Chapter 1 The Population
1. Most countries take a census every ten years or so in order to count the people and to know where they are living.
2. A country with a growing population is a country that is becoming more populous.
3. A person’s race is partly determined by skin color and type of hair as well as other physical characteristics.
4. The majority of the U. S. population is of European origin.
5. The geographical distribution of a country’s population gives information about where the people are living.
6. The total population of the United States is made up of many different kinds of people.
7. In other words, the population comprises people of different races and ages.
8. The average age of the U. S. population, which is a relatively large one, has been getting progressively higher recently.
9. Metropolitan areas are more densely populated than rural areas. That is, they have more people per square mile.
10. The use of antibiotics has greatly decreased the death rate throughout much of the world.
11. A country whose birth rate is higher than its death rate will have an increasing population.
12. On the average, women have a higher hfe expectancy than men do.
f. four percent
g. nineteen ninety
a. 18.5 million
b. 80 percent
c. one half
d. 13.4 million
e. two out of ten
h. 40 percent
i. three quarters
j. 33.1 percent
Today we’re going to talk about population in the United States. According to the most recent government census, the population is 281,421,906 people. This represents an increase of almost 33 million people since the 1990 census. A population of over 281 million makes the United States the third most populous country in the whole world. As you probably know, the People’s Republic of China is the most populous country in the world. Do you know which is the second most populous? If you thought India, you were right. The fourth, fifth, and sixth most populous countries are Indonesia, Brazil, and Pakistan. Now let’s get back to the United States. Let’s look at the total U. S. population figure of 281 million in three different ways. The first way is by race and origin; the second is by geographical distribution, or by where people live; and the third way is by the age and sex of the population.
First of all, let’s take a look at the population by race and origin. The latest U. S. census reports that 75.1 percent of the population is white, whereas 12.3 percent is black. Three percent are of Asian origin, and 1 percent is Native American. 2.4 percent of the population is a mixture of two or more races, and 5.5 percent report themselves as "of some other race." Let’s make sure your figures are right: white, 75.1 percent; black, 12.3 percent; Asian, 3 percent; Native American, 1 percent; a mixture of two or more races, 2.4 percent; and of some other race,
5.5 percent. Hispanics, whose origins lie in Spanish-speaking countries, comprise whites, blacks, and Native Americans, so they are already included in the above figures. It is important to note that Hispanics make up 12.5 percent of the present U. S. population, however. Finally, the census tells us that 31 million people in the United States were born in another country. Of the 31 million foreign born, the largest part, 27.6 percent are from Mexico. The next largest group, from the Philippines, number 4.3 percent.
Another way of looking at the population is by geographical distribution. Do you have any idea which states are the five most populous in the United States? Well, I’ll help you out there. The five most populous states, with population figures, are California, with almost 34 million; New York, with 21 million; Texas, with 19 million,- Florida, with 16 million,- and Illinois with 12.5 million people. Did you get all those figures down? If not, I’ll give you a chance later to check your figures. Well, then, let’s move on. All told, over half, or some 58 percent of the population, lives in the South and in the West of the United States. This figure, 58 percent, is surprising to many people. It is surprising because the East is more densely populated. Nevertheless, there are more people all together in the South and West. To understand this seeming contradiction, one need only consider the relatively larger size of many southern and western states, so although there are more people, they are distributed over a larger area. To finish
up this section on geographical distribution, consider that more than three – quarters of the people live in metropolitan areas like Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Houston. That means that only 20 percent, or 2 out of 10 people, live in rural areas. An interesting side note is that some 3,800,000 U. S. citizens live abroad, that is, in foreign countries.
Before we finish today, I want to discuss the distribution of the U. S. population in terms of age and sex. Just for interest, would you say there are more men or more women in the United States? (pause)
Well, according to the 2000 census, there are more women. In fact, there are more than five million more women than men in the U. S. population. If we consider that more males than females are born each year, how can this difference be explained? Well, for a variety of complicated reasons that we can’t go into here, there is a progressively higher death rate for males as they get older. This is seen in 2003 life expectancy figures: the life expectancy for women is 80.4 years whereas for men it is only 74.5 years. I don’t know how these life expectancy figures compare to those in your countries, but statistically women generally live longer than men worldwide. Now, to finish up, let’s look at the average age of the whole population. Overall, the average age of the population is increasing: from 33.1 years in 1990 to 35.3 years in 2000. The average age has been slowly, but steadily, increasing over the past several decades. This trend toward a higher average age can be explained by a decreasing birth rate and an increasing life expectancy for the population as a whole. I’d like to investigate these two subjects further, but I see our time is up, so we’ll have to call it quits for today. You may want to pursue the topic of the aging U. S. population further, so there are some suggestions at the end of the lesson to help you do so.
