BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY
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United Stgtes Census Office
Digitized by the Internet Archive
in 2010 with funding from
Boston Public Library
! H. C,
Department of the Interior,
Washington. November 9, 1894,
Yours of the 8 th instant, relative to the Extra Bul-
letins prepared by this office, is received,
I regret that you have not b«en supplied all of this
series of bulletins as issued, and will direct that those now
available, with the excepti on of the numbers noted., be for-
warded at once. The editions of a few have been entirely ex-
hausted, but the summary of the info ma ti on covered by those
missing from the file will be found in No, 71, Those still
to be published will be mailed you when ready for aistribu-
Commissioner 0$ Labor in charge,
Trus tee s of th e Publ ic Library
of th e Ci ty of Boston,
Extra Census Bulletin.
No. 1, WASHINGTON, D. c. April 8, 1891.
INCREASE AND DECREASE t)F POPUUTIOX: ^1880-1890.
DEPABTMENT OF THE INTEBIOE,
Washington, D. O, April 2, 1891.
The idea of graphically illustrating the results of the census was introduced into the Mnth Census of the
United States hy the publication of a statistical atlas. This atlas, by a series of maps, exhibited to the eye the varying
intensity of settlement over the area of the country, the distribution of the foreign population among the several states
and sections, and the distribution of population in accordance with maximum and minimum temperature, rainfall,
and altitude. Maps were presented to exhibit at a glance the topographical, geographical, and climatic conditions of
the United States, the size and location of its cities, the products of its fields, the distribution of its wealth and its
debt, and a variety of other data. By this method of pictorial presentation the eye is enabled to grasp in one
instant salient facts that otherwise must be dug out from formidable pages of exhibits and volumes of tabulated
statements. It is the intention of the Census Office to use the graphic method freely in the several final reports of
the Eleventh Census, and, as far as practicable, in the preliminary bulletins. The map which comprises this bulletin
has been compiled from the official returns of 1S90, and shows by counties the proportional increase and decrease of
population from 1880 to 1890, the proportion of increase being calculated on the basis of the population in 1880.
In this calculation the county is used throughout as the unit, and consequently the lines of demarcation upon the
map are arbitrary, and in many cases show abrupt changes. The distinctions shown are as follows :
1. A decrease in population.
2. An increase in population up to 25 per cent, that being approximately the rate of increase in the country
3. An increase from 25 to 100 per cent, or double the population in 1880.
4. An increase above 100 per cent.
rTo map similar to this has ever been published by a federal census, and consequently there exists no basis for
graphic comparison with previous censuses.
A glance at the accompanying map is equivalent to examining with care the change in population in every
county in the United States for a decade. The substantial results of such an examination are thus laid before the
eye, and may be easily retained. First, the observer is naturally struck with the fact tbat in a very large number
of counties the population has actually decreased. The number of counties which have apparently lost population,
c. o. P.— 5m
2 INCREASE AND DECREASE OF POPULATION.
whether from an actual diminution of inhabitants or from a reduction of territory during the past ten years, is 455.
In about fifty of these cases this reduction is due to a reduction of territory consequent upon the formation of new
counties. In only 138 counties had the number of inhabitants diminished during the decade preceding 1880.
From the map we learn that the losses during the past decade occurred mainly in the central parts of Maine, New
Hampshire, Vermont, New York, northern New Jersey, and eastern Virginia (which from the summit of the Blue
Bidge to the Atlantic has lost population), and is scattered quite generally through Ohio, Indiana, Illinois,
Tennessee, and Kentucky. Southern Michigan and Wisconsin have also suffered, while in eastern Iowa a large
proportion of the counties have lost population.
In Colorado -the mining counties, as a rule, have diminished in population, while with the exception of two
counties the^enftrft', sfc#tfe',;df Ke'v'acla |£as: %£$ inhabitants. The mining regions of California have suffered in
a similar manner ; and as the buff tint unfolds the story of a decreasing population, so in contradistinction the dark
gray tells of an increase, which has Veen uniform in parts of our vast western domain, of over 100 per cent.
A very r^iid'jrfci'^age'.^'isbqwii upop'ths Great Plains, and generally throughout the agricultural regions of
the Cordilleran plateau. ' Northern Michigan, western and southern Florida, Arkansas, southern Missouri, and
central Texas also show phenomenal growth, while here and there throughout the southern Appalachian region
are areas of great increase.
As was pointed out in Bulletin No. 12, different parts of the country present different stages in settlement,
which are accompanied and marked by various stages of progress from one class of industries to another.
Commencing with the pastoral stage, which is still represented upon the Great Plains and in the Cordilleran region,
where the population is widely scattered, it passes through the agricultural stage, where the population, though
still scattered, is much denser, to communities engaged in manufacturing and commercial pursuits, in which the
population is in the main congregated in towns and cities.
The change from the first to the second of these stages of growth in this country has been accomplished quietly,
and without other symptoms than the accompanying increase in density of population. The change from the second
to the third stage, on the contrary, is frequently a forced change, produced by the competition of other agricultural
regions. The first symptom of approaching change consists in a reduction of the rate of increase, or it may be
an absolute decrease of population. This is followed or accompanied by an aggregation of the people in cities,
and finally, as manufactures and commerce become established, by an increase of population at an accelerating
Southern New England, together with most of New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, have passed through
these stages and have now reached that stage in which commerce and manufactures are thoroughly established and
constitute the leading industries. The people to a large extent have withdrawn from the country and are grouped
in cities and towns. The population, which two or three decades ago was almost at a standstill, is now increasing
rapidly under the stimulus of profitable occupations. The central parts of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and
New York, however, are still in the transition stage, and are not gaining in population.
In the upper Mississippi valley and in Virginia, where the map shows great areas of losses, the community is in
a transition stage from agricultural to manufacturing industries. The rich lands of the further western states are
drawing their farmers away to reap larger profits, while other industries have not yet attained such a footing as to
attract or retain population in their place. The condition of things now prevailing in these states was suggested
by the census of 1880, when Ohio was seen to be in this transition stage. Since then this transition wave has
extended westward across Indiana, Illinois, and well into Iowa.
As a whole, the plains and the Cordilleran region have been peopled rapidly, especially in the northern
portions. It is this region which by virtue of its virgin soil, cheap land, and easy tillage has reduced the
INCREASE AND DECREASE OF POPULATION. 3
profits of eastern agriculture, and lias thus drawn so heavily upon the farming population of the more eastern
states. The rich mineral deposits of Montana and Arizona have been also largely instrumental in drawing
population to this region. While the mineral product of Colorado has not diminished, the era of speculation is
over, and the floating population which covered its mountains and valleys ten years ago has, in the main, departed.
The mining interests of Nevada are at a low ebb, and as the state contains very little water for irrigating the
soil it has been unable to retain its inhabitants. The mining regions of California also have lost population. Its
agricultural regions, on the other hand, have gained rapidly, especially in the southern part, where the climate and
soil are alike very favorable to the farmer.
The study of this map, the first of the kind published by the Census Office, will, in fact, show the changes that
have taken place in the population of a nation of 63,000,000 in a decade. The student of statistics will find much
more in the map than the suggestions herewith submitted.
ROBERT P. PORTER,
Superintendent of Census.
The Secretary of the Interior.
ELEVENTH Cf NSUS OF THE UNITED STATES
ROBERT P PORTER, SUPERINTENDS