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

VI
RATIOS OF CHILDREN TO WOMEN IN CITIES AND RURAL DISTRICTS

The data regarding the ratio of children to women for smaller cities (2,500 to 10,000 and 10,000 to 25,000) and for rural districts are available by States only. Hence, many local differences can not be ascertained. There is good reason to believe, however, that even though it is necessary to present the data for all the smaller places in the States in groups it will still be possible to get at the essential facts regarding their ratios of children to women.


NATIVE WHITE WOMEN IN COMMUNITIES OF DIFFERENT SIZES

In Table 34 the ratios of children to all native white women 20 to 44 years of age are given for the United States, its divisions, and the States, by size of community.

The most striking fact in this table is the steady increase in these ratios as the size of the community diminishes. Using the ratios for the largest cities group in the United States and each division as 100, the indexes for the different sizes of communities in the United States and its nine divisions are as given in Table 35.

Since the indexes of the United States and of each of the divisions are calculated from a different base the size of the index tells us nothing regarding their relations to one another, but it does enable us to compare readily the differences between communities of different sizes within the several areas, for native white women.

In every division, as well as in the United States as a whole, there is an increase in ratio of children as the community becomes smaller. The smallest increases between the big cities and the rural communities are found in the New England, the Middle Atlantic, and the East North Central States, where the indexes for rural communities are respectively 64 points, 71.9 points, and 77.5 points greater than in the large cities. Elsewhere, as well as in the entire United States, the indexes for rural communities are over 100 points higher than for the large cities. The East South Central States have the highest index for their rural communities but the other two Southern divisions are not far behind. Moreover, there is no division in which the increase in indexes is not steady, that is, in which it is not higher in a smaller community than in a larger one. By referring to Table 34 we also see that there are only four or five instances among the States in which a higher ratio of children occurs in the larger community than in the next smaller community.

-100-

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