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The CHAIRMAN. Is not this program comparable, in a period of national stress, with the policy of a merchant or master of industry in taking stock of his assets and liabilities and business conditions generally, in order to avoid catastrophe, or in order to plan to meet the existing or future problems?
Is there not an uncertainty, fear, and apprehension pervading all the vocational groups, especially those that deal with industry, commerce and finance, and is not this census, in a sense, a stock-taking or an inventory to enable the American people to ascertain present-day conditions?
Mr. DEDRick. That is a very apt analogy. We know that certain businesses, small, local retail merchandising, for instance, can be satisfied with an annual inventory. We know that as you go up the scale and increase the factor of turnover, in other words, the mobility of goods, which, in business, is equivalent to mobility of people in any population, you have a quarterly, or a monthly, or a weekly inventory. In some cases a constant inventory is maintained so that they can tell what their whole inventories are at any time.
We are gradually being forced—if we are to solve some of these social problems—to take a more frequent inventory of population throughout the country, either by a complete enumeration or by a sampling process, so that we can be up to date in this very rapidly moving situation.
The CHAIRMAN. With the approval of the committee, I will put in the record a signed statement by Mr. W. A. Julian, chairman of the Julian-Kokenge Co., Treasurer of the United States, and chairman of the Subcommittee on Decentralization of Secretary Roper's business advisory and planning committee.
STATEMENT OF W. A. JULIAN, CHAIRMAN of THE JULIAN-KoKENGE Co., TREASURER of THE UNITED STATEs, AND CHAIRMAN OF A SUBcom MITTEE oN DECENTRALIZATION of SECRETARY RoPER's BUSINESS ADVISORY AND PLANNING CoMMITTEE
Mr. JULIAN. Mr. Chairman, I am W. A. Julian, chairman of the JulianKokenge Co., Treasurer of the United States, and chairman of the subcommittee on decentralization of Secretary Roper's business advisory and planning committee.
Thoughtful industrial leaders and economists have long been concerned about the increasing concentration of industrial and commercial activities and hence of population in and near large urban centers. This movement has closed
thousands of factories in small towns and depopulated innumerable counties
which were once thriving agricultural communities. The resulting lack of balance in American industrial and agricultural life is regarded by the business interests which I represent as unsocial as well as uneconomic.
The decentralization committee of which I am chairman has three fundamental objectives embracing (1) a survey of the trends and causes of centralization, (2) the education of our people in regard to the implications and consequences of this movement, and (3) the promotion of sound public policies designed to provide a richer and fuller American way of life.
The research which our committee considers essential for a comprehensive understanding of this important problem is being carried on along somewhat different lines by the Research and Planning Division of the N.R.A., the Social Science Research Council, and the Twentieth Century Fund. All of these agencies are immeasurably handicapped in their study of the problem by a lack of comprehensive statistics dealing with the geograplic and occupational movements of population, especially during recent years. Rough estimates have been made from time to time on the basis of the fragmentary material which was available, but as legislators you realize the folly of reasoning, much less drafting public policy, on such inadequate data.
I therefore urge you to make provision in the forthcoming census for the collection of complete and (because it is to be done by the Census Department) reliable statistics on the geographic and occupational shifts of population for the years 1930, 1933, and 1934. The information is required for so many years in that we may have an accurate picture of the changes wrought by the depression and the manner in which these changes have or have not been counteracted by the operation of the codes of fair competition sponsored by the National Recovery Administration.
The CHAIRMAN. That statement is signed by W. A. Julian. .
The next witness is Mr. S. D. Collins. Mr. Collins, will you give your full name to the reporter, state your occupation, and submit such observations as you care to make in reference to the proposed legislation pending before this committee?
