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Very frequently 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.
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 at first 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 twenty boarders or lodgers. Each lodger pays the boardingboss a fixt 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 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 4978, or 32.9 per cent., kept boarders or lodgers. A similar study of 1,139 households of native whites showed that only 114, or 10 per cent, had boarders or lodgers. The following table shows the situation of the principal races of recent immigration among
The average number of boarders and lodgers for each 100 of all immigrant households keeping boarders or lodgers was 353, as contrasted with only 168 for each 100 native white American households. For some of the southern or eastern European immigrant households the average was much higher than that shown for all races. The Rumanians averaged 12.23 boarders or lodgers per household keeping boarders or lodgers, the Bulgarians 8.29, Servians 7.25, Croatians 6.39, and Russians 4.02. The crowding which resulted may be readily realized when it is known, for example, that one-third of the Bulgarian households were living in one-room apartments, and twofifths in two rooms.
Of all the households of foreign-born wage-earners, numbering 15,127, about one-tenth were housed in two rooms, one-fifth in three rooms, and almost onethird in four rooms. The immigrant households averaged 581 persons for each 100 apartments, 138 persons for each 100 rooms, and 253 occupants for
each 100 sleeping-rooms. By way of contrast, the households of the native whites of native fathers had only 415 persons for each 100 apartments, 77 persons for each 100 rooms, and 184 persons for each 100 sleeping-rooms. Many of the households of recent immigrants had from four to eight persons for each sleeping-room, the maximum number being conditioned only on the available space.
CONGESTION IN SLEEPING-ROOMS
Another significant aspect of the situation is the tendency exhibited by immigrant households to use all of the rooms of their apartments for sleeping purposes. Of the total number studied in detail by the Immigration Commission about 5 per cent. used all of their rooms as sleeping quarters. Of the Bulgarians 63.3 per cent., of the Greeks 16.4 per cent., of the Ruthenians 12.1 per cent., and of the Slovenians 10.3 per cent. used all of the rooms of the apartments in which they lived for sleeping purposes. A little more than one-third of the immigrant households had only one room available for cooking, eating and general living purposes.
RENT IN ITS RELATION TO STANDARD OF LIVING
Perhaps the best general indication of the congested conditions and low standards of living which prevail in the households of immigrant industrial workers may be seen in the average rent payments per person, due to the tendency of the immigrants to crowd together in order to reduce the per capita rent outlay. The average monthly rent payment per person of wage-earners who were native-born whites of native
fathers was found by the Immigration Commission to be $2.81, and of immigrant industrial workers only $1.51. The Bulgarians paid only $0.97, the Macedonians $0.78, the Rumanians $1.02, the Servians $1.03, the Croatians $1.09, the Ruthenians $1.15, the Slovaks $1.18 and the Poles $1.24, rental monthly per capita. This fact alone would explain why American wage-earners often object to immigrant competition, and how, as in the case of money, the poorer supplants the better. Is it best for the country that an American wage-earner compete with a Macedonian on the terms shown?
TENDENCIES EXHIBITED BY RECENT IMMIGRANTS
General housing and sanitary conditions have been discust in another connection.* The recent immigrant is more inclined than the native American or than other immigrants to use the so-called "company-house" system. In bituminous coal-mining, iron-ore and copper-mining communities in all sections of the country, members of races of recent immigration are more commonly found in company houses than the native American and British and northern European employees. Wherever possible, the two latter classes of employees settle in the urban centers around which the mining villages cluster. In the villages themselves, where all classes of employees are found, there is little discrimination as to the housing facilities, the usual policy of the mining companies being to rent the houses to the first applicants regardless of race. Likewise, the housing conditions of the immigrants in the larger industrial towns and cities are
See Chapter IV on Immigrant Communities, Chapter XI, entitled "The Immigrant as a Dynamic Factor in Industry."