[Leave pauses between questions to give time for students to write answers.]
1. Which two countries have a larger population than the United States?
2. What was the population of the United States in the latest census?
3. Which group is bigger, blacks or Hispanics?
4. Which state is more populous, Florida or Texas?
5. In what two regions of the country do most Americans live?
6. What percentage of the population lives in rural areas?
7. How many more women than men are there in the U. S. population?
8. About how many years longer do women live than men in the United States?
9. What was the increase in the average age from 1990 to 2000?
10. What two factors account for the increase in the average age?
Chapter 2 Immigration: Past and Present
1. Throughout history, people have moved, or immigrated, to new countries to live.
2. Natural disasters can take many forms: those that are characterized by a shortage of rain or food are called droughts and famines. respectively.
3. Sometimes people immigrate to a new country to escape political or religious persecution.
4. Rather than immigrants, the early settlers from Great Britain considered themselves colonists; they had left home to settle new land for the mother country.
5. The so-called Great Immigration, which can be divided into three stages, or time periods, began about 1830 and lasted till about 1930.
6. The Industrial Revolution, which began in the nineteenth century, caused widespread unemployment as machines replaced workers.
7. The scarcity of farmland in Europe caused many people to immigrate to the United States, where farmland was more abundant.
8. Land in the United States was plentiful and available when the country was expanding westward. In fact, the U. S. government offered free public land to citizens in 1862.
9. The failure of the Irish potato crop in the middle of the nineteenth century caused widespread starvation.
10. The Great Depression of the 1930s and World War П contributed to the noticeable decrease in immigration after 1930.
11. The first law that limited the number of immigrants coming from a certain part of the world was the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.
12. It is important to note that in 1965 strict quotas based on nationality were eliminated.
13. At the end of the 1940s, immigration began to increase again and has, in general, risen steadily since then.
14. Will the trend continue for non-Europeans to immigrate to the United States?
15. The U. S. immigration laws of today in general require that new immigrants have the skills necessary to succeed in the United States because industry no longer requires large numbers of unskilled workers.
c. the 1840s
d. from 1890 to 1930
e. between 1750 and 1850
j. from approximately
1830 to 1930
The act of immigrating, or coming to a new country to live, is certainly nothing new. Throughout history, people have immigrated, or moved to new countries, for many different reasons. Sometimes these reasons were economic or political. Other people moved because of natural disasters such as droughts or famines. And some people moved to escape religious or political persecution. No matter what the reason, most people do not want to leave their native land and do so only under great pressure of some sort, but a few people seem quite adventuresome and restless by nature and like to move a lot. It seems both kinds of people came to America to live. The subject of immigration is quite fascinating to most Americans, as they view themselves as a nation of immigrants. However, the early Britons who came to what is today the United States considered themselves "settlers" or "colonists," rather than immigrants. These people did not exactly think they were moving to a new country but were merely settling new land for the "mother country." There were also large numbers of Dutch, French, German, and Scotch-Irish settlers, as well as large numbers of blacks brought from Africa as slaves. At the time of independence from Britain in 1776, about 40 percent of people living in what is now the United States were non – British. The majority of people, however, spoke English, and the traditions that formed the basis of life were mainly British traditions. This period we have just been discussing is usually referred to as the Colonial Period. Today, we’re a little more interested in actual immigration after this period. Let’s first look at what is often called the Great Immigration, which began about 1830 and ended in 1930. Then let’s consider the reasons for this so-called Great Immigration and the reasons it ended. Finally, let’s talk about the immigration situation in the United States today.
As I said, we’ll begin our discussion today with the period of history called the Great Immigration, which lasted from approximately 1830 to 1930. It will be easier if we look at the Great Immigration in terms of three major stages, or time periods. The first stage was from approximately 1830 to 1860. Before this time, the number of immigrants coming to the United States was comparatively small, only about 10,000 a year. However, the rate began to climb in the 1830s when about 600,000 immigrants arrived. The rate continued to climb during the 1840s with a total of 1,700,000 people arriving in that decade. The rate continued to climb, and during the 1850s 2,600,000 immigrants arrived. During this first stage of the Great Immigration, that is, between the years 1830 and 1860, the majority of immigrants came from Germany, Great Britain, and Ireland. Now let’s consider the second stage of the Great Immigration. The second stage was from 1860 to 1890, during which time another 10,000,000 people arrived. Between 1860 and 1890 the majority of immigrants continued to be from Germany, Ireland, and Great Britain. However, during the second stage, a smaller, but significant, number of immigrants came from the Scandinavian nations of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. The third stage of the Great Immigration, which lasted from 1890 to 1930, was the era of heaviest immigration. Between the years 1890 and 1930, almost 22 million immigrants arrived in the United States. Most of these new arrivals came from the Southern European countries of Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain and the Eastern European countries of Poland and Russia.
