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Full text of "Extra census bulletin"

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Extra Census Bulletin. 



No. 2. WASHINGTON, D. c. April 20, 1891. 



DISTRIBUTION OF POPULATION ACCORDING TO DENSITY: 1890. 



DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, 

Census Office, 

Washington, D. O, April 10, 1891. 
Sir: 

In the following tables and accompanying map, prepared by Mr. Henry Gannett, Geographer, special agent of the 
Census Office, are presented certain facts relating to the density of the rural as distinguished from the urban 
population of the country, and in the tables comparison is made with similar facts from other censuses. 

The method of preparing the map was as follows : The county was in general taken as the unit. Its population 
having been ascertained, the number of inhabitants in all cities of 8,000 inhabitants or more existing within it has 
been deducted therefrom, the location and population of such cities being represented upon the map by circles in 
heavy body color of area roughly proportional to the number of inhabitants. The rural population has then been 
divided by the area of the county in square miles, and the quotient accepted as the average density of settlement 
of the county in question. In cases, however, where the county is of unusual extent, as is the case with most 
counties in the Cordilleran region, northern Maine, etc., or where there was reason to believe that the different parts 
of the county differed decidedly in density of population, the county was not treated as a whole, but an 
approximation to the distribution of the population within it was obtained by the use of the town or township 
as the unit of computation, or by other less exact means, in case this was not practicable. The average density 
of each county or part of a county having thus been ascertained, the figures representing them were platted 
upon a county map of the United States and were grouped in accordance with the legend upon the map. The 
subdivisions are those in use in former censuses, viz : 

(0) Less than 2 inhabitants to a square mile. (Regarded as unsettled.) 

(1) 2 to 6 inhabitants to a square mile. 

(2) 6 to 18 inhabitants to a square mile. 

(3) 18 to 45 inhabitants to a square mile. 

(4) 45 to 90 inhabitants to a square mile. 

(5) More than 90 inhabitants to a square mile. 

These limits define in a general way the extent and prevalence of various classes of industries. The first group, 
2 to (5 to a square mile, indicates a population mainly occupied with the grazing industry or a widely scattered farming 
population. The second group, 6 to 18, indicates a farming population, with systematic cultivation of the soil, but 
this either in an early stage of settlement or upon more or less rugged soil. The third group, 18 to 45 to a square mile, 
almost universally indicates a highly successful agriculture, while in some localities the beginnings of manufactures 
have raised into this group a difficult farming region. Speaking generally, agriculture in this country is not carried 

C. O. P.— 5m 



2 DISTRIBUTION OF POPULATION ACCORDING TO DENSITY: 1890. 

on with such care and refinement as yet to afford employment and support to a population in excess of 45 to a 
square mile ; consequently, the last two groups, 45 to 90 and 90 and above to a square mile, appear only as commerce 
and manufactures arise and personal and professional services are in demand. 

In reports of former censuses that portion of our domain which contains less than two inhabitants to a square 
mile has been regarded as unsettled territory, and throughout this discussion the same distinction will be observed. 

Upon the map the lines limiting the areas of different densities have not been left to follow strictly the 
boundary lines of counties, as would be required by a literal interpretation of the figures platted upon the map, 
but have been drawn in a more natural course, avoiding sharp angles and straight lines, but still in such a 
way as not to depart materially from the indications of the figures. In one noticeable respect the present map 
differs from the density maps of former censuses. This is, that care has been taken to avoid passing directly from 
one grade to another removed from it by two or three steps, for example, from grade 5 to grade 3. This has been done 
upon the assumption that, whatever the figures indicate, there must be a gradation in population as with contour 
lines, and hence the intermediate grades have been represented, even though it be in narrow bands, as more nearly 
approaching the truth. 

From the map and the records of past censuses the following table has been prepared, presenting the areas 
in square miles of different classes of settlement and the total settled area at the date of each census : 



AREAS IN SQUARE MILES OF THE DIFFERENT CLASSES OF SETTLEMENT. 





Total area 
of settlement : 

2 or more 

to the square 

mile. 


1 


3 


3 


4 


5 


YEARS. 


2 to6 

to the square 

mile. 


6 to 18 

to the square 

mile. 


18 to 45 

to the square 

mile. 


45 to 90 

to the square 

mile. 


90 and over 

to the square 

mile. 


1790 


239,935 
305,708 
407,945 


83,436 
81,010 
116,629 


83,346 
123,267 
154,419 


59,282 
82,504 
108,155 


13,051 
17,734 
27,499 


820 


1800 


1,193 

1,243 


1810 


1820 


5C8.717 


140,827 


177,153 


150,390 


39,004 


1,343 


1830 


632,717 


151,460 


225,894 


186,503 


65,440 


3,414 


1840 


807,292 


183,607 


291 ,819 


241,587 


84,451 


5,828 


1850 


979,249 


233,697 


294,098 


338,796 


100,794 


11,261 


1860 


1,194,754 


260,866 


353,341 


431,601 


134,722 


14,224 


1870 


1,272,239 


'245,897 


303,475 


470,529 


174,036 


18,302 


< 1880 


1,569,570 


384,820 


373,890 


554,300 


231,410 


25,150 


1890 


1,947,285 


592,037 


393,943 


701,845 


235,148 


24,312 



It will be noted that the settled area has constantly and rapidly increased, but by no means at a uniform rate 
or at rates proportional to the increase of population. The following table shows the rates of increase of the settled 
area and of the population placed in juxtaposition : 

PER CENT OF INCREASE OF SETTLED AREA AND OF POPULATION. 



