IN the last decade numerous articles were written and many warnings sounded regarding the depopulation of the rural districts in the eastern and north central portions of the United States. To a person believing that the country, not the city, furnishes the 'bone and sinew' of the nation, a study of the census returns for 1890 provided sufficient foundation for such articles. Now another ten years have passed into history; new and, in many cases, quite different industrial conditions obtain; a new census has been taken and its results are now available. It is the purpose of this article to discuss the tendencies which are found at the present time in regard to the changes in rural population and to show that an improvement in rural conditions seems to be indicated by statistical study as well as by a survey of the social and industrial situation.
Taking the township as a basis of comparison, we find that during the decade, 1880-1890, the population decreased in 57 per cent, of the townships of the state of Ohio, in 48 per cent, of those of Indiana and in 56 per cent, of the townships of Illinois; during the decade, 1890-1900, the percentages are, respectively, 53, 431⁄2, and 34. In these three north central states a total of 2,037 townships, or 541⁄2 per cent., decreased in population during 1880-1890; but only 1,631, or 43 per
|State.||Number of cities having a population of 25,000 or more.||Total increase in population of these cities, 1880-1890.||Same, 1890-1900.||Total increase in population of state, 1880-1890.||Same, 1890-1900.||Total increase in population of state outside large cities, 1880-1890.||Same, 1890-1900.|