Now that we know something about the numbers and origins of immigrants who came to the States during the Great Immigration, let’s consider the reasons why most of these people immigrated to the United States. Why did such large numbers of Europeans leave their homes for life in an unknown country? It would be impossible to discuss all the complex political and economic reasons in any depth today, but we can touch on a few interesting facts that might help to clarify the situation for you. First of all, one of the most important reasons was that the population of Europe doubled between the years 1750 and 1850. At the same time that the population was growing so rapidly, the Industrial Revolution in Europe was causing widespread unemployment. The combination of increased population and the demand for land by industry also meant that farmland was becoming increasingly scarce in Europe. The scarcity of farmland in Europe meant that the abundance of available land in the growing country of the United States was a great attraction. During these years, the United States was an expanding country, and it seemed that there was no end to land. In fact, in 1862 the government offered public land free to citizens and to immigrants who were planning to become citizens. In addition to available farmland, there were also plentiful jobs during these years of great economic growth. Other attractions were freedom from religious or political persecution. Some other groups also came to the United States as the direct results of natural disasters that left them in desperate situations. For example, the frequent failure of the potato crop in Ireland between the years 1845 and 1849 led to widespread starvation in that country, and people were driven to immigrate. Another factor that affected the number of immigrants coming to the United States was improved ocean transport beginning in the 1840s. At that time, ships large enough to carry large numbers of people began to make regular trips across the ocean. Now let’s summarize the reasons for the high rate of immigration to the United States during the years we discussed: first, the doubling of the population in Europe between 1750 and 1850; second, the unemployment caused by the Industrial Revolution; and third, the land scarcity in Europe, followed by religious and political persecution and natural disaster. These reasons combined with improved transportation probably account for the largest number of immigrants.
I would now like to talk briefly about the period of time following the Great Immigration and the reasons for the decline in the rate of immigration. Although immigration continues today, immigration numbers have never again reached the levels that we discussed previously.
There are several reasons for this decline. This decline was in part due to various laws whose aim was to limit the number of immigrants coming from different parts of the world to the United States. The first such law that limited the number of immigrants coming from a certain part of the world was the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. This law was followed by many other laws that also tried to limit the numbers of people immigrating from various countries or parts of the world. In addition to such laws, certainly economic and geopolitical events as important as the Great Depression starting in 1929 and World War П also contributed to the decline in immigration.
Let’s conclude our talk by discussing the current situation with respect to immigration, which is quite different from that in the past. To understand some of the changes, it’s important to note that in 1965 strict quotas based on nationality were eliminated. Let’s see how different things are today from the past. As I noted, the greatest number of immigrants to the United States have historically been European. According to U. S. Census figures, in 1860, the percentage of immigrants that were European was 92 percent. But by 1960, the percentage of European immigrants had dropped to 74.5 percent, and by the year 2002, it had dropped to 14 percent! In 2002, 52.2 percent of immigrants came from Latin America, that is, from the Caribbean, Central America, and South America. Mexico is ordinarily considered part of North America, but the U. S. Census Bureau considers Mexico as a Central American country in terms of immigration statistics, and estimates that more than one-third of the total of all immigrants to the United States in 2002 came from Mexico or another Central American
country. The next largest percentage, 25.5 percent, of immigrants came from Asia, mainly from the Philippines, China, and India.
Although immigration dropped sharply when the United States entered World War I and remained low throughout the Depression and World War II years, at the end of the 1940s, immigration began to increase again and has, in general, risen steadily since then. It might surprise you to know that the actual number of immigrants coming yearly to the States in recent years is about the same as the numbers coming yearly between 1900 and 1910. Keep in mind, though, that the population of the United States is much larger now than at the turn of the century, so that while the yearly numbers may be similar, the percentage of the population that is foreign-born is considerably smaller today than it was a century ago.