STATEMENT OF S. D. COLLINS, STATISTICIAN, UNITED STATES PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE
Mr. Collins. Mr. Chairman, my name is S. D. Collins; I am a statistician in the United States Public Health Service. Mr. Chairman, I think the point of view of the Public Health Service has been covered incidentally by several witnesses who have already appeared before the committee in the last day or two. This past several years has been a time of great stress, economically, for a great many families, and a time when we should know as accurately as possible of any change in the health of the people. We have births and deaths registered currently, the matter which you have just been discussing, but in order to measure accurately changes in those rates, we must have accurate population data, and we must have it not only for the country as a whole but for specific communities, cities, and rural areas. Therefore, the interest of the Public Health Service in this census is rather largely in what has been termed the “incidental” part of it— that is, in the enumeration of the population as a whole—although we would, of course, be interested in any data that could be collected on the health of the unemployed, such as deaths in unemployed families as compared with other families. But we realize that such a detail as that will never get on a questionnaire for a limited census of this kind. Mr. KINZER. How long have you been connected with the Public Health Service? Mr. Collins. Since 1920. Mr. KINZER. Does the Public Health Service have no opinion or knowledge as to whether the general health of the citizens of the United States has improved. Mr. Collins. Yes; very definitely so. Mr. KINZER. I seemed to gather that from your statement, and I wondered whether that was what you wanted us to understand. Mr. Collins. No; I think we have considerable data on that subject; but we are relying upon the Census Bureau for population estimates, as has been mentioned before. The accuracy of the Census Bureau is recognized by all, and if the Census Bureau says that they cannot furnish accurate estimates of population for 1933, I think we, as well as the State health departments, would be handicapped a great deal in knowing about the accuracy of death rates beyond that time. Mr. KINZER. You have that now, have you not? 58867—34—9
Mr. Collins. For 1933 we have it, based on such population estimates as are available. Mr. KINZER. From the different State health departments? Mr. Collins. Yes. Mr. KINZER. Would this census be of great advantage, so far as the vital statistical record you would get, over your present sources of information, which may come directly from the health department of the several States? Mr. Collins. I think it is true that the health departments of the several States themselves rely upon the Census Bureau for their population estimates. They register currently births and deaths, but make no population estimates. I was thinking not so much in terms of 1933 as in terms of what we would know about it in 1934 and 1935 and 1936, and the further away we get from the 1930 census the less accuracy we would have in population figures. Mr. KINZER. That could be said of the proposed census. Mr. Collins. Absolutely. The CHAIRMAN. The States are now able to assemble accurate data with reference to the number of births and deaths; that is true, is it not? Mr. Collins. Yes, sir. The CHAIRMAN. But the rate of the births and deaths as compared with the population is not obtainable accurately because of the shift in pouplation. In other words, you may find that a certain city that in 1930 had 10,000 population had so many hundred deaths and so many hundred births, and based on the 1930 population you can ascertain the birth rate and the death rate, can you not? Mr. Collins. Yes. The CHAIRMAN. You can get the number of births and deaths now, but if that city has only 7,000 or 8,000 population you have to guess at the rate, do you not? Mr. CoLLINs. Yes, sir. The CHAIRMAN. And this census would immediately furnish the accurate population from which you could ascertain the birth rate and death rate, while if you have to go back to the 1930 census, and there has been a falling off in population, you are compelled to guess what the birth rate and the death rate is; that is true, is it not? Mr. Collins. That is right, exactly. The CHAIRMAN. The next witness is Mr. Batschelet. Will you give your name to the reporter, state your occupation, and then make any statement you desire in reference to the proposed legislation pending before the committee?
STATEMENT OF CLARENCE E. BATSCHELET, GEOGRAPHER, BUREAU OF THE CENSUS
Mr. BATSCHELET. Mr. Chairman, my name is Clarence E. Batschelet. I am the Geographer at the Census Bureau, and am in direct charge of computing estimates of population, which is now a perplexing problem. e find in a study of the trends of population growth that estimates heretofore have been running in trend lines; that is, the growth has been more or less stable, if you wish to call it that, for local areas.
