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Intered as second-olase matter at the Post Office, Albany, N. Y., March 7, 1991
Signed artioles are not to be understood as expressing the views of the editors
SURVEY OF NATIONALITY OF CHILDREN IN
EXTRACT FROM ANNUAL REPORT (1920-21) OF Miss ELIZABETH
FARRELL, INSPECTOR OF UNGRADED CLASSES The Department of Ungraded Classes undertook this spring an investigation of the nationality and race of the children in angraded classes.
The fact that large numbers of foreign-born parents are seen annually at the clinics, and the knowledge that many ungraded class pupils are foreign born, led us to make this study. Current interest in progressive legislation for limiting immigration makes the results unusually interesting.
In January 1921 a questionnaire was sent to all teachers of ungraded classes asking for information as to the nationality and race of the children in their classes. The following headings were used:
Birthplace Nationality Nationality Name of child of Child of Father of Mother
Data for 4771 children was received. The well known weakness of the questionnaire method, with its high percentage of error, must be taken into consideration in studying the results. The data is classified in the table below:
of Child Italy.
143 U. S.
30 25 23 22
5 3 1 4
12 11 2
U. S. 70
5 5 5 4 4 3 3 2
(Incl. possessions) Total foreign born....
Presented graphically the figures may be summarized as follows:
Points of interest in these figures are as follows: 1. 88% of the children in ungraded classes were born in this
country. 2. 75% of their parents are foreign born. 3. Italy furnishes 34% of parents, Russia 18%, Germany 6%,
Austria 5% and Ireland 5%. All the other foreign coun
tries represented furnish only 9% of the total. 4. The figures for the father and for the mother are nearly the
same; the largest difference being that there are 81 more
American-born mothers than fathers. 5. The number of negroes is understated, many having been
listed as “American." 6.
The unascertained, include those not ascertained, those of mixed parentage stated ambiguously, and those deceased
(when not classified). 7. The nationalities are unevenly distributed throughout the
five boroughs, the foreign parents, especially Italian, Russian and Austrian, being found in disproportionately large numbers in Manhattan. They are also found in Brooklyn in large numbers, less frequently in the Bronx, almost not at all in Queens and Richmond. The American and German parents are fairly evenly distributed over the five boroughs in proportion to general population.
The group is selected. The more troublesome mental
The 1920 Census gives the number of foreigners of each nationality in the city. These figures include, of course, all foreigners of a given nationality, i. e., men, women and children.
Our figures give father only, and probably show only about one-fourth of the number there would be, if all mentally defective children in the city were cared for in ungraded classes.
The sign plus or minus after each nation in column 2 shows the relation to the general distribution of races as determined by the Census. Plus indicates that a given nation is represented more frequently by fathers of mental defectives than would be expected from the numbers of that nation present in the city. Minus indicates that a given nation is represented less frequently by fathers of mental defectives than among the population at large.
The comparison is especially interesting on account of the recent legislation allowing immigration on the basis of percentage of foreigners already in this country.