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Virtually all of the increase in the civilian population of the United States between April 1950 and April 1955 was accounted for by the gain in the population of the 168 standard metropolitan areas of 1950, according to figures from the Current Population Survey. Of the 11.8 million increase in the civilian population over the 5-year period, 11.5 million occurred in the metropolitan areas. The population in these standard metropolitan areas increased from 83.8 million to 95.3 million, an increase of 13.7 percent, whereas there was little change in the population outside these areas (table A). Within the standard metropolitan areas, the rate of growth in the outlying parts was seven times as rapid as in the central cities (27.8 vs. 3.8 percent). These data reflect a continuation at an accelerated pace of the trends which characterized the decade 1940 to 1950.
Table A.--CIVILIAN POPULATION OF THE UNITED STATES, BY METROPOLITAN
(Minus sign (-) denotes decrease)
percent, whereas the population living in urban territory outside the central cities rose by 4.5 million, or 19.1 percent. Undoubtedly, much of this formerly rural territory has been built up since 1950 and would qualify for inclusion as urban.
In the territory outside the standard metropolitan areas, the urban population increased by 5.0 percent to 24.2 million. The rural population, on the other hand, declined 1.9 percent to 41.9 million.
URBAN AND RURAL RESIDENCE BY AGE
Although there were marked differences in the rates of growth in the urban and rural population inside and outside standard metropolitan areas, the rates for all urban and all rural areas were identical. The increase of 7.6 million in the urban population was at the rate of 7.9 percent, as was that of 4.3 million in the rural population (table B).
The only broad age group which showed a decline was that 15 to 29 years. This age group declined 2.3 million, or 7.0 percent, with the rate in the urban population exceeding that in the rural population (8.2 vs. 4.8 percent). The decline in this age group is attributable to the low number of births during the depression years and, for the males, the increase in the Armed Forces over the 5-year period.
As in 1950, there was an excess of in the urban population and an excess of males in the rural population (table D). In the urban population, the number of males per 100 females declined from 93.5 to 91.1 over the 5-year period. In the rural population, the number of males per 100 females dropped from 104.4 to 102.9. For the total population, the decline in the number of males per 100 females was from 97.3 in April 1950 to 95.0 in April 1955. This decline in the sex ratio for the total civilian population is attributable in part to the higher mortality rates of men and in part to the increase in the size of the Armed Forces.
RURAL POPULATION BY FARM RESIDENCE
The excess of males living on farms continued. In the rural-farm population there were 108.6 males for every 100 females. In the rural-nonfarm population, on the other hand, the sexes were nearly in balance; here there were 99.7 males per 100 females.
A higher proportion of the rural-nonfarm population than the rural-farm population was under 5 years of age--13.2 as against 10.6 percent. The estimated number of children under 5 years of age per 1,000 women 20 to 44 years of age in the rural population, however, did not differ significantly between farm and nonfarm residents.
The data shown here for the rural-farm population for April 1954 differ from those for the farm population which appear in the report Farm Population, Series Census-AMS (P-27), No. 20. The farm population in the latter report includes the urbanfarm population as well as the rural-farm population. The farm population shown in the Series P-27 report also includes members of the Armed Forces included in the survey who were living on farms.
DEFINITIONS AND EXPLANATIONS
Population coverage.--The data for April 1955 shown in this report relate to the civilian population of the United States, exclusive of all members of the Armed Forces. The figures for the total population are based on independent estimates of the civilian population; their distribution by urbanrural residence is based on data obtained in connection with the Current Population Survey of the Bureau of the Census. The April 1950 data were derived from the 1950 Census of Population by excluding members of the Armed Forces. In addition, the age groups 55 to 69 years were adjusted for apparent age bias in the nonwhite population. For a discussion of this bias and the size of the adjustments, see Current Population Reports, Series P-25,
Urban and rural residence.--The territory classified as urban in the April 1955 survey is the same as that in the 1950 Census. According to the definition used in the 1950 Census, the urban population comprises all persons living in (a) places of 2,500 inhabitants or more incorporated as cities, boroughs, and villages, (b) incorporated towns of 2,500 inhabitants or more except in New England, New York, and
Wisconsin, where "towns" are simply minor civil divisions of counties, (c) the densely settled urban fringe, including both incorporated and unincorporated areas, around cities of 50,000 or more, and (d) unincorporated places of 2,500 inhabitants or more outside any urban fringe. The remaining population is classified as rural.
Farm and nonfarm residence.--The classification of the rural population by farm and nonfarm residence is based on residence at the time of enumeration. Thus, the 1955 rural-farm population is the population living on farms in April 1955 in areas that were classified as rural in 1950. The method of determining farm residence in April 1955 was the same as that used in the 1950 Census of Population.
Standard metropolitan areas.--Except in New England, a standard metropolitan area is a county or group of contiguous counties which contains at least one city of 50,000 inhabitants or more. In addition to the county, or counties, containing such a city, or cities, contiguous counties are included in a standard metropolitan area if according to certain criteria they are essentially metropolitan in character and socially and economically integrated with the central city. In New England, standard metropolitan areas have been defined on a town rather than county basis.
Central cities.--The largest city in a standard metropolitan area is the principal central city. In 1950, any other city of 25,000 inhabitants or more within a standard metropolitan area was also designated as a central city. However, the maximum number of central cities permitted in any standard metropolitan area was three. In the case of the New YorkNortheastern New Jersey Standard Metropolitan Area, Jersey City and Newark were also considered central cities. The data for central cities for 1955 shown in this report relate to the cities as constituted
in 1950, that is, annexations since April 1950 have not been taken into account.
SOURCE AND RELIABILITY OF THE ESTIMATES
Source of data.--The estimates presented in this report are based on data obtained in connection with the monthly population sample survey of the Bureau of the Census.
This sample is spread over 230 sample areas comprising 453 counties and independent cities. A total of 24,000 to 26,000 dwelling units and other living quarters are designated for the sample at any time, and completed interviews are obtained each month from about 20,000 to 22,000 households. of the remainder, about 500 to 1,000 are households for which information should be obtained but is not, and the rest are vacant dwellings or those otherwise not to be enumerated for the survey.
Reliability of the estimates.--Since the basis for the distribution by residence was the April 1955 sample survey, the estimates are subject to sampling variability. The following illustration indicates the order of magnitude of the sampling errors for some statistics in April 1955. An estimated 2,695,000 persons 35 to 44 years of age were living on rural farms. This number was 12.4 percent of the total number of persons living on rural farms. The relative sampling error 1s about 3.5 percent of the estimate of 2,695,000. The sampling error of the estimate of 12.4 percent is roughly one-half of one percentage point. The chances are about 68 out of 100 that the estimates from the sample differ from the results which would be obtained by a census by the sampling errors indicated for the above items. The chances are about 95 out of 100 that the differences would be less than twice the specified sampling errors and about 99 out of 100 that they would be less than 2 times the errors indicated.
CIVILIAN POPULATION BY AGE AND SEX, FOR THE UNITED STATES, URBAN AND RURAL: APRIL 1955 AND 1950
(Figures for 1950 for age groups 55 to 69 years adjusted for apparent age bias in the nonwhite population; see text for explanation)
tary school and kindergarten level than at the high school or college level. The number of children 5 to 13 years old enrolled in school (that is, the number who are usually in elementary school or kindergarten) increased by
28 percent in this 5-year span, whereas the number of persons 14 to 29 years old enrolled in school or college increased by only 13 percent. The age differences in rate of growth of the school population reflect mainly the past changes in numbers of births in the United States.