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information in the years between the decennial years.”—Prof. Charles H. Judd, The University of Chicago, Chicago, Ill. (Dean School of Education.) “The extraordinary conditions of the country since 1930 have caused radical changes and dislocations. Certainly the economic status of a majority of our population is very different. It seems probable that the enumeration of January 1, 1930, no longer furnished a valid basis for planning and administration.”— Mrs. Alice F. Liveright, Department Commission of Public Welfare, Harrisburg, Pa. #1. and estimates for relief measurements are highly dependent upon more accurate local population data than is now available.”—Dr. George A. Lundberg, Columbia University, New York City. “Such a census would be extremely valuable in the planning of large-scale social measures which are likely to be undertaken during this period of reconstruction in which we have entered. There are required basic data on movement of population, changes in occupations, and employment and unemployment, in order that we may have a factual basis from which we can better plan the social and economic measures which seem clearly to be required.”—Dr. H. L. Lurie, director Bureau of Jewish Social Research, 71 West Forty-seventh Street, New York City. “Such a census would contribute to the interpretation of the economic and social questions now before our people, and aid materially in adjusting State and local governmental services more adequately to present and near-future conditions and needs of citizens.”—Dr. Carl E. McCombs, Institute of Public Administration, 302 East Thirty-fifth Street, New York City. “The abnormal changes since 1930 have made obsolete a great deal of the data collected at that time. Population figures for cities and farms have shifted since that time, and it is important that they should be brought up to date. They form our chief basis for planning for urban and agricultural relief. It is important to know to what extent this shift from city to country has taken place, since the shift means a decline in the demand for farm products, as well as a change in the amount needed for urban relief.”—Prof. E. S. Mead, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa. “The industrial and population changes brought about by the current depression will have profound effects upon our economic structure. In my opinion, the collection of accurate and comprehensive statistical information regarding these changes is essential for an effective attack upon problems which now face the country.”—Howard B. Myers, State Department of Labor, 205 West Wacker Drive, Chicago, Ill. “It would be of inestimable value to us and to a large number of other students of practical problems of the next decade if we could have a middecennial census of the population in about 1934–35. This seems to me absolutely essential in view of these temporary shifts of population and of the very large number of movements, ‘plans’, and in view of the very real opportunity before us for doing something more constructive than has yet been done in the region.”—Dr. Howard W. Odum, the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, N.C. “More than ever before, everyone is feeling the need for adequate information on which to base business plans. The numerous changes in population movements in the last few years make it peculiarly important to secure as soon as possible this information. A large number of the questions now concerning the Federal Administration can be handled far better if accurate data are available”— Dr. Ernest M. Patterson, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa. “As editor of the Journal of the American Statistical Association I am in a position to know that three fourths of the efforts of our constituents are being frustrated by a lack of information o recent population changes. As a member of the Department of Sociology at Columbia University I find that all efforts to study present-day populations are stultified by this same lack. As one concerned with problems of welfare and relief, I find the census to be imperative in a sane handling of our problems.”—Dr. Frank A. Ross, Columbia University, New York City. “With the more active organization of social measures, and measures of industrial control, Government will need a greatly expanded basis of information, and there have been very rapid changes in population status since 1930 which ought to be checked up. No doubt the Nation would save far more by having such up-to-date information than it would spend on the census recommended.”—Dr. George_Soule, editor the New Republic, 421 West Twentyfirst Street, New York City.
“The far-reaching economic policies, which are now being considered, not only require more recent statistical data for planning, but they will require more recent data especially in connection with the administrative problems which i. later.”—Dr. R. Clyde White, director, Indiana University, Indianapolis, In Ol.
“The present movements of population are so rapid and are exercising such a profound influence upon social and governmental affairs that we can hardly wait 10 years to discover what is happening. I am aware that every possible economy should be effected in times such as these. I can hardly see, however, how it will be possible to work out plans for dealing with national problems in the absence of current data.”—Prof. Erle F. Young, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, Calif.
