among their non-Jewish neighbors. It is of importance now to inquire what are the effects of these low rates on the increase of the Jewish population. Population increases, as is well known, by the excess of the number of births over deaths, and it is important to inquire whether the small birth rates of the Jews are everywhere compensated by the low death rates, or whether even their low mortality is insufficient to leave a substantial surplus because the number of births is so small as to be insufficient to replace those lost annually by deaths.
In general terms it can be stated that there are two ways by which a population may replace its losses by deaths: First, by a high birth rate much in excess of the death rate. This is usually the rule in communities in a low state of culture, among agricultural classes, and also among the poorer and laboring classes in European and American industrial centers. The death rate, especially the infant mortality, is very high, but this is compensated by early marriages, and a substantial prolificacy. On the whole, the average duration of life is, in such communities, comparatively short; the population is being renewed at frequent intervals.
Communities in a higher state of culture, on the other hand, have generally lower birth, marriage and death rates, particularly the infant mortality is more favorable. It requires a longer period of time for such a community to renew its population, because the average duration of life is superior. This is observed generally among the upper ten thousand of modern civilized states, particularly in large cities. From a sociological and economic standpoint this method of perpetuation of the population, if kept within certain limits, has its advantages over the former method. To use Spencer's terminology, it decreases the expenditure on genesis, leaving sufficient for individual evolution. In other words, the smaller the number of children born has as a concomitant a smaller infant mortality, and also gives the parents an opportunity to raise their offspring on a more desirable standard.
A glance at the figures brought together in the preceding studies shows that the Jews, judged by the social and economic environment in which we found them, can be placed in either one of the mentioned classes of fertility. To begin with the natural increase, i. e., the annual excess of births over deaths per 1,000 population, it is found that there are great differences between eastern and western European Jews.
|Country.||Excess of Births
|Country.||Excess of Births|
|Algeria (1901)||24.09||9.43||Prague (1901)||2.59||11.23|
|Cracow (1899)||17.70||1.30||Berlin (1904)||3.70||10.24|
|European Russia (1897)||17.61||16.87||Prussia (1904)||4.49||16.49|
|Austria (1901)||16.63||11.83||Bavaria (1900)||4.60||12.60|
|Hungary (1903)||14.90||10.68||Hesse (1901-1904)||4.70||14.90|