It might be interesting to speculate on immigration in the future. Will the trend continue for non-Europeans to immigrate to the United States? The answer is probably yes for the foreseeable future. Do these non-European people come to the United States for the same reasons that Europeans came? Well, land is no longer plentiful and cheap. Industry no longer requires large numbers of unskilled workers. In fact, the government usually tries to restrict immigration to those people who already have the skills to be successful in U. S. society. Still, people come for political and economic reasons and probably will continue to do so.
1. What did the earliest Britons who came to what is now the United States consider themselves to be?
2. Which five non-English groups came to the United States during the Colonial Period?
3. Of the three stages of the Great Immigration, in which did the heaviest immigration occur?
4. From which two areas did most immigrants arrive between the years 1890 and 1930?
5. What three conditions in Europe caused a lot of immigration to the United States during the Great Immigration?
6. What conditions in the United States attracted early immigrants?
7. Give an example of a natural disaster that caused immigration to the United States.
8. What three reasons are given for a decline in immigration after the period of the Great Immigration?
9. How is the origin of people who immigrate to the United States today different from those who immigrated during the Great Immigration?
10. Today, why does the U. S. government try to restrict immigration to people who already have the skills to he successful?
Chapter 3 Americans at Work
1. As we look at the changes over the last century, we’ll use a lot of statistics to describe these changes.
2. While the number of people in these goods producing industries went down, the number of people in the service industries went up.
3. Over the years, child labor laws became much stricter and by 1999, it was illegal for anyone under sixteen to work full-time in any of the fifty States.
4. In 1900 the average per capita income was $4,200.
5. One of the important benefits most workers received later in the century was health insurance.
6. Whereas wages and salaries rose over the century, the average workweek dropped.
7. People often tend to romanticize the past and talk about "the good old days."
8. According to a 2003 study released by the United Nations International Labor Organization, U. S. workers are the most productive in the world.
9. Longer working hours in the United States is a rising trend, while the trend in other industrialized countries is the opposite.
10. Workers in some European countries actually outproduce American workers per hour of work.
11. This higher rate of productivity might be because European workers are less stressed than U. S. workers.
12. Between 1949 and 1974, increases in productivity were matched by increases in wages.
13. After 1974, productivity increased in manufacturing and services, but real wages stagnated.
14. The money goes for salaries to CEOs, to the stock market, and to corporate profits.
15. Some people say that labor unions have lost power since the beginning of the 1980s, and that the government has passed laws that favor the rich and weaken the rights of the workers.
Whether you love it or hate it, work is a major part of most people’s lives everywhere in the world. Americans are no exception. Americans might complain about "blue Monday," when they have to go back to work after the weekend, but most people put a lot of importance on their job, not only in terms of money but also in terms of identity. In fact, when Americans are introduced to a new person, they almost always ask each other, "What do you do?" They are asking, what is your job or profession. Today, however, we won’t look at work in terms of what work means socially or psychologically. Rather, we’re going to take a look at work in the United States today from two perspectives. First, we’ll take a historical look at work in America. We’ll do that by looking at how things changed for the American worker from the beginning to the end of the twentieth century, that is, from the year 1900 to the year 1999. Then we’ll look at how U. S. workers are doing today.
As we look at the changes over the last century, we’re going to use a lot of statistics to describe these changes. You will need to write down a lot of numbers in today’s lecture. First, let’s consider how the type of work people were involved in changed. At the beginning of the twentieth century, about 38 percent of the workforce was involved in agriculture; that is, they worked on a farm. By the end of the century, only 3 percent still worked on farms. There was also a large decrease in the number of people working in mining, manufacturing, and construction. The number of workers in mining, manufacturing, and construction went down from 31 percent to 19 percent.
While the number of people in these goods producing industries went down, the number of people in the service industries went up. As you may know, a service industry is one that provides a service, rather than goods or products. A few examples include transportation, tourism, banking, advertising, health care, and legal services. I’m sure you can think of more. The service industry workforce jumped from 31 percent of the workforce at the turn of the century to 78 percent in 1999.
Let’s recap the numbers: in 1900, 38 percent in agriculture; 31 percent in mining, manufacturing, and construction; and 31 percent in the service industries. That should add up to 100 percent. In 1999, 3 percent in agriculture,- 19 percent in mining, manufacturing, and construction; and 78 percent in the service industries. Again, that should add up to 100 percent.
