Notable Events During the 1910 United States Census

During the 1910 United States Census, questions were asked specifically about marital status. For example, one column listed "Married," "Widowed," or "Divorce." First and second marriages were abbreviated as "M1," and third and subsequent marriages were abbreviated as "M2." The census also recorded the Great San Francisco earthquake, the Baltimore fire, and many other notable events.

Changes in Quota System

In 1910, the United States census began a process of determining the population quota system, which would be used to determine how many immigrants the country needed. In that census, the quotas were based on the proportion of people born outside the United States and immigrants from European countries. The new law changed that process and included a new calculation that had people of British and European descent, bringing a more significant percentage of immigrants from those countries into the United States.

The quota system was initially set at three percent of the foreign-born population. This quota system did not stop most immigrants from coming to the United States. In the 1920s, members of Congress sought another way to limit immigration, and they did so with new immigration law. The quota system was set at three percent of the foreign-born population and allowed 350,000 visas per year. These quotas were not extended to people who had lived in the Western Hemisphere for more than a year. However, President Wilson opposed the new law and used his pocket veto to block its passage.

Births at Hospitals

Births were not always reported during the U.S. census 1910. Hospitals were not always required to register births and deaths, and deliveries were not as standard as today. In rural areas, reporting births and deaths was often hit-or-miss. Not until 1917 did births and deaths become mandatory.

The 1910 census recorded the number of dwellings per household, the visitation order, and each home's street address. In addition to the household size, each person's name and age at the time of the census are recorded. In addition, a person's race, sex, and color are recorded. For parents, their last birth year is also recorded, as is the number of children they have. Birthplaces are also recorded.

Immigration Quotas

During the 1910 United States Census, several quotas were in place to control immigration. The percentages set preferences for specific categories of immigrants: spouses, unmarried children under 21, and people with agricultural skills. They also established non-quota status for wives and children of U.S. citizens.

The quotas were set in proportion to the country's population in 1890. But they were not fully implemented until 1929. Until then, relatively few people immigrated to the United States, particularly from southern, central, and eastern Europe. The 1924 law drastically reduced the number of immigrants from these countries, but total immigration in the U.S. was still very high. Even so, the quota system remained in effect until the end of the Great Depression.

Soundex Indexes

Soundex indexes are based on surname spelling and a progression of consonants. They were developed during the 1930s by the WPA for the Social Security Administration. The agency needed to identify people who were eligible to receive old-age benefits. While the 1880 United States Census manuscript was the most reliable source for verifying dates, widespread misspellings created a problem matching names. As a result, Soundex indexes were adopted to help with the identification of eligible applicants for old-age benefits.

Soundex indexes can be handy for identifying family units. A household is a group of people that includes all members living under the head of the home. Using a Soundex index, a researcher can determine which surnames are prevalent in a state or county, narrowing their search to a more specific geographic region.

Changes In Quota System in the 1910s

The changes in the quota system during the 1910 United States census affected the way immigrants were counted in the census. The quota system determined specific preferences for certain groups, such as unmarried children under 21 years of age, parents, and spouses. It also included a selection of immigrants over 21 years of age who were farmers or skilled in agriculture. Nevertheless, this did not stop the flow of immigrants into the country. Many of the displaced immigrants who were unemployed were encouraged to join the U.S. armed forces.

The quota system was initially intended to limit immigrants to 3% of the population. This quota was later changed to 2%.

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