Lapas attēli

represented were the South Italians, Hebrews, Poles, Slovaks, Syrians and Lithuanians; while amor.g the races that have been in this country for a longer period, the Irish, Bohemian and German were the ones most frequently found. In all of the cities studied, the Russian Hebrews and South Italians were found in considerable numbers in the congested districts. In Chicago and Milwaukee, the Poles, Bohemians and other Slavic races were, relatively speaking, much more numerous than in the Atlantic coast cities.

Out of every 100 foreign-born male heads of households investigated, about 48 have come to the United States within the past ten years, and about 21 within five years. Of the races represented by any considerable numbers, the Magyars have the largest per cent. of arrivals within the past ten years, 84 out of 100. The foreign-born negroes have the next largest proportion. It is a matter of surprize to many people that the negroes are coming into the country as immigrants, but at the present time large numbers are arriving, especially from Porto Rico and other West India Islands.

It is noteworthy, also, that the immigration, at any rate in the districts studied, seems to be largely migration from the country to the city, of people that heretofore have been unfamiliar with city conditions. Out of each 100 sixteen years of age or over at the time of coming to the United States, 39 had been engaged in farming in the country from which they came. Considering only those races represented by 100 or more the Irish showed the highest proportion of those who were farmers abroad-69.2 per cent. The Lithuanians were next with 67.1 per cent.

The South Italians had 43.9 per cent., while very few Hebrews, either Russians or others, were farmers in Europe. Only 3.6 per cent. of the Russian Hebrews and 5.5 per cent. of other Hebrews were engaged in agricultural pursuits abroad.


The number of persons living in the houses in con gested districts is, on the average, smaller than is ordinarily believed. In the households investigated by the Immigration Commission, the average of the number of persons for 100 rooms was only 134, and for 100 sleeping rooms 232. The cities may be ar ranged with reference to the condition of crowding in the following order: Boston, 144 persons for 100 rooms; Philadelphia, 141; Cleveland, 140; New York, 139; Buffalo, 133; Chicago, 126; Milwaukee, 114. It should also be borne in mind that the question of overcrowding is rather a matter of rooms, or sleeping rooms, than a crowding of people upon the ground area. Living conditions are often much better. in large tenement houses, where they are reasonably well regulated by law, than in smaller private houses that have been converted for the use of several families.

The investigation of the Immigration Commission showed that the congestion was considerably greater in foreign than in native households, whether whites or negroes are taken into consideration. Among the immigrant races represented by 100 or more households, the degree of congestion was found greatest among the Slovenians, where the average number of persons for 100 rooms reached 172. The South Italians averaged 166, the Poles 155, the Russian He

brews 147.

The lowest average was among the Swedes, where the average number of persons for 100 rooms was only 93, and the Germans, with an average

of 99.


Perhaps a better test of the condition of congestion is found by the average number of persons per sleeping-room. By this test, the Slovenians again occupy the bad preeminence, with 2.99 persons per sleepingroom. The Poles with 2.72 persons, Slovaks with 2.63, South Italians with 2.54, and Magyars with 2.43, also show a high degree of congestion. The Russian Hebrews have 2.38 persons for each sleepingroom. In this respect the foreign-born negroes have the best record with only 1.90 per sleeping-room, the Swedes have 1.92, and the Germans an average of 2.03. The native-born people were on the whole distinctly better-an average per sleeping-room of 1.93 for whites and 1.78 for negroes.

In the immigrant households 32.8 per cent. had at least three persons per sleeping-room, while among the households of the native whites only 18.8 per cent. had that many per sleeping-room. Only 0.8 per cent. of the native-born whites had as many as five persons per sleeping-room, while among the Slovenians 13.8 per cent. had five or more per room and 5.2 per cent. six or more per sleeping-room. No other race had half as large a percentage with six or more per sleeping-room as the Slovenians. The native-born Bohemians and Moravians ranked next with 2.4 per cent., and the Greeks and South Italians each with 2 per cent. The Russian Hebrews had only 1.2 per cent., while among the Swedes the number found

with six per sleeping-room was too small for computation of percentages.

Of all the Greek households investigated, 42.9 per cent. occupied all of their rooms as sleeping-rooms as did 42.1 per cent. of the Syrians, and 22.7 per cent. of the South Italians, while of the Swedes only 0.7 per cent. occupied all of their rooms as sleepingrooms, and of the negroes who were immigrants only 0.8 per cent. On the other hand, 7.6 per cent. of the native-born negroes of native fathers occupied all their rooms as sleeping-rooms, as did 2.3 per cent. of the native whites.


Overcrowding is perhaps most frequently shown by the keeping of boarders or lodgers. In the cities in vestigated by the Immigration Commission, about 26 per cent. of all the households visited kept boarders or lodgers. In New York, the largest city, the proportion was almost 25 per cent. In Milwaukee it was 16.6 per cent. In Chicago the largest proportion was found-30 per cent. Boston ranks next with 29.3 per cent. of the households studied having boarders or lodgers. Among the native-born of foreign. fathers studied by the Immigration Commission, 10.2 per cent. of the families keep boarders; among the foreign-born, 27.2 per cent. Of all the Lithuanian immigrant families 70.3 per cent. had boarders or lodgers, as did 47.3 per cent. of the Hungarians, 42.9 per cent. of the North Italians, 37.2 per cent. of the Swedes, 41 per cent. of the Slovaks, 37.9 per cent. of the Slovenians, and 35.5 per cent. of the Poles. On the other hand, only 9.5 per cent. of the Germans, 5.3 per cent. of the Syrians, 16.7 per cent.

of the Irish and 13.1 per cent. of the Bohemians and Moravians, kept boarders and lodgers. It would thus appear that on the whole it is the new immigrants that take boarders, and there seems to be a considerable difference among the races in the extent to which boarders and lodgers are brought into the households.


The matter of overcrowding is in part a question of rent. Naturally this large factor in the living expenses is considerably higher in the Atlantic coast cities than in those on the Great Lakes. The rents are highest in New York, where the average rent per room was found to be $3.89 per month, and lowest in Cleveland, where the average per room was $2.03 per month. The average number of persons to 100 rooms was about the same in the two cities, 139 in New York, and 140 in Cleveland. The households of immigrants, as compared with the native-born wage-earners, paid, generally speaking, the same if not higher rent per room, but lower rent per person, as among the immigrants there was, generally speaking, a much larger number of persons per room.

The average rent per room paid by the different races, as shown by the investigations of the Immigration Commission, is a matter of interest. The native-born whites paid $2.51 on the average, and the foreign-born $2.90. The native-born negroes paid $3.00, and the foreign-born negroes $3.38. The highest average rent per room per month was paid by the Greeks, $4.59. The Russian Hebrews paid $3.51, other Hebrews $3.52. The native-born Poles showed the lowest average rent per room, $1.60; the Slovenians $2.20; the South Italians $3.28.

« iepriekšējāTurpināt »