American Immigration Policy, a Reappraisal

By William S. Bernard; Carolyn Zeleny et al. | Go to book overview

7
Indices of Adjustment II: Family Life, Intermarriage, Citizenship, and Loyally

In this chapter, continuing our discussion of objective indices of immigrant adjustment, we shall deal with family life, intermarriage, citizenship, and the war record of our foreign-born population.


Family Life

The marital status of the foreign born and their children compares favorably with that of the native born (see Table 30). A higher percentage of foreign-born females are married than of those in the native population. The small ratio of single persons and the high ratio of widows may be accounted for by the older age distribution of the foreign born. Women of foreign or mixed parentage show a somewhat smaller proportion of married persons than that for the native born of native parentage and considerably smaller than that for the foreign born. The percentage of divorced persons is smaller for the foreign born than that for other nativity groups.

Moreover, the foreign born have a low rate of illegitimacy. In 1920 the native born had a rate of 16.7 per 1,000 live births and the rate for the foreign born was only 5.2 per 1,000. The "old" immigrants had higher illegitimacy rates than the "new" immigrants. The English, Scotch, and Welsh had a rate of 10.6; the Germans, 6.6; the Austrians, 5.3; the Russians and Italians, 2.5.1

____________________
1
Niles Carpenter, immigrants and Their Children, 1920, Census Monograph VII ( 1927).

-136-

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