Ratio of Children to Women, 1920: A Study in the Differential Rate of Natural Increase in the United States

By Warren S. Thompson | Go to book overview

IV
RATIOS OF CHILDREN TO WOMEN IN CITIES OF 25,000 TO 100,000 INHABITANTS

On account of the large number of cities in this group (25,000 to 100,000 inhabitants)1 it has been necessary to select certain of them for condensed tables in the text. Forty cities are used in the chief tables. The first 20 in these tables are those ranking highest in ratio of children to women, and the second 20 are those ranking lowest in this respect.


CITIES HAVING HIGHEST AND LOWEST RATIOS FOR NATIVE WOMEN

Table 28 gives data for the native white women. It will be noticed at once that all but a few of the cities having highest ratios of children have rather high percentages of their employed population engaged in manufacturing and mechanical occupations. Ogden, Utah,2 Roanoke, Va., and Pensacola, Fla., are the only cities having less than 40 per cent so engaged, while 13 of them have 50 per cent or more so engaged. As regards their location, if Ogden, Roanoke, and Pensacola are omitted from consideration, these cities are located in the more highly industrialized regions of the North and the South: 10 are found in the heavy industry region in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana; and 7 are found in the industrial South, in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina.

In comparing these two groups of cities we find certain rather pronounced differences. In general, the northern cities have a considerably larger proportion of native women who are of foreign and mixed parentage than the southern cities. There is some reason to think that this is one of the factors in keeping the ratio of children to women high in the northern cities; although when they are compared in this respect with the 20 cities having the lowest ratios it is difficult to detect any consistent relationship of this kind. In these smaller cities, as in the States and the larger cities, certain other factors seem to be of so much more importance than the proportion of native women of foreign or mixed parentage that the influence of this factor is pretty effectually obscured. How confused this relation is is shown if we compare Winston-Salem, N. C. (rank 5), with Lawrence, Mass. (rank 205), in which the ranks as regards the proportion of native women of

____________________
1
For the complete list of cities having 25,000 to 100,000 inhabitants with their ratios of children to women by States, see Detailed Table I. p. 200.
2
The reasons for the high rank of Ogden are discussed more fully in Chapter VII, section on Utah.

-72-

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