The labor force changed in other important ways. For example, child labor was not unusual at the beginning of the twentieth century. In 1900 there were 1,750,000 children aged ten to fifteen working fulltime in the labor force. This was 6 percent of the labor force. Over the years, child labor laws became much stricter and by 1999, it was illegal for anyone under sixteen to work full-time in any of the fifty states. While the number of children in the workforce went down, the number of women went up dramatically. In 1900, only 19 percent of women were employed; in 1999, 60 percent of women were holding down jobs.
Let’s see what has happened to wages and salaries. All the numbers I will give you are in terms of 1999 dollars. Let me explain. In 1900 the average per capita income was $4,200 a year. That does not mean that the average worker in 1900 earned $4,200, but that what he or she earned was equal to $4,200 in 1999. That is, the amount of money the average worker earned in 1900 was worth the same as $4,200 in 1999. The average per capita income in 1999 was $33,700. Not only did people earn a lot more money at the end of the century, they also received a lot more in benefits than at the beginning of the century. One of the important benefits most workers received later in the century was health insurance. Whereas wages and salaries rose over the century, the average workweek dropped. That is, workers, in general, did not work as long hours in 1999 as they did in 1900.
The last area that I’d like to give you a few statistics about is workplace safety. Most of us who go to work every day don’t think a lot about whether we are safe or not, but in 1900 it was a real concern for a lot of workers. There aren’t many statistics available, but the U. S. government does have statistics on two industries that will give you some idea of the differences today. In 1900 almost 1,500 workers were killed in coal-mining accidents; in 1999, the number was 35. 2,555 railroad workers were killed in 1900, compared to 56 in 1999.
People often tend to romanticize the past and talk about "the good old days," but I think it’s fair to say that by the end of the twentieth century, U. S. workers in general made more money, they enjoyed more benefits, and their working conditions had improved greatly.
Now let’s turn our attention to the current situation for U. S. workers. The picture is not so rosy as the one drawn by comparing U. S. workers at the beginning and the end of the twentieth century. I’m going to
focus on the current situation in terms of productivity, working hours, and wages and salaries.
First let’s consider the number of hours worked. According to a 2003 study released by the United Nations International Labor Organization, U. S. workers are the most productive in the world among industrialized nations, but they work longer hours than European workers to achieve this productivity. Europeans typically have four to six weeks of vacation a year, whereas the average American worker has only about two weeks. This study points out that the longer working hours in the United States is a rising trend, while the trend in other industrialized countries is the opposite.
Workers in some European countries actually outproduce American workers per hour of work. It has been suggested that this higher rate of productivity might be because European workers are less stressed than U. S. workers.
At any rate, there seems to be general agreement that U. S. productivity has greatly increased over the last thirty years. However, workers have not seen their wages rise at the same rate. A group of sociologists in their book Inequality by Design point out that there is a growing gap between rich Americans and everyone else in the United States. They write that between 1949 and 1974, increases in productivity were matched by increases in wages for workers in both manufacturing and the service industries, but since 1974 productivity increased 68 percent in manufacturing and 50 percent in services, but real wages stagnated. That is, wages moved up little or not at all. Where does all the money generated by the increased productivity go then? According to the authors of this book, the money goes for salaries to CEOs, to the stock market, and to corporate profits. Workers play a great role in increasing productivity, but no longer see their wages connected to increased productivity. In other words, CEOs’ salaries, the stock market, and corporate profits go up as work productivity goes up, but workers’ wages do not.
What are the reasons why U. S. workers, who are the most productive in the world, have to work longer hours, have fewer vacations days, and see their wages stagnate and not rising at the same rate as productivity? The answer to this question is complex and controversial, but there are two reasons most people who speak or write about these issues mention: The first is that labor unions in the United States have lost great power since the beginning of the 1980s, and the second is that the government has passed laws that favor the rich and weaken the rights of the workers.
I see our time is up. See you next time.
1. What percentage of the workforce was engaged in agriculture in 1900?
2. What percentage of the workforce was still engaged in agriculture in 1999?
3. At the end of the twentieth century, which industries had the largest percentage of the workforce?
4. Compare the number of women in the workforce in 1900 and in 1999.
5. Compare the average per capita income in 1900 and in 1999.
6. What is one benefit that most U. S. workers received by the end of the twentieth century?
7. Which workers, U. S. or European workers, work longer hours?
8. What might be one reason that some European workers out produce U. S. workers per hour?
9. According to the authors of Inequality by Design, are wages in manufacturing and service industries increasing at the same rate as productivity?
10. Again, according to the authors of Inequality by Design, where does the money generated by increased productivity go?