Previous to 1900 the population growth of the country had been more or less in a geometrical ratio. Subsequent to that date it has slowed down, and the trend has been more in an arithmetical ratio, except during the brief period of the war and the influenza epidemic preceding 1920. From 1920 to 1930, it has conformed more to the arithmetical ratio, a little slower in growth, it is true, for the country as a whole. In 1924, with the improved registration of Government statistical records for both immigration and emigration, and birth and death registration, which, except for a few States, practically covered the whole country, we began using such material and our estimate submitted for 1930 to the Census Committee showed the error to be about 250,000. The estimates for six of the States, as I recall, were not so good. In other words, for six of the States the estimates were off over 10 percent. For 80 percent of the counties and the cities of 10,000 population, the estimates were within 10 percent of the actual population. Since 1930 the growth has greatly slowed up for the country as a whole. In other words, the new figures for the United States, which will be available shortly, will show an increase for the past year of only 732,000, as compared with an average annual increase between 1920 and 1930 of 1,600,000, which would imply that the rate of growth has slowed up materially. That is for the country as a whole, and that means that smaller places somewhere are slowing up terrifically in their growth. Which ones they are, we do not know. We have heard from a few cities like Chicago, Boston, and Hartford, where the definite statement has been made by local organizations that the population is under the 1930 figures. These organizations have carried on canvasses of some kind or another, and have computed the population; so that the figures are more or less reliable. However, they are not accepted by the Bureau for the simple reason that we do not accept any figures except those collected by our own organization. If these are typical cities it shows conclusively that trends for any areas, as shown during the past decade or two decades, are not continuing because there has been a rapid slowing up of the increase and, therefore, our trends are not right if we assume in computing the estimates that they are the same. For that reason, we have discontinued the estimates. I believe that is all I have to say, unless there are some questions. Mr. KINZER. This decrease in the birth rate is alarming. In your judgment, is it caused by the depression, or is the birth-control movement responsible for it, or both? Mr. BATSCHELET. I am inclined to think, personally, that it is the economic condition that is reacting—that is, that the economic condition is slowing down the birth rate. It is checking the marriage rate, or reducing it. That directly results in a lower birth rate. Mr. KINZER. It is alarming. --Mr. BATSCHELET. Yes, sir. I did not believe it after I finished the computation of the population estimate, and I went over it a second time. Mr. KINZER. The consuming and purchasing power of the country is directly affected by that, is it not, in your judgment? Mr. BATSCHELET. It is bound to be affected. - The CHAIRMAN. I will make this observation; many writers claim that the law to which you have referred is a natural law. Animals in a state of nature multiply in proportion to the increase of the quantity of food on which they subsist.
Mr. BATSCHELET. Biologists make that claim. The CHAIRMAN. It is logically argued that the multiplication of the human species, in fact all groups of the animal kingdom is largely dependent upon food supply and environment. For instance, western Australia is overrun by rabbits that are not indigenous to that country. A few were introduced from New Zealand, but in New Zealand they do not multiply rapidly because of environment, lack of food supply, and the parasites that are found in their natural habitat. Yet, when they are transplanted to an area where those parasites do not exist, and where the food supply is abundant, they multiply at such a tremendous rate that the government has to build fences from sea to sea across the continent to prevent their depredations. Undoubtedly a prolonged and severe economic depression will reduce the birth rate. Mr. BATSCHELET. Of course, you will understand that a certain amount of that (I do not remember the figures and, perhaps, you do not want a record of them) is due to immigration, because for the last 2 years our emigration has exceeded our immigration. It had been just the reverse for years and years; so there is a certain amount of population loss which is taken up by this factor, as well as in the lower birth rate. Mr. LEMKE. When I went to school, I think the reverse of the proposition stated by the chairman was taught. Our biologists believed that the poorer people were, the more they multiplied. Has that rule been changed or reversed? Doubtless you have heard that statement made. Mr. BATSCHELET. Yes, sir; I have heard it. The CHAIRMAN. Are there any further questions? Mr. KINZER. How long have you been connected with the Census Bureau? Mr. BATSCHELET. I have been in the Census Bureau since 1914, and I have been the geographer of the Bureau since 1924. Mr. AUSTIN. He is a product of your State, Mr. Kinzer. He was born, bred, raised, and educated in Pennsylvania. Mr. KINZER. I thought that. The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Austin, do you have any additional evidence to present? Mr. AUSTIN. No, sir. w The CHAIRMAN. The Chair is not advised of any other witnesses who want to be heard either in support of or in opposition to the proposed legislation. Mr. FLETCHER. May I inquire whether Mr. Julian's statement has been presented yet? The CHAIRMAN. Yes. Mr. Kinzer, do you know of any Member of Congress or any one else who wants to present a statement with reference to this proposed legislation? Mr. KINZER. I do not. The CHAIRMAN. Does any other member of the committee know of any one who wants to appear? (There was no response.) Dr. RICE. Mr. Chairman, I think, that, in view of one statement that was made yesterday, it might be well to record for the hearings the fact that civil works funds became available to the States, and through the States to municipalities and smaller divisions, for projects which were deemed to be of public value. Apparently, one of the first things which was thought of in a large number of communities was a census, and, particularly a census of population, with the result