Page:1899 The Growth of Cities in the Nineteenth Century.djvu/36

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etc., cause the spread of the ideas originating in the cities and lift the people of the rural districts out of their state of mental stagnation. Industry is also carried on outside of the cities,[1] so that the mediæval distinction between town and country has lost its meaning in the advanced countries. In Hungary, which is a relatively backward country, there were in 1890 thirteen legal "cities" having less than 3,000 inhabitants each, while 38 other places that had more than 10,000 inhabitants each had not attained the dignity of "cities." The old distinction between town and country is still preserved in the Prussian statistics, and in the census of 1895, 192 places of from 5,000 to 50,000 or more inhabitants with an aggregate population of 1,800,000 were included in the legal rural population.[2]

In the light of such facts, the absurdity of holding to the mediæval classification of dwelling-centres long since became patent to statisticians, and they have been seeking some other method. That there is a difference in the conditions of life of a city-dweller and a farmer is very evident, but on what basis are we going to separate the two? Hitherto each governmental statistical bureau has framed its own definition. The Russian government in one of its official documents, [3] affirms that "in Russia the urban population forms 12.8 per cent of the total, as compared with 29 per cent, in the United States." But the fact is not there noted that, in the Russian estimate, towns of 2,000+ are rated as urban, while in the United States only places of at least 8,000 are called urban. On the 2,000 basis the comparison would be 37.7 and 12.8 per cent, on the 8,000 basis 29.2 and about 9 per cent.

  1. See especially the English censuses, and Lommatzsch, Die Bewegung des Bevölkerungsstandes im Königreich Sachsen, 14 ff., and Losch, Die Entwicklung der Bevölkerung Würtembergs von 1871-1890, in Württ. Fahrbuch für Stat. und Landeskunde, 1894.
  2. See infra, ch. ii, sec. 4.
  3. The Industries of Russia (published for the Chicago Exposition), iii, 42.