THE BACKGROUND IN POPULATION
IMMIGRATION AND THE SUPPLY OF LABOR
1. Increase and Distribution of the Population of the United States . The phenomenal increase in the population of the United States has been accomplished by both immigration and a natural surplus of births over deaths in the native population. Although territorial expansion has accompanied this increase of population, there is a serious problem of congestion in the older industrial sections of our country.
When independence was achieved the total population of the original thirteen states numbered a scant 3,000,000. At the present time the population of continental United States is well over 110,000,000. It would seem that our population has doubled within every generation of 25 or 30 years. The census figures are as follows.
|The Federal Census Bureau's estimate, July 1, 1928.|
As compared with Europe and Asia, America is still sparsely populated. Before the World War, for illustration, Germany was ten times as densely populated as the United States. The average density of population for this country, as a whole, is slightly over 30 people per square mile. The center of population has moved gradually westward through Maryland, West Virginia, and Indiana.
The average density of population, however, is as misleading as the average length of life. Portions of our great West are very sparsely settled, for the immigrant tide tends to congest in our eastern and central industrial states. At the present time a trifle over half our entire population live in cities of 2,500 or more. Indeed, more than 5 per cent of all the people of the United States reside within greater New York City.
2. Composition of Our Population . -- About nine-tenths of the population of the United States are Caucasions. The census for 1920 showed