Gambar halaman
PDF
ePub

portion in any American state in 1890, owing to the rapid development of the American school system in the last score of years. . Sex.—In the following table the facts are given for Cuba by sex.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

The corresponding per cents for the United States are males, 87.6; females, 85.6; so that in both countries, and indeed in most countries where the information is obtainable, the ability to read is somewhat more general among men than among women.

Race.- In the following table the number of persons able to read is given for Cuba with distinction of race and sex:

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

From this table it appears that one-half of the whites and rather more than one-fourth of the colored were able to read. But among the colored the illiteracy was greater among the males, thus reversing the usual rule. Two reasons for this anomaly may be suggested. Colored men work more largely in the country and less largely in the cities of Cuba than colored women do. In the five cities of over 25,000 were found 27.6 per cent of all colored females over 10 years of age, but only 22.2 per cent of all colored males over 10 years of age. It has been shown that school attendance was larger and illiteracy smaller in the cities than in the rural districts. Hence the sex which is most numerous in cities has better facilities for learning to read and probably city life tends to strengthen the desire for this attainment. Then, too, the colored females outnumber the colored males at every age period from 15 to 50 and the males outnumber the females between 50 and 80. This is probably due in part to the survival in Cuba of some thousands of negroes born in Africa, two-fifths of whom are males, and to almost 15,000 Chinese, nearly all of whom are males. Its effect is to make the median age of colored males over 10 fully two years higher than the median age of colored females. And as illiteracy in Cuba is greater among elderly people than it is among those in middle life this higher median age of the colored males would tend to accentuate the illiteracy of that sex.

Age. In the following table the proportion of persons able to read in each age group is given for the total population and for the two races:

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

It appears that the largest proportion was in the age period 20-24; that is, the class whose school years were lived between 1878 and 1895. The illiteracy among whites never rises to one-half except for the age periods 10–19, and is quite uniform. The aged colored are very largely illiterate, but the proportion is lower in the younger groups, reaching its minimum at the period 20–24. These figures indicate an educational system which, during the past generation, has been reaching about the same proportion of whites but a constantly increasing proportion of colored until the confusion and warfare of the last few years seriously impaired its efficiency.

OCCUPATIONS.

The instructions issued to the Cuban enumerators in Spanish with reference to filling this part of the schedule may be translated as follows:

This inquiry (column 11) applies to every person 10 years of age and over having a gainful occupation, and calls for the profession, trade, or branch of work upon which each person depends chiefly for support, or in which he is engaged ordinarily during the larger part of the time. In reporting occupations avoid general or indefinite terms which do not indicate the kind of work done. You need not give a person's occupation just as he expresses it. If he can not tell intelligibly what he is, find out what he does, and describe his occupation accordingly. For wives and daughters at home engaged in the duties of the household only, write “at home! (en casa). For children not actually at work, write “at school" (estudiante) or “at home" (en casa), as the case may be. Spell out the name of the occupation and do not abbreviate in any case."

It is desirable that some brief terms should be introduced to describe persons covered by the preceding instructions and accurately but clumsily described as persons engaged in gainful occupations. In the following discussion the terms breadwinners or persons at work will sometimes be used for one class and dependents for the other. Any term must be understood in accordance with these instructions rather than with its usual and popular meaning.

The number of Cubans reported as having gainful occupations was 622,330, or 39.6 per cent of the total population. The figures for Cuba are compared with those for the United States and Porto Rico in the following table:

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

From these figures it appears that Cuba has about two-fifths of its population engaged in some gainful occupation, while in Porto Rico the proportion is only one-third and in the United States about midway between the two. Some reasons for the difference will appear as the subject is probed farther.

1 Among these there were 2,053 children under 10 reported as having a gainful occupation. These may all be regarded as enumerators' errors, but the margin of error they introduce, less than one-third of 1 per cent, is far less than that to which all occupation returns are subject, and may, therefore, be neglected. It is probably true that a certain number of children under 10 in Cuba do work which is a fair equivalent for their living. The number of such children must vary in different parts of the island. But, according to the instructions quoted above, none of these should have been reported. Hence the reported number is dependent upon two variables, first, the actual number in the districts, and secondly, the heedlessness of the enumerators in reporting such answers contrary to the instructions. The proportion of such returns to the total of persons reported as having gainful occupations may afford, therefore, a very rough test of the exactness with which enumerators followed their instructions in this particular. From this point of view the following table is of interest:

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

This instruction was most carefully observed in Puerto Principe and most overlooked in Pinar del Rio.

The absolute and relative number of persons engaged in gainful occupations in the several provinces was as follows:

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

The relative number of breadwinners was as low in Santiago as in Porto Rico and as low in Puerto Principe as in the United States. In Pinar del Rio it was about the average for the island, while in the three central provinces it was above the average, and highest of all in Habana city. The range in Cuba between the highest and lowest divisions was 12.6 per cent, while in the United States the range between the highest (Montana) and lowest (West Virginia) states was 25.4 per cent.

The position of Habana city in the preceding table suggests that gainful occupations may be more general in cities than in rural districts. To determine whether this is true, the following table has been prepared:

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

Gainful occupations are more common in cities than in the rural districts; but the figures for the several cities show that this is due to the dominant influence of Habana, which had nearly as many inhabitants and more than as many persons engaged in gainful occupations as all the other thirteen cities combined. Of the other thirteen cities ten had a smaller proportion of breadwinners than the province in

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »