Page:1899 The Growth of Cities in the Nineteenth Century.djvu/43

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15
INTRODUCTION

classification is always more or less of an empty one, but in determining the position of a town it may be well to note that the authority of one of the most eminent statisticians of this century is practically on the American side. Gustav Rümelin in discussing the Landstadt, which, like the American town, occupies a middle position between the country and the great city, says that as a rule it has more of the characteristics of the Dorf (hamlet or village) than of the Grossstadt (large city).[1]

And on consideration one must incline to the view that the peculiar marks of a city as described in a foregoing paragraph do not pertain to the village or town. The American legal practice of making broad the distinction between village and city, rather than that between village and rural district, is the sound one. In England, too, the limit 10,000 is important; boroughs containing not less than 10,000 inhabitants may themselves regulate matters of local concern which in other cases are attended to by the county council. [2] While, then, a population of 10,000, will in the comparative tables be accepted as the minimum limit of an urban agglomeration, in studying the several countries it will be convenient to follow the official definition. Germany, in particular, does not recognize the line of 10,000, but divides the dwelling-centres into these four groups:[3]

Landstädte .......... 2,000-5,000inhabitants
Kleinstädte .......... 5,000-20,000"
Mittelstädte .......... 20,000-100,000"
Grossstädte .......... more than 100,000"

  1. Stadt und Land, in Reden und Aufsätze, i, 352: "Die kleine Landstadt liegt in der Kegel von der Grossstadt noch viel weiter als vom Dorf .... Die kleinen Städte sind die Vermittlungskanale für den Wechselverkehr von Stadt und Land," etc. As will appear later on, the age distribution in the town differs considerably from that of the city; this fact, almost entirely a result of emigration or immigration, is of vast importance in determining the social character of a community.
  2. Goodnow, Comparative Administrative Law, i, 244.
  3. For the basis of these distinctions, see Statistik des Deutschen Reichs, Neue Folge, Bd. 32, p. 29.