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How The Other Half Lives, by Jacob Riis
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APPENDIX.
STATISTICS BEARING ON THE TENEMENT PROBLEM

STATISTICS of population were left out of the text in the hope that the results of this year's census would be available as a basis for calculation before the book went to press. They are now at hand, but the correctness is disputed. The statisticians of the Health Department claim that New York's population has been underestimated a hundred thousand at least, and they appear to have the best of the argument. A re-count is called for, and the printer will not wait. Such statistics as follow have been based on the Health Department estimates, except where the census source is given. The extent of the quarrel of official figures may be judged from this one fact, that the ordinarily conservative and careful calculations of the sanitary Bureau make the death-rate of New York, in 1889, 25.19 for the thousand of a population of 1,575,073, while the census would make it 26.76 in a population of 1,482,273.

 

Major Cities, 1880-1889
  Population Persons per
dwelling
Deaths Death-Rate
1880 1889 1880 1880 1889 1880 1889
New York 1,206,299 1,575,073 16.37 31,937 39,679 26.47 25.19
London 3,816,483 4,351,738 7.90 81,431 75,683 21.30 17.40
Philadelphia 846,980 1,040,245 5.79 17,711 20,536 20.91 19.70
Brooklyn 566,689 814,505 9.11 13,222 18,288 23.33 22.50
Boston 362,535 420,000 8.26 8,612 10,259 23.75 24.42

 

New York City, 1880-1890
  Population Number
of acres
Density per acre Density per sq. mi.
1880 1890 1880 1890 1880 1890
New York City 1,206,299 1,513,501 24,890 48.40 60.08 30,976 38,451
under 5 years of age 140,327 182,770
Manhattan Island 1,164,673 1,440,101 12,673 92.60 114.53 41,264 73,299
Tenth Ward 47,554 57,514 110 432.30 522.00 276,672 334,080
Eleventh Ward 68,778 75,708 196 350.90 386.00 224,576 246,040
Thirteenth Ward 37,797 45,882 107 353.20 428.80 226,048 274,432

For every person who dies there are always two disabled by illness, so that there was a regular average of 79,358 New Yorkers on the sick-list at any moment last year. It is usual to count 28 cases of sickness the year round for every death, and this would give a total for the year 1889 of 1,111,082 of illness of all sorts.

 

Deaths in New York, by Institution, 1889
Prisons 85
Hospitals 6,102
Lunatic asylums 448
Institutions for children 522
Homes for Aged 238
Almshouse 424
Other institutions 162
Burials in city cemetary (paupers) 3,815
Percentage of such burials on total 9.64

This is exclusive of deaths in institutions, properly referable to the tenements in most cases. The adult death-rate is found to decrease in the large tenements of newer construction. The child mortality increases, reaching 104.04 per cent. of 1,000 living in houses containing between 60 and 80 tenants. From this point it decreases with the adult death rate.

 

New York Tenements, 1869-1890
  1869 1888 1890
Population 468,492 [1] 1,093,701 [2] 1,250,000
under 5 years of age   143,243 163,712
Deaths 13,285 24,842  
Death-Rate 28.35 22.71  
Number of tenements in New York
December 1, 1888
32,390
Number built
June 1, 1888, to August 1, 1890
3,733
Rear tenements in existence
August 1, 1890
2,730
Total number of tenements
August 1, 1890
37,316
Tenants weeded-out of overcrowded tenaments
1889
1,246
Tenants weeded-out of overcrowded tenaments
first half of 1890 [3]
1,068
Sick poor visited by summer corps of doctors
1890
16,501

Corner tenements may cover all of the lot, except 4 feet at the rear. Tenements in the block may only cover seventy-eight per cent. of the lot. They must have a rear yard 10 feet wide, and air shafts or open courts equal to twelve per cent of the lot.

Tenements or apartment houses must not be built over 70 feet high in streets 60 feet wide. Tenements or apartment houses must not be built over 80 feet high in streets wider than 60 feet.

 

POLICE STATISTICS

Police Statistics, 1889
  Males Females
Number of arrests by the police 62,274 19,926
Number of
arrests for
drunkenness and disorderly conduct 20,253 8,981
disorderly conduct 10,953 7,477
assault and battery 4,534 497
theft 4,399 721
robbery 247 10
vagrancy 1,686 947
Number or prisoners unable to read or write 2,399 1,281
Number of lost children found in the streets 2,968
Number of sick and destitute cared for 2,753
Found sick in the streets 1,211
Number of pawnshops in city 110
Number of cheap lodging-houses 270
Number of saloons 7,884

 

IMMIGRATION.

Immigrants Landed at Garden Castle, 1889
in last 20 years 5,335,396
in 1889 349,233
from England 46,214
Scotland 11,415
Ireland 43,090
Germany 75,458

 

Other Immigration, 1883-1889
  1883 1884 1885 1886 1887 1888 1889
Italy 25,485 14,076 16,033 29,312 44,274 43,927 28,810
Russia
Poland
7,577 12,432 16,578 23,987 33,203 33,052 31,329
Hungary 13,160 15,797 11,129 18,135 17,719 12,905 15,678
Bohemia 4,877 7,093 6,697 4,222 6,449 3,982 5,412

 

[1] In 1869 a tenament was a house occupied by four families or more.

[2] In 1888 a tenament was a house occupied by three families or more.

[3] These figures represent less than two hundred of the worst tenements below Houston Street.

 

 
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Last modified July 12, 2012