III. A QUINQUENNIAL CENsus Is NEEDED To PRovide RELIABLE PopULATION Estimates THAT CAN BE USED For CoMPUTING DEATH RATEs, BIRTH RATEs, AND PER CAPITA FIGUREs, AND For OTHER PURPOSES IN THE YEARS INTERvENING BETweBN CENSUSEs
Up-to-date population figures are necessary as a basis for birth rates, death rates, and per-capita data (such as per-capita public debt or per-capita public revenues or expenditures); and are also needed for many other purposes, both in private business and in public affairs. In order to supply such figures for the years intervening between censuses, it is necessary to make estimates of population. Such estimates are, of course, approximations, but they answer all practical purposes so long as they are fairly close to the facts. The total population of the United States can be estimated fairly well by taking account of the number of births, the number of deaths, and the net immigration or emigration since the last preceding census. But this method cannot be applied to political units within the United States, such as States, cities, and counties. For while we may have a satisfactory record of the number of births and number of deaths occurring within the given area, we have no record of the migration of population to or from the city or county; and in this country where the oppulation is very mobile migration is a controlling factor in determining the growth or decline in the population of most communities or political units. Heretofore the Bureau of the Census has been able to provide fairly satisfactory estimates for States, counties, and cities on the assumption that the growth in population shown by the last two censuses has continued. But the farther we recede from the date of the census the less reliable such estimates become; and at the present time it is very obvious that the assumption that the population increase from 1920 to 1930 has continued since 1930 is in general not tenable. There are very few communities for which we could safely project the rate of growth shown between 1920 and 1930. Even in more normal periods it is difficult or impossible to make reliable estimates for the second half of the decade. Unless we can have reliable estimates of population the value of much of the statistical data being regularly compiled at the expense of the municipal, State, or National Government will be greatly impaired or completely nullified. It is of little value, for instance, to know the number of deaths or births occurring in any given community unless we know what the population is. Obviously, a death rate or any per-capita figure based on unreliable or incorrect population figures is worse than none. This is only one instance of the numerous relationships in which reliable population estimates are necessary or greatly needed.
ExTRACTS FROM LETTERS
“Since 1930, and largely as a result of the crisis, movements of population from one area to another in the United States have been so phenomenal and the restriction of immigration, together with the decline of the birthrate, has so affected the rates of population increase that the census figures of 1930 can no longer be relied upon as an index for estimating variations of population in the various States, counties, and cities.”—Dr. David C. Adie, commissioner New York Department of Social Welfare, New York City. .
“The recent changes in population have been so marked that estimates of the number of persons in a given city or county are open to serious doubt. A population census would greatly clarify this situation.”—Dr. H. C. Brearley, Clemson College, South Carolina.
