Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 41.djvu/490

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474
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

but the virtues ascribed to gold have apparently no other foundation than credulity and superstition, and most of the golden medicines have no gold in them. Even when gold has been employed in the preparation there is seldom any of it retained in the product.

"We may say with Ludovici, 'It is better to make gold out of medicines than medicines out of gold.'" (Lewis's translation, London, 1759, page 38.)


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FAMILIES AND DWELLINGS.

VII.—LESSONS FROM THE CENSUS.

By CARROLL D. WRIGHT, A. M.,

UNITED STATES COMMISSIONER OF LABOR.

THE statistics of families and dwellings, as shown by a census, offer opportunities for the study of social conditions in some very important directions. The ratio of dwellings to families, the number of persons to a dwelling, and the average size of families are all facts of the highest importance in considering the condition of the people. Such statistics also answer the question whether families are holding their own as to size, and allied with modern facts relative to the number of children born and living they enable one to determine the composition of the population and whether its various elements are being preserved with reasonable integrity.

The following short table shows the total number of families and persons to a family, by geographical divisions, in the United States, June 1, 1890:

Total Families and Persons to a Family, by Geographical Divisions.

Geographical
Divisions
number of families. persons to a family.
1890. 1880. 1870. 1860. 1850. 1890. 1880. 1870. 1860. 1850.
North Atlantic 3,712,242 3,023,741 2,497,494 2,048,315 1,582,978 4·69 4·80 4·92 5·17 5·45
South Atlantic 1,687,767 1,463,361 1,132,621 652,396 537,857 5·25 5·19 5·17 5·40 5·61
North Central 4,598,605 3,389,017 2,480,311 1,683,190 934,873 4·86 5·12 5·23 5·34 5·69
South Central 2,071,120 1,697,550 1,242,411 684,024 499,767 5·30 5·25 5·18 5·51 5·70
Western 620,418 372,247 226,526 143,009 42,765 4·88 4·75 4·37 4·33 4·18
 The United States 12,690,152 9,945,916 7,579,363 5,210,934 3,598,240 4·94 5·04 5·09 5·28 5·55

The number of families increased, from 1880 to 1890, 27·59 per cent; from 1870 to 1880, 21·22 per cent; from 1860 to 1870, 45·45 per cent; and from 1850 to 1860, 44·82 per cent.

The question is often asked, when the total number of families and the size of families under censuses are considered, what the word "family" really means. For census purposes the word "family" comprehends not only the real, normal family, as it is