YEA.KS. 


Areas. 


Population. 


PER CENT OF INCREASE. 


Area. 


Population. 


1790 


239,935 

305,708 

407,945 

508,717 

632,717 

807,292 

979,249 

1,194,754 

1,272,239 

1,569,570 

1,917,285 


3,929,214 

5,308,483 

7,239,881 

9,633,822 

12,866,020 

17,069,453 

23,191,876 

31,443,321 

38,558,371 

50,155,783 

02,622,250 






1800 


27.41 
33.44 
24.70 
21.38 
27.59 
21.30 
22.01 
0.49 
23.37 
24.06 


35.10 
36.38 
33.07 
33.55 
32.67 
S5.87 
35.58 
22.63 
30.08 
24. 86' 


1810 


1820 


1830 


1840 


1850 


1860 


1870 


1880 


1890 



In 1890 the population was nearly sixteen times as great as in 1790, while during the century the settled area 
was increased only about eightfold. In general, the increase of population has gone on at a much more rapid rate 
than that of settled area. 



DISTRIBUTION OF POPULATION ACCORDING TO DENSITY: 1890. 



Notwithstanding the constant passage of territory from lower groups into higher by reason of increase in the 
number of inhabitants, the lower groups have been so rapidly increased by settlement of new territory that they 
have increased in every case, excepting that in 1870 a slight diminution is noted in group 1. In 1890 a trifling 
reduction is seen in the highest group. This is doubtless an indirect result of the rapid development of cities in 
the territory falling into this group, as each city, upon reaching a j)opulation of 8,000, is subtracted from the 
population of its county, thereby materially reducing the apparent density of the population of the county. To a 
certain extent the case is similar in the next group, that of 45 to 90 inhabitants to a scpiare mile, which during the 
past decade increased in area but 3,738 square miles. 

During this period the inroads upon the unsettled region have been unprecedented in amount, not less than 
377,715 square miles having been redeemed, exceeding by 80,384 square miles the area settled between 1870 and 
1880. 

The following table shows the proportion of the area of each group of population to the total area of settlement 
at each census : 



YEARS. 


1 


2 


3 


4 


S 


1790 

1S0O 

1810 


348 
265 

286 
277 
239 
228 
239 
218 
193 
245 
304 


348 
403 
379 
348 
357 
361 
301 
296 
286 
238 
202 


247 
270 
265 
296 
295 
299 
346 
361 
370 
353 
361 


54 
58 
67 
76 
103 
105 
103 
113 
137 
148 
121 


3 
4 
3 
3 
6 
7 
11 
12 
14 
16 
12 


1820 


1830 


1840 


1850 


I860 


1870 


1880 


1890 





The most striking fact which appears upon a study of the map is the numerous additions which have been 
made to the settled area within the Cordilleran region. Settlements have spread westward up the slope of the 
plains until they have joined the bodies formerly isolated in Colorado, forming a continuous body of settlement from 
the east to the Kocky mountains. Practically the whole of Kansas has become a settled region, and the unsettled 
area of Nebraska has been reduced in dimensions-to a third of what it was ten years ago. What was a sparsely-settled 
region in Texas in 1880 is now the most populous part of the state, while settlements have spread westward to the 
escarpment of the Staked Plains. The unsettled regions of the Dakotas have been reduced to half their former 
dimensions. Settlements in Montana have spread until they now occupy one-third of the state. In New Mexico, 
Idaho, and Wyoming considerable extensions of area are to be noted. In Colorado, in spite of the decline of the 
mining fever and the depopulation of its mining regions, settlement has spread, and two-thirds of the state is now 
under the dominion of man. Oregon and Washington show equally rapid progress, and California, although its 
mining regions have suffered, has made great inroads upon its unsettled regions, especially in the south. Of all the 
western states and territories Nevada alone is at a standstill in this respect, its settled area remaining practically 
the same as in 1880. When it is remembered that the state has lost one-third of its population during the past ten 
years, the fact that it has held its own in settled area is surprising until it is understood that the state has 
undergone a material change in occupations during the decade, and that the inhabitants, instead of being closely 
grouped together and engaged in mining pursuits, have become scattered along its streams and have engaged in 
agriculture. 

Turning now to the east, it is seen that settlement is spreading with some rapidity in Maine, its unsettled area 
having dwindled from 12,000 down to about 4,000 square miles. The unsettled portion of the Adirondack region in 
New York has also diminished, there being now but 1,000 square miles remaining unsettled. The frontier has 
been pushed still farther southward in Florida, and the unsettled area has been reduced from 20,800 to 13,000 square 
miles. 

