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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

the extreme demand has led to more systematic methods of obtaining it; and whereas the total annual collection of pelts gathered by the Hudson Bay Company had not exceeded a few dozens, PSM V40 D382 Musk ox.jpg the figures have suddenly risen till the annual collection now is counted by thousands.

With the last remnants of the mercilessly slaughtered bison still in our markets, and the air filled with the protestations of theorists as to what might have been done to preserve those noble herds that thronged our prairies, we have history repeating itself under our very eyes in the case of the musk ox, and it is not venturing too rash a prophecy to state that the present ratio of increasing the catch will exhaust the supply within a decade.

 

OUR POPULATION AND ITS DISTRIBUTION.

LESSONS FROM THE CENSUS. III.

By CARROLL D. WRIGHT, A.M.,

UNITED STATES COMMISSIONER OF LABOR.

THE population of the United States June 1, 1890, as ascertained at the eleventh census, exclusive of white persons in the Indian Territory, Indians on reservations, and Alaska, was 63,622,250. This figure, considering the imperfections of the system under which it was ascertained, is quite satisfactory. It bears out the reasonable estimates made prior to the enumeration; it does not bear out unreasonable estimates. Barring inadequate counts in a few localities, which will occur under any system, I believe the statement of the population of the eleventh census to be fairly accurate for the whole country; it is certainly within a very small percentage of accuracy—a percentage which would largely disappear, but not wholly, under a census taken in accordance with the system outlined in the preceding articles of this series. Whether accurate or inaccurate, it is not worth while to quarrel with it; it must be accepted, and the political business of the country and all considerations carried on in accordance with it.

At the first census, taken in 1790, the population of the United States was 3,929,214. The following brief table shows the population at all the censuses, the positive increase during the intervening decades, and the percentage of increase: