xt7sj38kh908 https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7sj38kh908/data/mets.xml Maryland Brown, W. O. Trippe, Mary L. Arthur, Henry B. 1936 16 leaves: ill., map; 27 cm. UK holds archival copy for ASERL Collaborative Federal Depository Program libraries. Call Number Y 3.W 89/2:13/2-10 books English Washington, D.C.: Works Progress Administration This digital resource may be freely searched and displayed in accordance with U. S. copyright laws. Maryland Works Progress Administration Publications Unemployed -- Maryland -- Baltimore County Public welfare -- Maryland -- Baltimore County A Survey of 1022 Relief Cases Closed in March 1935, Baltimore County, Maryland text A Survey of 1022 Relief Cases Closed in March 1935, Baltimore County, Maryland 1936 1936 2019 true xt7sj38kh908 section xt7sj38kh908 i ‘. l 127/ I * I}! \ Z/ A: If /: : UNIVERSITV OF KENTUCKY
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Harry L. Hopkins, Administrator
‘1 Corrington Gill. , Howard B. Myers, Director,
E 1185151731149 Administrator ' Social Research Division
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January 1, 1936 Series II, No. 10

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On March 21, 1935, all relief cases in Baltimore County, Xx
Maryland, a total of 1629; were closed. By the first of 3
April, 256 of these cases had been officially reopened 5
and during April the case load was increased to 511,most . E
of which were apparently reopened from the original re— f;
lief group of March. The case load was thus reduced by ‘1
’ 1118, or about 69 percent, from March to April~~a reduc— 53%
tion in keeping with a tendency general throughout the 1 if
state. $3
Two factors probably account for this drastic reduction ~fl?
1 in the case load, (1) the uncertainty about funds at f7
that time, and (2) the feeling of the Baltimore County 3,
Welfare Board that the current increase in employment if
opportunities in the county were sufficient to insure f9
those willing and able to work against want. $3
Because of the problems growing out of the closing of if
these cases, Mr. Harry Greenstein, Maryland State Relief h?
Administrator, requested that a follow—up study be made ¥§
to ascertain how the households involved obtained sub— K;
, sistence after being dropped from the relief rolls. With ‘ fig
this in mind, 1032 of the closed cases were studied,this 1§
number representing the total exclusive of those cases ‘ S
which were either re—accepted for relief or were inaCe ;
cessible for investigation. -
The report deals with (1) employment, (2) shifts from TX
one occupational level to another, and (8) income,cover~ ,g
' ing periods prior and subsequent to closing in March. . kgi
' The field work for the study was done under the super~ ff
. vision of Miss Mary L. Trippe, local supervisor of the ‘Tfi
Urban Current Change Survey in Baltimore. Mr. Robert } é
Swem, of Miss Trippe’s staff, was of special assistance fifl;
in the study. Mr. John W. Mitchell did much of the work 'i?
on the tables. E J
_ '- Prepared by ti
, W. 0. Brown and Mary L. Trippe : i
'p under the supervision of it
‘ Henry B. Arthur, Asst. Director it;
3‘ Division of Social Research ; fl
——.—._....__.._._...._.._...._... :131
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3 3 3:;

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781'? .
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Various measures have been taken The closing of relief cases in g'§
in a number of localities in an ef— Baltimore County was more in the na» g g
fort to clear the relief rolls of ture of an organized campaign to se— Fifi
‘ persons potentially able to support cure employment than of an arbitrary i‘fi
themselves. It is a fairly general sweeping order to cut off relief.The L’g
practice, of course, to remove from effort was fortunately supported by Ea?
. the relief rolls persons who are a substantial increase in employment (it
found to be wilfully refusing pri— opportunities in the region, which fig;
Vate employment; and the acceptance might very well have absorbed many EV}
of private jobs when offered is fre- of the workers, even if no effort §j§
, quently facilitated by a policy or had been made to secure employment ffig
guarantee of immediate reinstatement for them. fiVj
to the relief rolls upon loss of tem— £13
porary jobs. In order to bring di— This report upon 1022 cases out EF§
rect pressure, not only for the ac— of the 1629 originally closed ex~ gjfi
ceptance of jobs offered, but also eludes those which were returned to %;f
for the aggressive search for jobs, the relief rolls. It was designed ii;
periodic* re—examinations of the en— to discover how cases which did not in»
tire case load have been found return to relief subsisted during ggj
desirable in a number of localities; the three months subsequent to their tfig
a great deal is done in securing em~ closing. ~ V E";
ployment for workers on relief, both ‘ 5u§
by case workers and through public During the period covered by this - §
employment offices; and in some survey, there was a steady monthly ' §
places, large numbers of cases have increase both in the percentages of _ 3
been arbitrarily removed from relief cases with one or more persons work~ H g
on the assumption that work(e.g.har~ ing and of workers employed, both .tf
vesting) was available and that jobs for'whitasand Negroes. However, for :f
would be secured if the proper press— each month there was a fairly large 75%
ure were exertedlf. percent of persons and cases without %{
employment, 447 warkers and 145 ifl
In Baltimore County, Maryland, households, for example, being with— ‘“f
(which excludes the city of Balti— out work in June, the last month of ,'5
more) the total relief load of 1629 the survey. The increase in employ— pfi
cases was"closed for re—examination" ment among the group was not neces— '”%
A in March 1935. Provision was made _____________~____ _____g L
to assist workers to find jobs, and 1/ NOne of these devices is to be ‘Ej
to take back on the relief rolls confused with the closings of unem— ‘fif
thoseunable to shift for themselves. ployable relief cases such as occur— 1‘3
That the move was successful in re— red in some states when responsibili— I'd
ducing the relief rolls is apparent ty for the care of cases not ¥ g
from the fact that the number of eligible for the Works Program was ;%
cases in the county in the three returned to the States. See Bulle- ' %
following months——April, May, and tins C~19, Series 1, No. 11, and Se— é
June~~averaged only about 500, in— ries II, No. 8, surveys of cases Q
eluding some new as well as the re— removed from relief rolls in Georgia y
opened cases. for administrative reasons in May fl
and June, 1935. »j

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sarily a result of the fact that the These households, in the main,had I g
» cases were closed. The facts show a higher average incomes subsaquent to ‘ E
general and seasonal increase in em~ closing than during the months prior l'g
ployment opportunities in the com— to closing—~January and February. E
munity to which the workers in this Moreover, these average monthly in~ l %
group responded. It is probable that comes exceeded the average monthly 1 g
‘ without closing, some of the workers relief budgetary allowances of i‘i
would have been less inclined to Baltimore County. The average in— T'fl
look for work. This assumption, hows come subSequent to closing increased ii"
‘ eVer, is unproven. Nor can it be for each successive month, in keep» E”
assumed, in the light of the brief ing with the monthly increase in 2g
period of the followeup and the sea— employment. ‘ §
sonal nature of much of the employ~ ‘ g
ment receiVed, that these households It appears, then, that a majority J>§
( will not have to re—apply for relief of these households were raising .‘g
later. themselves successfully above a re~ lif
lief status. But while in general 1 §
Associated with this increase in this was true, nevertheless a siza— k5fi
employment was a slight tendency for ble number of cases and persons ;§§
workers to accept jobs below the were without either earnings or other {gé
economic level of their usual employ— cash income during each month subse~ ggfi
ment. In the main, however, they quent to closing. In June, 7( cases fig
either maintained their old levels reported no income. During the same 1%
or obtained no work at all. Practi— month, 145 were without earnings E
cally none moved up the economic from current employment, 57 of them g
ladder. A tendency to shift to 10wer being unemployable. Furthermore, i %
occupational classes was normal the average mtnthly income of the i K
under the circumstances. The pres— 1022 cases, though higher than the I a
sure of need naturally forced some average monthly relief allowance,was i f
A WOrkers to accept whatever work was very low. In very few cases did 9;;
available, rather than to hold out earnings reach levels Consistent with a?
for the type of employment to which comfortable living. Earnings of in»
they were accustomed. about half of the families fell '3
short of $10‘ per week, and only § i
about one—fourth rose above $15.00. f g
., 111";
, "321
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, 75:1

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~_]_._ 7817 35
Characteristies_gf__the Relief Group cases than is true for the general ggfi
population of the county, and also gfig
indicate a higher illiteracy rate h,%
The cases studied l/ contained for the group studied. Data on Efg
4842 persons, or about 4.7 persons occupational distribution indicate QV?
; per case as compared to a median both a marked concentration offflmiIY' .t;
family size of 3.7 for the general heads and of employable persons in %,§
population of the county (Table l)§/ the lower occupational groups. Thus 3%
‘ Seven~hundred and eighty of these. 51 percent of the employable heads $5?
cases were whites, and 242, or 24 of households and 53 percent of gfii
percent, were Negroes; The members the employable persons in the re~ lgé,
of these relief households are, when lief group were unskilled, while Ip¥%
compared to the general population only five percent of the household fi¥§
of the county, disprOportionately heads, and five nercent of the em~ gfifi
young. Thus, 46 percent of this ployable persons were in the white %?§
group is fifteen years of age orless collar class (Table 4)§/. éfifi
while only 32 percent of the DOPUF gig
lation of the county is of this age . sgt
(Table 2). The ratio of persons 15 5':
years of ageand over who are married Egpggigggg Egg
is higher for the relief group than After Relief Wfigijfliggdggwn if?
for the general p0pulation of the ‘ ¥Zfi
county, 69 percent compared to 61 {Pg
percent (Table 3). The scant data Three questions arise with refcr~ 51%
available suggest a poorer school ence to the adjustments of these 5‘%
attendance record for the relief cases subsequent to closing. First, “(E
____._,_i____ __-..____.___.____._____-..
1; Baltimore County, where the present a special type of relief é“?
families of this survey live, is problem, due to their seasonal labon %
politically, and in relief adminis~ The population on the immediate out~ f:
tration, distinct from Baltimore skirts of the city is naturally more ffif
City, although economically, es— dependent upon economic conditions 33%
pecially in the southern end of the in Baltimore City itself, with the 35%
county, dominated by it. The relief result that the relief situation is éifi
problem is concentrated primarily in more serious there. iޤ
the residential and industrial areas 2/ All data on the general popu~ §2§
contiguous to Baltimore City ( See lation of the county are taken from %f%
map). The problem of relief in the the 1930 Census. §%§
farming district of the north is not g/ In Junc,four industries account~ ggfi
serious; moreover, the farming ed for 64 percent of the "last usual 3%;
population of the county is relative— industry” entries of the heads of ijg
1y small, comprising only 19,214 out these households: — agriculture nine , gjg
of a total of 124,565, or about 15 percent; building 20;iron and steel, §I%
percent (according to the 1930 14; and domestic and personal ser~ §*§
Census). The eastern districts, Vice, 21. t‘gé
where truck farming is important, §.§J

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' 7817 "“ If
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I to what extent did the cases as - The monthly rise, January through {5%
units, and their employable members, June,in the percentage of cases with '}fi
get work? Second, was there a shift one or more employed members is I%
downward or upward occupationally? matched by an increase in the per—' ‘III
Third. ’60 what degree was there a centage of the 1652 individual work~ It»
‘ ' decrease or increase in the income ers employed each month, although I.%
of these cases and their employable in June there was a slight decrease 3,3;
‘ persons? of 45 persons, or about 8 percent gIE
(Table .7). In the case of the Negro I
The answer to the first question however, the percentage of individ~ Ifif
is clear. There was a sharp rise, ual workers employed is low, while Is:
subsequent to closing,in the emp10y~ the percentage of cases with employ~ 33s
ment of both cases and personsi/.For ed members is high, this being due kSE
03395, there was an increase each to the high average of employable fi 3
month from January through June, 25 persons to each caseZ/. The female III
percent being employed in January. workers, Negro and white combined,
25 percent in February, 45 percent have a better employment record than III
in March, 75 percent in April, 84 the male workers. For example, in III
'; percent in May, and 86 percent in June, 90 percent of the employable III
June (Table 5)- In June, only 145! females were working, compared to %§@
or 14 percent, 0f the households 67 percent of the employable males. §Ifi
were WithOUt a member employedéj. The Negro male in particular had a §*I
This increase each month in the per— poor employment record, since in no IIE
centage of cases with one or more month were more than 45 percent . Iii
persons working is true' for both (June) employed (Table 8). ‘ Iig
whites and Negroes (Table 5). Al— I I‘§
though marhed differences ex1st In April, only 65 of the 555 per~ : §
among families 0f the various Sizes, sons who had been employed at the i‘%
all family sizes Show "911 increase time of closinw were without work'in - 5‘?“
each month in the households with an MflY there wer: 72 and in June T6. i
employed member. The 0ne~person However, the slight monthly losses fins
family fared worse than the average of this group were more than offset Efit
partly because that family is neces~ by the excellent emplovment record III
sarily a one-worker family (Table of the 1096 persons seehing work at fhfi
6)9/- the time of closing. In June, for I 3
4] An employed case is a case with only 57 percent working, Cases with I“%
one or more persons between the ages 2 to 4 persons start with 20 percent I'fi
0f 16~54 working. in January and have 86 percent in IEII
2/ Fifty~seven hOHSGhOldS were un— June with one or more persons work~ §L§
employable, i.e. had no person be~ ing. For the 5—or—more person cases _;§I
tween 15‘64 working or seeking work. the corresponding percentages are 32‘ ' I g
Q/ In January, only 6 or 9 percent, and 89 (Table 5). §”§
of the 65 one~person cases in the 2! The average number of workers Ifg
study had employment, and in June,in for the Negro cases is 2.8, compared III
Spite of the steady increase in the to 1.5 for the white cases (Table 7). I;
percent employed, there were still III
'5 r‘

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example, 66 percent of these persons large percent of the workers of this gig
were employed, 72 percent of the study are dependent upon employment } §§
whites and 50 percent of the Negroes in Baltimore City; and the records .ég
(Table 9). show a rise in the employment index ' is
for the months of this s7udy for the t E§
' How can this increase in empl oy— industries of that cityfi. t , :2:
ment be accounted for? For one thing fi,%
, employment Opportunities increased. . From the standpoint of 0ppor~ t,%
About 75 persons obtained employment tunities for work, the Baltimore ‘gfi
‘ in agriculture during the three County Welfare Board selected the pp?
months after closing occurred. Extra right time for the reduction of its 4§K§
agricultural labor was required in case load. Some agricultural emp10y~ {E31
. March and April in the farming ment was available. Building, sea— @fld
districts of the northern part of sonal in nature, picked up; this gilfi
the county. Truck farming in the industry alone during the three Fffi
eastern area is reported to have month period subsequent to closing iFd
absorbed extra workers during the absorbed 143 of the 1096 persons who fihfi
1 early spring and summer months. were unemployed at closing. Employe fitfi
Certain industrial plants adjacent ment generally increased during this $§§
‘. to the city of Baltimore showed in~ period. However, this three—month ggg
creases in employment for this peri— period is too short, and the season~ dfid
0d. For example, a steel company a1 factor in employment during the_ ,tgg
showed an employment increase for time was much too important, to ggg
each month from January through June justify accepting the employment Edd
adding 58 new workers in March, 102 record of the households as an ade— $.n
in April,92 in May, and 161 in June. quate measure of their adjustment.No 3 g
Forty~five of the workers in this evidence is at hand to indicate how 'i
study who were seeking work at the many of the workers would have 1 h
time the cases were closed obtained availed themselves of the same ems ;.2
jobs with this company. One hundred ployment opportunities if relief had 1‘?
and eighty~six workers who secured not been withdrawnlgz t2
‘ employment subsequent to closing g;
were employed by fourteen companies Cfipupatiqpal_shifts. Considering gpp
in the~ county in which there had the pressure of need incident to E5?
been increases in employment§/. A closing, one would expect a tendency $1;
. .
s Investigators went to leading These indices are taken from Survey §’§
employers and obtained their monthly of Current Business, Volume 15, Ange %%§
records of employment and then ust 1935. éip
identified workers in the study who 10/ It should be emphasized that at {hi
received jobs with these various em— no time were all indiVidual workers fig?
ployers. and households employed. In June, gag
2/ Thus, in January the index of for example, 145 households had no §E%
employment for Baltimore was 75.7; employed member, and during this $3?
