Immigrants and Their Children, 1920: A Study on Census Statistics Relative to the Foreign Born and the Native White of Foreign or Mixed Parentage

Immigrants and Their Children, 1920: A Study on Census Statistics Relative to the Foreign Born and the Native White of Foreign or Mixed Parentage

Immigrants and Their Children, 1920: A Study on Census Statistics Relative to the Foreign Born and the Native White of Foreign or Mixed Parentage

Immigrants and Their Children, 1920: A Study on Census Statistics Relative to the Foreign Born and the Native White of Foreign or Mixed Parentage

Excerpt

The foreign stock has hitherto been treated as an undifferentiated mass, since the division of this population group into any but its primary components would obscure the broad facts of nativity classification and territorial distribution with which the foregoing analysis is concerned. The further discussion of this element's significance in the population, however, requires more detailed treatment.

The composition of the foreign stock may be studied from three different points of view. First, the foreign-born portion of the immigrant stock may be classified according to its length of residence in the United States. Second, both foreign born and native born of foreign or mixed parentage may be subdivided into nationality, race, and language groups. Third, this element may be analyzed on the basis of its age and sex distribution. The first of these topics is considered in this chapter.

A very commonly used classification of the foreign born is that based upon the year of the immigrant's arrival in this country. The principal reason for the wide adoption of this device is the fact that the country of origin and racial type of the immigrant have changed profoundly during the past 40 years. About the year 1880, immigrants from the various northern and western European countries, which had previously contributed the overwhelming majority of this Nation's foreign white stock, began giving place to migrants originating in eastern and southern Europe and, latterly, in Asia Minor. Students have attached great significance to this change, from the "old immigration" to the "new immigration," as these groups are generally termed, because of the difference in racial type, cultural background, and personality traits which distinguishes-- or is believed to distinguish--these two groups.

There are, however, other considerations of almost equal weight that lend importance to this approach to the immigrant question. They are the relation of the year of immigration to the flow of immigration to this country, and to the territorial distribution of the foreign born. These two topics constitute the subject matter taken . . .

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