« iepriekšējāTurpināt »
Quite different is the average rent per person both as regards location and nationality. In New York City the average rent per person per month was $2.79, in Cleveland only $1.37, in Boston $2.12, in Chicago $1.74. It is a matter of surprize to many that the native-born negro paid $3.11 per person, while the native-born white showed a rent of only $2.60 per person. Among the foreign-born, also, the negro paid the highest rent per person, $3.25. The lowest rent per person, $1.29, was paid by the immigrant Slovenian. In all cases the effort was clearly and successfully made by recent immigrants to reduce rent per person by increasing the number of persons per room. In many cases this was done by taking in boarders and lodgers.
It will be a surprise to note that approximately onetenth of all the families studied owned their homes. The proportion of the home owners among the nativeborn whites was considerably less than half as great as among immigrants. Of those studied, 5.7 per cent. of the native-born and 10.4 per cent. of the foreignborn owned their homes.
Among the different races of immigrants, 25.8 per cent. of the Germans-the race with the best showing -had acquired homes. The Swedes ranked high with 19.4 per cent., the Irish with 12.5 per cent., the Poles with 17 per cent., and the Slovenians with II.I per cent. On the other hand, not enough of the immigrant negroes or of the Greeks to record, had purchased homes; while but 6.4 per cent. of the
Russian Hebrews, only 0.6 per cent. of the Syrians, and 4.6 of the Magyars had been thus provident.
This difference among the races was due in part to occupation, which leads the immigrant into different cities. In New York, which is a large tenement-house district, comparatively few, or only 0.5 per cent., owned their homes, while in Milwaukee, where smaller houses are found, 19.8 per cent. owned their homes, and in Buffalo 17.5 per cent. Even in Chicago 16.3 per cent. had purchased homes; in Boston, on the other hand, only 4.4 per cent., and in Philadelphia, with its many rows of small houses, only 7.4 per cent.
CARE OF HOME:
Living conditions are shown to a considerable extent by the care and equipment of the home. An attempt was made to classify the care of the apartment visited into four different grades: good, fair, bad, and very bad. The investigators took great pains to see that the same standard was maintained in all of the different cities. It is a matter of interest to note that of the entire number studied, foreign and native, 45.2 per cent. of the apartments were considered kept in good condition, 39 per cent. were fair, 12.9 per cent. bad, and only 2.9 per cent. in very bad condition. The native-born ranked rather better than the foreign-born in this regard, 50.6 per cent. of the former and only 44.2 per cent. of the latter having their apartments rated as good. The condition of the apartments of native-born white Americans is even better if the distinction is made between the whites and the negroes in the native-born. Among the foreign-born there seems to be all through a very marked dis
tinction; in this regard the Swedes were best, 75.7 per cent. of their apartments being rated as good. The Germans were next with 71.5 per cent., and the Bohemians and Moravians were next in order with 65.8 per cent. of their apartments in good condition. Among the lowest were the Greeks, with only 12.2 per cent.; the Syrians, 26.1 per cent.; the South Italians, 30.9 per cent.; Slovenians, 30.2 per cent. The North Italians again ranked above the average, with 49.3 per cent., and the Russian Hebrews barely above, with 45.5 per cent.
The care of the homes, of course, depends largely upon the water supply, and this is a matter generally determined by the city authorities and not by the residents. The question of sewerage is also important. The districts investigated in Philadelphia and Cleveland made the least satisfactory showing in regard to sanitary equipment-facilities for water supply and for toilet accommodations. New York, as well as Buffalo and Chicago, made a comparatively good showing in this respect.
There seems to be a decided difference, nevertheless, among the various races-the South Italians and the Syrians among the recent immigrants, and the Irish among the older immigrants, not being so well provided with sanitary equipment as were 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 in the course of the investigation of housing and living conditions in the large cities. 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 annual earnings of the nativeborn white were $595, of the negro $441. The average, on the whole, of the native-born males was $533, of the foreign-born only $385, while of the nativeborn of foreign fathers the yearly 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 $538, and the Irish $535 each year. Among the lowest were the Syrians with annual earnings of only $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, earned little more than onehalf as much as the men. Two-thirds of them received less than $300 per year. Of the races represented by 100 or more women, the South Italians and the Poles reported the average yearly earnings of women at less than $200; about two-thirds of the South Italian women were reported as earning less than $200.
CAUSES OF CONGESTED DISTRICTS
The chief evil 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 unsanitary 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.
On the other hand, the increase in earnings, improved education, social ambition, interest in American institutions, all tend to hasten the scattering and absorption of the immigrants 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.