Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 69.djvu/263

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259
THE JEWS: RACE AND ENVIRONMENT

this has a definite physiologic or ethnic basis as its cause, which is common to all Jews living in different countries. The social environment, such as economic prosperity, occupation, city life, etc., and also climatic conditions, were not considered. ' Race ' was a satisfactory explanation. But the figures in the appended table giving birth rates of the Jews and christians in various European countries disprove the ethnic theory of the low birth rate of the Jews. If it was a physiological characteristic of the Jews, we should expect that the rates in every country would be about the same. As a matter of fact, however, the figures show wide limits of variation. In Algeria the rate is 44.67 per 1,000 population; in Galicia, 38.01; in Russia, 35.79, etc., while in Bavaria and Bohemia it is only 17.8, and in the city of Prague only 15.85. Ethnic conditions are never known to display such wide limits of variation.

It appears from these figures that wherever the rates are higher among the christian population, the Jews also show higher rates and the reverse. This is particularly striking when separate provinces of a country are considered. The following figures, taken from Ruppin's work on the Jews, illustrate this fact in Austria:

Province. Year. Birth Rate per 1,000 Population.
Jews. Christians.
Bohemia 1900 17.85 34.88
Lower Austria " 20.51 32.10
Bukowina " 29.54 42.81
Galicia " 38.01 45.09
Total Austria " 33.89 38.01
 

It is thus seen that in Galicia and Bukowina, where the birth rates of the christians are high, the Jews also have a high rate, while in Bohemia and Lower Austria the rates for both Jews and christians are low. In the fifteen provinces of Russia which constitute the so-called 'Pale of Settlement,' the same phenomenon was revealed in the statistics collected during the census of 1897, the birth rate of the christian population being 51.71, and that of the Jews, 32.13 per 1,000 population. From the figures presented below, it appears that in the provinces where the higher birth rates are observed among the christians the Jews also are more fertile, and the reverse. Thus in Ekaterinoslav and Kieff the highest rates are recorded among both Jews and christians, while in Kovno, Bessarabia and Wilna the lowest rates are recorded both among the Jews and the christians. With two exceptions (Minsk and Poltava) the rule appears to hold good.

 
Christians. Jews.
Ekaterinoslav 61.82 42.28
Kieff 55.44 39.92
Minsk 54.90 29.76