February, 78.4; March, 80.2; April, month, 447 employable persons were §‘§
83.2; May, 82.6; and June, 80.8; the without jobs. Moreover, employment fig.
last months indicating a slight sea~ is not an invariable index of wel~ Sh
sonal recission (1929—1931 = 100). fare. E~g

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7 " among the workers of the cases to of the females; 5 percent of the gfifi
take whatever work was available,and males dropped below their usual gtfifi
5 wherever necessary accept jobs below status, compared to 14 percent of i’fig
their usual occupational level. This the female workers. Twenty percent gjfifi
did happen in about 7 percent of the of the males obtained no work, while §3$2
cases; and 22 percent got no job at the percentage of females unable to ~tۤ
5 all. Their usual occupational status get employment was much higher ~~ iiaé
' was maintained by 71 percent of the 30 percent (Table 12). ii§§
workers (Table lO)ll/. 0f the white Epfi;
j collar workers, 10 percent experi~ Income. The best measure of how Sig;
enced a drop in status, while 50 adequately these cases maintained gfitfi
1 percent of this group were unable to themselves subsequent to removal f§§$
get work. of the skilled workers,lO from the relief rolls is their monthr Efifi;
percent dropped to lower levels. ly incomel§/. fififié
while 22 percent of their number TEE
secured no employment. The heaviest Generally, the cases had higher :Ekfi
' percentage getting no work was among incomes subsequent to closing than !§§§
‘ those with no usual occupation, Bl ,they had prior to closing. Thus, in fig?%
:percent, though the white~collar January, February, and March, the f§§§
workers with a 50 percent unemploy— average (median) monthly incomes, fififl
ment followed closely (Table 10). No including relief,were $23.10, $22.70 ggf:
Negroes went above their usual em~ and $20.50, respectively, whereas in fifigé
ployment while 7 percent of both April, May and June, the incomes. Rig;
Negroes and whites suffered a drop were $29.60, $56.70, and $40.30, i§§§
in status. However, the percentage indicating, as well, a rise during 3}§§
of unemployment among whites was each month subsequent to closing. {Lgk
less than among Negroes, 20 percezit Morerver, for all months subsequent l;§§
compared to 28 (Table ll). Females to closing, the average income was t;%
. were apparently less able to hold higher than the average budgetary E %
their own occupationally than were allowance of the relief agencyl§/. a§*
males. Seventy—four percent of the 5?
male workers experienced no change small. The illovynce for food -Qy,
in status as compared to 56 percent practically constitutes the entire :TE'
amount provided. The amount allowed SEE
Tl} Data on occupational shifts are for a given month in a given case 53%
only available for the 1096 workers includes any amount earned by a '2§%
who were seeking work at the time of member of the case. For example, if $3;
closing. a case were entitled to $30 for a §E§
lg/ Monthly income is the net incmma given month,but a member of the case 5§§§
from all sources—~relief, earnings, earned $15, the relief agency would figfi
and miscellanies. For these cases deduct this $15 from the total al~ *§£fi
subsequent to closing, earnings lowance, actually giving only $15 to Lfiéf
practically consitituted tn; sctrce- the case. it?
of income. fifif
lg] The monthly allowance cited The average allowance used here lfiég
provides only for food. Rent is is an estimate of the aver firs T3?
paid only in eviction cases.Clothing amount which would have been allowai ffiég
is supplied only when absolutely es; for the cases of this survey had .gfig
sential. The scant information they been on relief. The estimate ffgfi
available indicates that the aver— is based upon the average size of 55%%
age amount given for these items not these cases. ;§§§
included in the allowance is very 5%%
5:5 pg;
7 it?
, 1%?

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; :M*?
7817 13;:
so~ 1
employed in June, the last month of earnings, the 145 in this condition Efifié
the survey. These incomes were, for in June may be taken. Seventy of iififi
April, $42.80,_ and $31.10; for May, this 145 insisted that they were lgsg
$59.19 and $42.1o; and for June, totally without income. The average {the
$51.66 and $46.20(Tables 17 and 18). income for the group as a whole in féfig
‘ This is according to expectation,The April was $8.60; in May, $9.20; and "Egg
438 cases with one or more persons in June, $2.30. The income of the ififig
: working at closing had an advantage Negroes for each month was even :fi?%
1 at the outset. Possibly, too, the lower (Table 18). Fifty~seven of gigs
fact of their having employment at these cases had no employable person ifflé
closing reflected an ability to get between 16~64, though there were i‘fr
on not possessed by the other cases. actually in this group persons below 37%}
16 and over 64, who were working at 1&1?
