Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 85.djvu/200

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196
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

These percentages afford a striking contrast to those in Table V. The percentage of population living in these twenty-seven cities was never more than one seventh of the total population of the United States. During this time they reported never less than one fifth of the eminent persons born. Whatever the cause of this preponderance of eminent persons who come from a city environment, the facts are certainly remarkable. The cities appear to be far in the lead as producers of eminence.

There is no absolute correspondence between the proportion of urban population and the proportion of eminent persons born.3 An analysis of the per cent, of population which is urban shows that while New England is far in the lead of the other sections of the country, there are a number of states which report a large proportion of eminent persons born and a comparatively small proportion of urban population. The reverse condition is also true. Rhode Island, with the lowest proportion of eminent persons reported by any New England State, has the highest percentage of urban population (93.5 per cent.) of any state in the union. New Hampshire, with the highest proportion of any New England state, has only 38.9 per cent, of the population urban. New Jersey, with a percentage of 53.7 urban, reports the lowest proportion of eminent persons of any state in the Middle Atlantic group.

Any tendency to attribute the supremacy of New England in the proportion of distinguished persons which it has contributed to the presence of large urban populations is offset by an examination of the figures for the cities themselves. The New England States are in the lead of the other states, but the New England cities are not in the lead of cities from other sections of the country. Indeed, an examination of Table VI., which contains a statement of the total eminent persons per 100,000 of the population in 1870 for the various cities, as well as the total born in each of the specified decades, shows very clearly that the cities in other sections of the country are decidedly in the lead. Boston and Providence alone, among the New England cities, have a proportion of eminent persons higher than that for the United States at large.

Whatever the cause of New England's position as the undisputed

3 Per Cent, of Population (180) which is Urban in Those Sections and States Having the Highest Percentage of Eminent Persons
 
 Division Per Cent.
Urban Population
United States 29.5
New England 68.7
Middle Atlantic 49.9
East North Central 27.5
West North Central 18.1
South Atlantic 15.1
East South Central 8.4
West South Central 12.2
Mountain 23.6
Pacific 36.2