The Philadelphia Negro: A Social Study

By W. E. B. Du Bois | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VI.
CONJUGAL CONDITION.

15. The Seventh Ward. --The conjugal condition of the Negroes above fifteen years of age living in the Seventh Ward is as follows:1

Conjugal Condition. Males. Per Cent. Females. Per Cent.
Single............
Married...........
Widowed..........
Permanently separated....
1,482
1,876
    200
      18
41.4
52.5
6.1
1,240
1,918
    841
      66
30.5
47.1
22.4
      Total..........
Unknown..........
Under 15..........
3,576
    125
    800
100.0
...
...
4,065
    179
    930
100.0
...
...
      Total population.....   4,501 ...   5,174 ...

For a people comparatively low in the scale of civilization there is a large proportion of single men--more than in Great Britain, France or Germany; the number of married women, too, is small, while the large number of widowed and separated indicates widespread and early breaking

____________________
ages of children under ten is liable to err a year or so from the truth. Many women have probably understated their ages and somewhat swelled the period of the thirties as against the forties. The ages over fifty have a large element of error.
1
There are many sources of error in these returns: it was found that widows usually at first answered the question "Are you married?" in the negative, and the truth had to be ascertained by a second question; unfortunate women and questionable characters generally reported themselves as married; divorced or separated persons called themselves widowed. Such of these errors as were made through misapprehension, were often corrected by additional questions; in case of designed deception the answer was naturally thrown out if the deception was detected, which of course happened in few cases. The net result of these errors is difficult to ascertain: certainly they increase the apparent number of the truly widowed to some extent at the expense of the single and married.

-66-

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