The lumbering and mining interests of Michigan have practically obliterated its wilderness and have reduced 
that of Wisconsin to one-half of its former area. In Minnesota the area of its wild northern forests have been 
reduced from 34,000 to 23,000 square miles. 



4 DISTRIBUTION OF POPULATION ACCORDING TO DENSITY : 1890. 

The following table presents in detailed form, by states, the extent of settled area and the area in each of the 
density groups : 

AREAS IN SQUARE MILES OF THE DIFFERENT CLASSES OF SETTLEMENT IN 1890, BY STATES. 



Total area 2 to 6 

STATES AND TERRITORIES. of to the square 

settlement. • mile. 



Alabama ... 

Arizona 

Arkansas... 
California .. 
Colorado ... 



Connecticut 

Delaware 

District of Columbia.. 

Florida 

Georgia 

Idaho 

Illinois 

Indiana 

Iowa 

Kansas 



Kentucky 

Louisiana 

Maine 

Maryland 

Massachusetts.. 

Michigan 

Minnesota. 

Mississippi 

Missouri 

Montana 



Nebraska 

Nevada 

New Hampshire.. 

New Jersey 

New Mexico 



New York 

North Carolina.. 
North Dakota.... 

Ohio 

Oklahoma 



Oregon 

Pennsylvania.... 

Rhode Island 

South Carolina.. 
South Dakota.... 



Tennessee.. 

Texas 

Utah 

Vermont.... 
Virginia 



"Washington 

West Virginia- 
Wisconsin 

Wyoming 



51,540 
24,645 
53,045 
06,604 
68,492 

4,845 

1,960 

65 

41 ,070 

58,980 

39,143 
56,000 
.35,910 
55,475 
80,971 

40,000 

45.420 

25J29 

9,860 

8,040 

57,430 
56,259 
46,340 
68,735 
46,796 

63,061 

11,948 

8,828 

7,455 

45,589 

46,580 
48,580 
26,973 
40,760 
2,890 

46,189 
44,985 
1,085 
30,170 
43,848 

41,750 
150.810 
27,580 
9,135 
40,125 

36,945 
24,645 
51,148 

22,852 



24,645 



57,657 
57,810 



6 to 18 18 to 45 45 to 90 

to the square to the square to the square 

mile. mile. mile. 



393,943 



12,349 
9,871 



45,941 

26,801 
10,022 



35,625 

1,427 

"i'7,835 



39,124 



59,755 
20,421 



22,202 



8,410 
22,852 



9,472 



701,845 



235,148 



37,717 



23,212 

2S,716 

9,439 



29,833 
10,181 
1,243 



18,688 
1,166 

37,233 


20,451 
16,153 

1,910 









4,246 


24,920 


22,493 
1,643 


7,608 
9,624 


18,490 
6,596 



1,931 .. 
35,040 : 



13,651 
25,766 
10,007 
14,892 
855 

17,040 

1,208 

886 



41,890 
12,484 
50,167 
32,449 

25,149 
18,319 
6,703 
2,900 
959 

16,844 
20,622 
35,502 
52,765 



19,220 

718 

5,245 

1,550 



1,887 
6,313 
9,138 



5,018 



23,150 

4,114 

40,313 

5,701 

730 

3,109 

13,461 
9,190 
14,360 



13,172 
38,060 



1,616 
2,890 

2,047 
10,617 



23,500 
1,355 

24,985 

50,742 

1,458 

7,487 

29,895 

1,282 
11 ,706 
20,672 



4,351 



4,072 
1,150 



6,621 



Above 90 
to the 
square 
mile. 



14,110 

23,426 

1,062 

1,109 

12,491 

816 

2,806 

6,123 

4,149 

13,800 



831 
1,030 



1,989 
3,055 



28,200 
4,207 



3,689 
7,302 



24,312 



773 
65 



717 
187 



837 
2,932 



780 



2,850 
1,828 



37,744 


1,400 






23,092 

320 

6,241 


10,676 
765 




12,651 










918 
7,121 









Up to and including 1880 the country had a frontier of settlement, but at present the unsettled area has been 
so broken into by isolated bodies of settlement that there can hardly be said to be a frontier line. In the discussion 
of its extent, its westward movement, etc., it can not, therefore, any longer have a place in the census reports. 

Very respectfully, 



The Secretary of the Interior. 



ROBERT P. PORTER, 

Superintendent of Census. 



ELEVENTH CENSUS OF THE UNITED STATES 

ROBERT P. PORTER, SUPERINTEN DENT 




EXTRA BULLETIN No. 2 















MAP 

SHOWING,INSIXDEGREES OFDENSITY.THE DISTRIBUTION 

OF THE 

POPULATION OF THE UNITED STATES 

attheEleventh Census (1890) 

Compiled by. 

HENRY GANNETT, Geographer. 

m" Q-J° en" aa° «T° R?; c 






;05&f»feA 



75" 



JULIUS BIEH& CO. UTH.N-Y.