The more or less cheerful outlook various times prior to June. tiif
described for the cases of ‘this 1331
survey is modified by certain facts. Finally, neither the average iffig
For one thing, a rather high percent. relief allowance nor the 'average ytfifi
of these cases either had no income income for these cases provides for ggfifi
at all, or a very low income during more than a mini.um subisitence 153%
the months after closing. In April, standard of livinglfi? In April, over étgfi
38 percent of the cases had less fifty (50) percent of the 1&7;
than $20 monthly income; in May, 30 households of this study were living §Qefi
percent; and in June, 26 percent on less than $10 a week, and in June 3E1;
(Table 14). the month of the highest average ftfig
income, only a, slightly smaller Egg
Furthermore, a relatively large proportion were forced to live at fi§§
percent of these cases had no this level. In April, about 15 fifiéfi
earnings and were dependent solely percent of the households had an dig
_upon other sources of income during income of $15 per week or more, in— El?
the months subsequent to closings. creasing to 28 percent of the total £32”
In April, there were 251 such cases, in June. Considering. the large 4?
or 24 percent of the total; in May average size of these cases, it is ég';
166, or 16 percent of the total; and obvious that even those cases with his
in June, 145, or 14 percent of the the highest incomes had no more than {éfié
total (Table 19)l§/. As an example enough for their minimum needs. 13%?
of the difficulties of cases without fish
' 12/ The data of this survey seem—to lanedus—sgurcesflwerewactuallyf—mmere jggg
indicate that other sources of important than the schedules reveal, g§§g
income were relatively unimportant. since there was some tendency for ggfi
Thus, in April and May,1§8,and in the client to evade or understate on itth
June, 207 of these cases derived this item. Undoubtedly, however, gitfi
income from sources other than cases without earnings fared much 5%?@
earnings. The averages (median) for worse than when they were on relief. ffififl
these cases were $12.86, $9.70 and 1§/ As previously stated,the relief 5th?
$9.96, respectively, for April, May allowance here cited provides only §?%fi
and June. Possibly these miscel— for food. this
7' '7 3:1
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; Table 1
I Distribution of Households in the General Population and in ‘2’
Relief Closings, by Size Groups '
; —-—————-—-——' . —————————-—_‘___v____fi_!_____ —————_:—~——_ _ .f -___ _‘ __.__::“fi:::“:_: :

Size of General 190 ulation ‘3" 3.21le 0105111 L 12
j Households Number Percent Number Percent _ El
TOTAL 27,194 100 I 11033 4.02 '
1 One person 1,291 5 65 6 It
1' Two persons 5,452 20 160 ~ 15 k
1 Three 11 5, 504 ' 21 I 153 15 11‘
f Four 11 5,251 19 I ‘ 152 15 13
’ Five 11 5, 757 14 I 135 13
Six 1! g, 521 I 9 I 125 ‘ I 12 I‘f'
Sev en " l , 400 I 5 I 81 l 8 I‘
Eight 1 973 I 3 . 59 I 5 ‘11:,-
1 Nine " 497 i 2 I 41 I 4 31
Ten or more persons I 548 I 2 I 50 5 3“
, ______1_.______1________l_I_____—_L________ =51 ’1
1 Median I 3. '7 I 4:- 4- “if
I 5/ U. 8. Census, 1930, Vol. VI, p. 555. I1,
5/ March 1955 1:32
'1 13:5
Table 2 51,753
Distribution of Persons in the General POpulation and in 7f-
Clcsed Relief Cases, by Age Groups ‘72,;
I 9__General Populati0n__:" I ‘35;ng Cases — 1
Age Groups ‘I_Numb er 1 Percent“, . NEE fine ent ‘*I
.411 Ages I124, 555 / I 150 I 4_,5_4_2_ 1:10 4
Under 16 years (39 , 6879 . I 82 _ 2, 289 46 I
15 _ 24 11 I 19, 590 I 15 I