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CHAPTER VI.

SALIENT CHARACTERISTICS.

Literacy-Conjugal condition-Visits abroad-Age classification of employees and

members of their households—[Text Tables 170 to 181 and General Tables 91 to 100).

LITERACY. In addition to the purely industrial characteristics of the operating forces of the slaughtering and meat-packing houses there are other qualities of the immigrant labor supply which although having an industrial significance are very important in their bearing upon American life and institutions. By way of illustration, industrial progress and efficiency are largely dependent upon the literacy of the employees, and on the other hand the attainment of citizenship by an alien population or an intelligent and wholesome life in American industrial communities on the part of an immigrant labor supply is largely dependent upon the same quality. In this connection the following table shows, by general nativity and race of individual, the literacy of 15,336 male employees of the slaughtering and meatpacking houses in Chicago for whom detailed information was secured: TABLE 170.--Per cent of male employees who read and per cent who read and write, by

general nativity and race.

(STUDY OF EMPLOYEES.) (This table includes only races with 40 or more males reporting. The totals, however, are for all races.]

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Total native-born of foreign father.
Total native-born.
Total foreign-born.

2, 162 3,350 11,986

99.3
98.8
88.3

99.2
98.7
85.6

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From the preceding table it appears that the proportion of individuals for whom information was secured who are able to read and the proportion who are able both to read and to write is slightly larger for the native-born of native father, white, and for the native-born of foreign father than for the native-born of native father, negro, and considerably larger for the latter than for the foreign-born. Of the foreign-born, all of the Canadians other than French, Scotch, and Swedes, and a larger proportion of Bohemians, Moravians, English, Germans, Greeks, and Irish than of the individuals of any other race can read. The proportion of individuals who both read and write is large for the Swedes, Slovaks, Irish, Greeks, Germans, English, Canadians other than French, and Bohemians and Moravians.

The following table shows the literacy of persons 10 years of age or over in the households studied. The presentation is by sex and by general nativity and race of individual: Table 171.- Per cent of persons 10 years of age or over who read and per cent who read and write, by sex and general nativity and race of individual.

(STUDY OF HOUSEHOLDS.) [This table includes only races with 40 or more persons reporting. The totals, however, are for all races.)

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Male. Female. Total. Male. Female. Total. Male. Female. Total.

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The above table is compiled from information secured from 1,155 persons, 604 of whom are males and 551 females. Ninety-six per cent of the males and 95.1 per cent of the females can read and 95.2 per cent of the males and 93.3 per cent of the females can both read and write, showing in each instance a slightly higher per cent in favor of the males. Of the total males and females reporting, 95.6 per cent can read and 94.3 per cent can both read and write. The nativeborn of foreign father have a much higher per cent of persons who can read and write than the foreign-born, the former showing 99.5 per cent who can both read and write as compared with 90.9 per cent of the latter.

Of the native-born of foreign father, Germans, Irish, and Swedes show 100 per cent of those reporting who are able to read and write. Bohemians and Moravians have 99.3 per cent and Poles 98 per cent who can both read and write.

Of the foreign-born, English, Germans, and Swedes all show 100 per cent who are able to read and write, Bohemians and Moravians rank next, Irish following with a slightly greater proportion of males who can read and write than females. North Italians rank next highest in literacy, the per cent of females of this race who can read and write being higher than that of males; South Italians and Poles follow in the order named, while Slovaks show a larger proportion of illiterates than any of the races, only 70.9 per cent being able to read and write. It is of interest to note that the degree of literacy is much higher among the older immigrant races than the more recent immigrants.

The relation between the literacy of the immigrant labor supply and period of residence in this country is set forth in the following table, which shows the per cent of foreign-born persons 10 years of age or over who read and per cent who read and write, by years in the United States and race of individual.

Table 172.- Per cent of foreign-born persons 10 years of age or over who read, and per cent

who read and write, by years in the United States and race of individual.

(STUDY OF HOUSEHOLDS.) (This table includes only races with 40 or more persons reporting. The total, however, is for all foreign-born.]

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It appears from the percentages of the above table that there is a steady increase in the proportion of the total number of individuals who can read and who can both read and write with length of residence in the United States. This increase is reported not only for all individuals, but for the North Italians, South Italians, and Slovaks.

A slightly larger proportion of the Poles who have been in the United States under 5 years than of those who have been here from 5 to 9 years can read and read and write; while of the Bohemians and Moravians, all who have been here from 5 to 9 years are able to read, as compared with 99.4 per cent of those who have been here 10 years or over.

A comparison is made in the table next presented of the degree of literacy of younger and older immigrants at time of arrival in the United States. It shows by age at time of coming to the United States and race of individual the per cent of foreign-born persons 10 years of age or over in the households studied who read, and the per cent who read and write at the present time.

Table 173.-Per cent of foreign-born persons 10 years of age or over who read and per cent

who read and write, by age at time of coming to the United States and race of individual.

(STUDY OF HOUSEHOLDS.) (This table includes only races with 40 or more persons reporting. The total, however, is for all soreign-born.)

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The above table shows that, of a total of 705 individuals, 97.9 per cent of those who were under 14 years of age, and 91.6 per cent of those who were 14 years of age or over, at time of coming to the United States, read some language, while the same proportion of those who were under 14 years of age, and 89.1 per cent of those who were 14 years of age or over, at time of coming to the United States, both read and write some language.

As regards the different races, it will be seen that, of those who were under 14 years of age at time of coming to the United States, each, except the South Italian and Slovak (which show 90 per cent and 66.7 per cent, respectively), shows 100 per cent who read, while of those who were 14 years of age or over at time of coming to the United States each race, except the English, German, and Swedish, shows a certain proportion who can not read--the South Italian showing the largest and the Bohemian and Moravian the smallest. The same statement made as regards those who read applies to those who read and write, except that, of those who were 14 years of age or over at time of coming to the United States; the Poles show the largest proportion who can not read and write.

CONJUGAL CONDITION.

The table next submitted shows by general nativity and race the per cent of male employees in the Chicago packing houses who were 20 years of age or over and who were in each conjugal condition.

TABLE 174.- Per cent of male employees 20 years of age or over in each conjugal condition,

by general nativity and race.

(STUDY OF EMPLOYEES.) [This table includes only races with 40 or more males reporting. The totals, however, are for all races.)

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Native-born of native father:

White..

Negro.
Native-born of foreign father, by country of birth of
father:

Austria-Hungary.
Canada.
England.
Germany.
Ireland.

Russia.
Foreign-born, by race:

Bohemian and Moravian.
Canadian (other than French).
Croatian.
English.
German.
Greek..
Irish.
Italian, South.
Lithuanian
Magyar.
Polish.
Russian.
Scotch
Slovak.
Slovenian.
Swedish.

Grand total....
Total native-born of foreign father.
Total native-born.
Total foreign-born.

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In this locality 63.2 per cent of the male employees 20 years of age or over, for whom information was secured, are married, and only 2.8 per cent are widowed. The proportion of married employees is largest for the native-born of native father, negro, second largest for the foreignborn and larger for the native-born of native father, white, than for the native-born of foreign father. A larger proportion of the native-born of native father, both white and negro, than of either the native-born of foreign father or the foreign-born are widowed. Of the foreign-born the Germans have the largest, and the Lithuanians, Greeks, and Russians the smallest proportion of married individuals. The large proportions of widowed employees is reported for the English, Irish, Scotch, and Swedish in the order mentioned. 48296°

-VOL 13-11-17

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