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countries keep no such records, but also, second, because such an arrangement would probably be used by some countries as an additional means of oppressing political offenders or those suspected of revolutionary inclinations, however praiseworthy such inclinations might be from the American viewpoint.
The Immigration Commission, and, also, at about the same time, the Police Department of New York City, proved by experiment in some hundreds of cases. that it is possible to secure in some foreign countries documentary evidence of the conviction of crime of immigrants who have been admitted through error. So far as is known, the Bureau of Immigration has never seriously attempted such work, tho it might well be a means of ridding the country of scores, even hundreds, of dangerous criminals. Moreover, if the Government were to keep abroad a confidential force to watch for criminal and immoral persons intending to enter this country, as it does provide such a force abroad to prevent smuggling of goods, good results could doubtless be obtained. A smuggled criminal or prostitute is far more injurious to the country than a smuggled diamond or silk coat. Why not take equal care regarding them?
Birth-Rate Among Immigrants and Their Descendants
So much has been said in late years about "race suicide," and so much of both the industrial and military strength of a country depends upon the natural increase of population through the birth-rate, that the relative fecundity of immigrant women as compared with that of both native-born of foreign parents and native-born of native parents is of great significance. Fortunately enough, excellent material was col
lected by the Twelfth Census, altho not utilized by the Census Bureau, so that the Immigration Commission was able from the original data thus collected to reach accurate results of value. It was not considered practicable to make use of the material for all sections of the United States, but the State of Rhode Island, the city of Cleveland and forty-eight counties (largely rural) in the State of Ohio, the city of Minneapolis and twenty-one rural counties in Minnesota, were taken as typical of the different sections of the country and of urban and rural conditions. The detailed figures are of great interest.*
WOMEN BEARING NO CHILDREN
Some general conclusions may be reached as follows: The percentage of women under forty-five years of age who had been married from ten to nineteen years, when classified by parentage and nativity shows that in all these regions selected for study 7.4 per cent. bore no children. Among the native whites. of native parentage this fact held of 13.1 per cent., while among the whites of foreign parentage of only 5.7 per cent. Among the women of foreign parentage the percentage of women bearing no children was largest among the Scotch-8.9 per cent. of the first generation and 11.3 per cent. of the second generation.
The Polish women were the most fertile; of the women of the first generation only 2.6 per cent. bore no children, and of those of the second only 1.5 per cent. The Bohemians, Russians, and Norwegians show likewise relatively few women without children, while the English, French, Irish and English Canadian rank next to the Scotch in the large numbers unfruit
* Reports of Immigration Commission, Vol. 28.
ful. Speaking generally, also, it may be noted that the percentage of childless women is decidedly higher in the second generation of the white women of foreign parentage, altho this difference does not appear in so marked a degree in rural Minnesota as in the other areas. Generally speaking, the result would seem to indicate that the second generation, under rural conditions, is almost as likely to have children as the first. Under urban conditions this is not so likely to occur, as percentages indicate.
AVERAGE NUMBER OF CHILDREN
Considering the question from another viewpoint, that of the average number of children borne by women of the different races and nationalities in these different localities,-among the women of American stock, the average number of children in Cleveland, Minneapolis and Rhode Island, which are largely urban, is much the same, 2.4 and 2.5, while in the rural districts of both Ohio and Minnesota, the number of children is practically one more, 3.4.
Among the women of foreign stock, the difference between city and country is not so decidedly marked, but there is also decided variation among the different races. The average number of children borne by women under forty-five years of age, married from ten to nineteen years, was 2.7 for native white women of native parentage, and 4.4 for the native white women of foreign parentage. Among those races studied, the highest birth-rate was found among the Poles 6.2 children for the women of the first generation and 5.1 for those of the second. Next to these rank the French Canadians with 5.8 for the first generation and 4.9 for the second. Among the foreigners
the lowest birth rate was found among the English, with 3.7 for the first generation and 2.9 for the second. The Scotch ranked almost the same with 3.8 in the first generation and 2.9 in the second.
In practically all of these cases the number of children is larger in rural districts and smaller in the cities, altho in the case of Poles in Ohio 6.1 was the rate in Cleveland to 5.6 in rural Ohio. The exception does not appear significant.
RELATION OF YEARS OF MARRIED LIFE TO BIRTH-RATE, BY RACES
Still another indication of the same tendency of the native Americans and the second generation of immigrants to have fewer children is shown by the average number of years married for each child born to the women enumerated. As is to be expected from what has preceded, the smallest average number of years is found among the Poles with 2.3 for the first generation and 2.6 for the second. The largest number of years is found among the English with 3.9 of the first generation and 5 of the second generation. The English-Canadian, the Scotch and the French all rank high, while the Italians, French-Canadians and Norwegians rank low.
The general results seem to indicate that fecundity is much greater among women of foreign parentage than among the American women of native parentage and usually greater among the immigrants than among their descendants. Generally speaking, also, the fecundity is greater in the rural districts than in the cities. Taking all the totals together, the fecundity seems greatest in the first generation of Polish women, who bore in the years indicated one child every 2.3
years, while it is least in the second generation of English women, who bore on the average one child only every 5 years.
The Social Evil and the White Slave Traffic
In many respects the most pitiful as well as the most revolting phase of the immigration question is that connected with the social evil or the white-slave traffic.
From the nature of the cases, it is, of course, impossible to get detailed statistics regarding the question. From the figures collected in an investigation of four months in the New York City Night Court, November 15, 1908, to March 15, 1909, it appears that 27.7 per cent. of the women arrested and convicted for keeping disorderly houses and solicitation, were foreign-born. Of these foreign-born cases in the Night Court, 581 in all, the Hebrews furnished the largest number, 225, the French next with 154, followed by the Germans with 69. In cases of exclusion and deportation the figures are materially different. A very large proportion of the girls who come to our cities to engage in this business are from the country districts and are American-born, altho very often they are immigrant girls who have entered factories of various types or have been engaged in such lines of activity that they are kept from the benefits of home influence.
In very many other cases, however, an important indirect cause of their downfall seems to be economic, altho dependent, largely, upon the other conditions.
* Reports of Immigration Commission, Vol. 37.