Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 85.djvu/202

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The returns do not show on their face any justification for the belief that the various professions have been so picked as to militate in favor of New England. Indeed, it is apparent that all of the leading professions are well represented. Therefore, if New England makes a fair showing in a goodly number of the professions, the conclusion may be justifiably drawn that New England stands out in specific instances, as well as in general, as the producer of eminent persons.

The figures in Table VIII. contain a statement of the proportion of persons in the different professions for each of the geographical divisions of the United States.

Table VIII

Per Cent, of Eminent Persons in the Five Professions having the Largest Number of Names in "Who's Who," Classified by Place of Birth, for those Sections having the Highest Number of Eminent Persons
Place of Birth Educa-
Lawyers Business
All Pro-
New England 24.2 17.1 26.8 16.9 26.5 23.1
Middle Atlantic 25.2 29.8 33.3 20.1 30.7 29.8
East North Central 25.7 22.0 21.6 23.8 21.5 22.2
West North Central 5.7 4.9 5.1 7.3 5.7 5.5
South Atlantic 12.7 13.2 7.9 15.4 6.5 10.9
East South Central 5.0 8.2 3.0 9.6 5.4 5.4
Other Sections 1.5 4.8 2.3 6.9 3.7 3.1
100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0

The supremacy of the northeastern section of the United States is again amply demonstrated. Throughout the period under consideration, this section of the country has contained less than three fifths of the total population.[1] There is an almost equal percentage of educators in the three sections. The Middle Atlantic States lead notably in the percentage of lawyers and business men, while among public office holders, authors and all other eminent men, the three sections are on comparatively equal terms.

The time has now come when the three questions propounded at the outset of this paper may be answered with some color of authority. The answers are not final, but they are significant in so far as "Who's Who" is authoritative.

The answer to question one is clear and unequivocal. "Was there ever a time when the number of distinguished men born in New England was greater, in proportion to its population, than the production for the other sections of the United States?" In the past New England has

  1. In 1850 the New England States, the Middle Atlantic States and the East North Central States contained 56.7 per cent, of the population; 55.7 per cent, in 1860; 55.5 per cent, in 1870.