1895 and 3.60 for 1908. The average for the period is 3.23. These figures seem to indicate that the increase in the actual number of fatalities has not been occasioned solely by the employment of a greater number of men than were formerly employed.a
a It will be seen from the table that both the actual number of fatalities and the death rate per thousand men employed are higher for 1907 than for 1908. That this is the case does not, however, indicate a general improvement within the past few years in conditions making for safety. The year 1907 was, as regards accidents, an abnormal year, and the figures for 1908, while indeed lower than those for 1907, show an increase over the figures for 1906 and preceding years.