“Especially in cities, where the suffering from unemployment has been most severe, our estimates of population are now most defective. If we are to succeed in measuring the effect of the depression upon the health of the people, it is necessary to have a reasonably reliable base upon which rates of sickness and mortality are computed. The only way in which this is possible is to have a mid-decennial enumeration of population to enable us to check our estimates for post-census years 1931, 1932, 1933, and 1934.”—Dr. Robert E. Chaddock, Columbia University, New York City. “It is, of course, self-evident that the validity of post-censal estimates of population diminishes with each year. “The statistical indices which are essential in the conduct of various health activities will become increasingly less dependable if for the next 8 years the estimates' of population are based upon the 1920 and 1930 Federal censuses. he abnormal interstate and intrastate migrations, impelled by the economic depression of the last few years and the imminent change in these movements which will follow the anticipated economic revival may distort the population estimates to such a degree as to make them wholly unreliable.”—Dr. J. W. DePorte, director New York State Department of Health, Albany, N.Y. “Since the census of 1930 there have been such extensive and unusual movements of population from one area to another in the United States and such marked changes in the rates of population increase because of the restriction of , immigration and the decline in the birthrate that the 1930 figures furnish no reliable index for estimating the annual increase (or decrease) in population in States, counties, and cities.”—R. L. Gillett, president Albany District Organization, A.S.A., State Office Building, Albany, N.Y. o “The changes which have taken place during the period 1930 to 1933 are of such a radically different type from those ordinarily occurring in a intercensal period that I do not believe that any estimates of population used as the bases of rates can be reliable.”—Dr. C. E. Gehlke, Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio. “The abnormal changes since 1930 make it extremely difficult to make valid estimates of present population and hence to compute all the vital rates upon which intelligent research and public administration depend.”—George A. Lundberg, Columbia University, New York City. “It has been evident for some time that the decennial census is insufficient to provide the necessary data on population for purposes of calculating births, deaths, and morbidity; for financial items, such as governmental expenditures; and for such purposes as the forecasting of necessary expansions in public-utility services and private industry.”—E. S. Mead, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pa. “The population of Chicago elementary schools indicates a possible decrease in the general population which is contrary to the estimates made periodically from other sources. Our forecasts as to the amount of relief needed in the State depend on these factors.”—Miss Miriam Noll, Illinois Emergency Relief Commission (Federal), 10 South La Salle Street, Chicago, Ill. “This department would appreciate having up-to-date census figures for use in its work, as we find that estimates from census data more than 5 years old are very unreliable. This is especially true in periods like the one through which we are now passing.”—Dr. H. M. Pollock, New York State Department of Mental Hygiene, Albany, N.Y. “At a time like the present, when there is every indication of unusually rapid changes in the population, the task of estimating the changes in the population is almost hopeless. Foreign immigration has fallen off, the birthrate has been dropping more rapidly than usual, and urban-rural migration seems to have changed completely. Unless we have a new point of reference, it will be impossible for those interested in health, relief, agriculture, and business to secure the population data which are essential for the intelligent direction of their work.”— Edgar Sydenstricker, director Milbank Memorial Fund, 40 Wall Street, New York City. “We know from a number of sources that the shift in population which is now going on is very large and is quite different from that which took place during the decade preceding 1930. The result of an important shift of this sort is to make it practically impossible to arrive at accurate birth and death rates for a particular State or locality in the country.”—Warren S. Thompson, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. “I have for sometime been engaged in a study of the rates of homicide in the cities and counties of the United States. When the number of such deaths in 1935 becomes available through the reports of the Division of Vital Statistics,
it will be necessary to secure population estimates as of 1935 in order to calculate the rates. But since the estimates are admittedly inaccurate, the resulting rates will also be inaccurate. This deficiency could be removed by a population census in 1935. ''—Dr. H. C. Brearley, Clemson College, S.C. “Population estimates which are based on the 1930 census are unreliable in many instances, due to the rapid changes occurring in both the urban and rural areas of the country. “Since a great part of public-health programs is based on specific rates, it is vital that these rates be as accurate as possible. In view of the inadequacies of our population figures, we cannot place much confidence in rates which are computed on the basis of these populations.”