Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 62.djvu/240

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234
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

not physically strong, but who is admitted because he claims to be skilled in a trade requiring no great physical strength, may have considerable money and yet be almost certain to become sooner or later dependent upon some one.

There remains the question of race degeneration. On this score the coming of the German, the Irishman, or the Scandinavian no longer causes apprehension. He has demonstrated his capability of making a useful and permanent citizen. His children have attended American schools, and they enter upon life with American ideals in their heads and American patriotism in their hearts. But, as was said before, these races no longer constitute the majority of the immigrants. It is a question whether the Italian, the Jew, or the Slav is willing to merge his identity in that of the nation, and whether such a fusion would not degenerate our race. In order not to deteriorate a race the new elements blended with it should be at least as physically strong as the native race itself.

Some idea of the relative physical condition of the different races from southern and central Europe can be gleaned from the following tables:

Table 1.

Ratio of Immigrants by Race requiring Hospital Treatment on Arrival to the Number of that Race Landed during the Fiscal Year ended June 80, 1901:

 Race. Ratio Total number of
Arrivals.
Slav (Pole, Slovak, Croatian) 1 in every 300 90,888
Magyar 1 " 250 13,311
Finn 1 " 200 9,999
Italian 1 " 185 137,807
Lithuanian 1 " 140 8,815
Hebrew 1 " 100 58,098
Syrian 1 " 35 4,064
 

Table 2.

Ratio of Immigrants Certified as having some Disability grave enough to make them Public Charges, or Dependent upon some one, by Race to the Total Number Landed during the Month of May, 1901:

Lithuanian 1 in every 1,906
Slav (Pole, Slovak, Croat) 1 " 664
Italian 1 " 172
Finn 1 " 163
Magyar 1 " 148
Hebrew 1 " 42
Syrian 1 " 29
 

The average immigrants are of course not only far below the average American in intellect, but are physically inferior. Sensible expectation does not look for race improvement, but rather that before the new element is assimilated the improved surroundings, better food and cleaner habitations will build up physically the immigrant parent