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UNGRADED

VOLUME VII

NOVEMBER, 1921

NUMBER 2

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

or publishers

SURVEY OF NATIONALITY OF CHILDREN IN

UNGRADED CLASSES

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:

Nationality
Nationality

Birthplace
of Father
of Mother

of Child Italy.

1627
1584

242 Russia.

859
836

143 U. S.

83
918

4097 Germany.

264
214

8 Austria.

241
244

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Ireland..
Negro.

U. S. 70
Foreign

14
Unascert. 12
Hungary.
Poland.
England.
Roumania.
Bohemia.
Sweden.
Sicily..
France.
Scotland.
Spain.
Greece..
Norway.
American West Indies..
British West Indies....
Australia. . .
Austro-Hungary.
Holland. ..
Finland.
Porto Rico.
Denmark.
Lithuania.
Belgium.
Canada.
Egypt.
Switzerland.
Syria.
Turkey.
Brazil.
Cuba.
Czecho-Slovakia.
Haiti. ..
Newfoundland.
South America.
Virgin Islands.
Unascertained.

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Total.
Total American born, .

(Incl. possessions) Total foreign born....

4771

916
(19.1%)

3657
(76.6%)

4771

996
(20.8%)

3565
(74.7%)

4771
4199
(88%)

500 (10.48%)

Presented graphically the figures may be summarized as follows:

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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.

8.

The group is selected. The more troublesome mental
defectives and those who attend crowded schools are more
frequently reported for examination than others. Hence,
the children in ungraded classes form a somewhat selected
group.
A rough comparison may be made between the expected
frequency and the actual frequency of the foreign parent
of the mentally defective child.

9.

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.

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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.

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