—Niss Florence G. Hardy, Department of Health, Harrisburg, Pa. “I have recently had occasion to study the error that is introduced into our birth and death rates by the fact that we have to make estimates of population over such long time intervals as 10 years, and as a result of that study, I found that about 25 percent of the published birth and death rates for cities in this country are in error by as much as 20 percent as you get into the latter half of the decennium. When one considers the enormous amount of money that is spent in the publication of such statistical material and the fact that these figures are practically worthless unless the population values are accurately determined, it would seem that it would be actual economy to have a more accurate knowledge of our population than we have under the present system. For this reason I would like to urge that the matter of the middecennial census be given careful consideration.”—Dr. Lowell J. Reed, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md. “It is impossible today for any agency dealing with matters that involve population to reach any sensible conclusion or to arrive even in a tolerable fashion at necessary facts. We do not know today the size of any city, town, village, State, or section of the country. Nor can we know unless a careful but abridged census of the United States is taken.” –Frank A. Ross, Columbia University, New York City. “In our research in Detroit we have discovered that the 1930 data which we purchased from the Bureau of the Census are already out of date. This is proving a serious handicap to our work both for the city and the metopolitan district and for the smaller areas within the city which depends for its accuracy upon correct population denominators in the computation of rates of incidence of various indexes of social conditions.”—Clark Tibbitts, department of sociology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich. “The work of the Census Bureau, especially in that field of vital statistics which I know best, would be much improved if the estimates of population needed for birth rates could be checked by a census every 5 years. This is peculiarly important for urban rates. The population of many American cities has changed since 1930 so erratically that trustworthy poulation estimates have Some almost impossible.”—Prof. Walter F. Willcox, 3 South Avenue, Ithaca,
Mr. FLETCHER. About how many enumerators will be appointed in a county of, say, 50,000 population, and when will they go to work? Dr. RICE. Mr. Austin gave some testimony on that point yesterday. In the census of 1930 there were 90,000 enumerators, approximately, I believe, for the entire United States. Now, I am not sure whether that many will be required for this census, because this will be more abbreviated than in 1930 census. Mr. FLETCHER. About how many months will they be employed? Dr. RICE. I think the testimony given yesterday by the director would be more pertinent than my own on that point. I think he covered that precisely. The CHAIRMAN. If I recall, the director said that in some districts, the enumeration would be finished in 2 or 3 weeks, that none would run probably in excess of 6 weeks, and that the average would probably be 30 days. Mr. KINZER. And probably 100,000 enumerators will be employed. Mr. AUSTIN. Yes, sir; approximately 100,000 enumerators; because we will do the work more quickly in this census than we did in the 1930 census. Mr. ELLENBogEN. Do you reduce the area of the enumeration districts? Mr. AUSTIN. We are reducing the size of the enumeration districts in certain sections. Mr. ELLENBogEN. Which will increase the number of enumerators. Mr. AUSTIN. Yes, sir. Mr. CRUMP. What is the purpose in carrying this to December 1936? The CHAIRMAN. That refers to the census period, and not the time in which the actual work in the field is to be done. The census period includes the time required for the compilation of the statistics, the preparation of the abstracts, and publishing the volumes. Is that correct, Mr. Austin? - - Mr. AUSTIN. Yes. - • Mr. CRUMP. Do you mean that some of the census work covers a period 2 years beyond the taking of the census? s Mr. AUSTIN. It takes 3% years to finish the work of a decennial census period. We start in with the preliminary work of getting ready for the canvass, and then go through the canvass. • *- : Mr. CRUMP. What do you estimate this census will cost? Mr. AustiN. The estimate is given in the bill. It is $7,540,000. That simply an allotment of funds that have already been approriated. p Mr. LEMKE. Something has been said here about this census giving employment. Is it the intention to give this work only to those who need relief? Dr. RICE. No, sir. Mr. LEMKE. As a matter of fact, this would really afford no relief work, would it, generally speaking? Is that correct? Dr. RICE. I think I might make this statement: It would be entirely out of the question, from the standpoint of efficiency, for the Bureau of the Census to take this census by using only, or in any number, practically, work-relief people, or people who are working out their relief, so to speak, under the Federal Emergency Relief Administration. The reason for that is this, that the amount of work given those people depends upon the amount of relief, which, in turn, depends upon the need, the number of dependents, and so forth, with the result that each individual would have a separate work schedule or number of hours per month, the maximum being around from 40 to 48 hours per month. The Bureau of the Census remunerates its enumerators according to the number of names which are enumerated, and I do not think we could adapt the requirements of the administration of the Census Bureau to the administrative policy covering work relief under the Federal Emergency Relief Administration. Mr. LEMKE. And there is a further reason that most of those people who are asking for relief are not qualified for this census work. Is that correct? Dr. RICE. I should say that in many cases their qualifications would be doubtful.