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ESTIMATED POPULATION FOR
LETTER FROM THE
ESTIMATES OF POPULATION BY THE CENSUS BUREAU BASED UPON THE REGISTRATION OF JUNE 5, 1917, FOR USE IN APPORTIONMENT OF THE
JULY 18 (calendar day, July 19), 1917.-Ordered to be printed
ESTIMATED POPULATION FOR DRAFT APPORTIONMENT.
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE,
Washington, July 18, 1917. SIR: In compliance with the Senate resolution passed July 16, 1917, I have the honor to transmit herewith a copy of a pamphlet issued by the War Department (Form 18) containing estimates of population based upon the results of the registration of June 5, 1917, which were prepared by the Bureau of the Census in accordance with the request of the Provost Marshal General of the War Department, and were intended solely for use as a basis for the apportionment of the forthcoming draft. The method employed in making these estimates was as follows:
The total registration as shown by the preliminary telegraphic returns, 9,659,382, was divided by the total population of Continental United States exclusive of Alaska, as heretofore estimated by the Census Bureau, 103,635,300, in order to obtain the proportion which the registrants represented of the total population. The resulting figure, 9.32 per cent, was assumed to represent the proportion which the registrants in each geographical unit represented of the total population thereof. In other words, the number of registrants reported for each subdivision (that is, each city of 30,000 inhabitants or more in 1917, according to the official estimates of population made by the Bureau of the Census prior to the registration of June 5, 1917; each county, or, in the case of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, each division consisting of a number of towns; and each portion of a county outside of such city or cities) was divided by 9.32 per cent in order to secure an estimated population as a basis for determining the quotas for the several States, Territories, and the District of Columbia, or subdivisions thereof.
Since the totals, as shown by the corrected returns received by mail, varied more or less from those given in the preliminary telegraphic returns, both the total registration for the United States (9,678,795) and the total population estimated herein (103,849,684) differ slightly from the figures above given.
As explained in the preface to said pamphlet, the assumption that the proportion which the registrants in any county or city represent of its total population is the same throughout the United States may not be true, but the only way to ascertain the true proportion for each geographical unit would be to make an actual enumeration of its population. The proportion in 1910 (as shown by the decennial census) varied considerably in different parts of the country, being greater as a rule in the newer than in the older sections and greater in cities than in rural localities. Because of the abnormal shiftings
of population which have taken place among certain parts of the country in recent years, and particularly since the outbreak of the war gave so great an impetus to the manufacture of munitions and other commodities needed by the belligerents, the proportions which men 21 to 30 years of age, inclusive, represent of the total population of many localities have changed greatly since 1910. For this reason the assumption that the proportions existing in 1910 still prevail would result in very inaccurate estimates for some localities.
Since, therefore, as further explained, it was impossible in any event to estimate precisely the population of cities, counties, and States, on the basis of the registration, the simplest and speediest methodthat based on the assumption that the proportion which the registrants represent of the total population is the same throughout the country-was adopted. In this manner there was obtained the fairest possible basis for the apportionment of the draft, since the localities whose population estimates may be exaggerated are those in which there is an excess of men 21 to 30 years of
age, inclusive, while the ones whose population is understated are those in which the proportion of men of these ages is smaller than the average.
The estimates for Alaska, Hawaii, and Porto Rico, in which the registration has not yet taken place, were made in the same manner in which the official estimates of population have been made by the Census Bureau heretofore, namely, on the assumption that the annual numerical increase in each geographical unit since 1910 has been the same as the average numerical increase between 1900 and 1910. Respectfully,
WILLIAM C. REDFIELD,
Secretary. The PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE,
Washington, D. C.