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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 72.djvu/458

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454
POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

political obligations must find some way to afford a more equal distribution of educational opportunities."

The urgent needs of better educational facilities in the south are at once apparent from the following statement:

The illiteracy of the native white population (meaning those who can neither read nor write) ranges from 8.6 per cent. in Florida, 8 per cent. in Mississippi and 6.1 per cent. in Texas to 17.3 per cent. in Louisiana and 19.5 in North Carolina; as contrasted with 0.8 per cent. in Nebraska, 1.3 per cent. in Kansas, 2.1 per cent. in Illinois, 1.2 per cent. in New York and 0.8 per cent. in Massachusetts. In all the states taken outside the southern states and forming a group, the average rate of illiteracy among the native white population is only 2.8 per cent. as against 12.2 per cent. of native white illiterates in the south.

According to the figures of Dr. Charles W. Dabney,[1] there are 3,500,000 people in the south ten years of age and over, who can not read and write, of these about 50 per cent. of the colored population and 12.5 per cent. of the white.

In 1900, the states south of the Potomac and east of the Mississippi contained in round numbers 16,400,000 people, of whom there were 10,400,000 white and 6,000,000 black.

In these states there are 3,981,000 white children from five to twenty years old and 2,420,000 black children of the same age, making a total of 6,401,000 children to be educated.

These are distributed among the states as follows (see the above-mentioned report):

White. Colored. Total.
Virginia 436,000 269,000 705,000
West Virginia 342,000 12,000 354,000
North Carolina 491,000 263,000 754,000
South Carolina 218,000 342,000 560,000
Georgia 458,000 428,000 886,000
Florida 110,000 87,000 197,000
Alabama 390,000 340,000 730,000
Mississippi 253,000 380,000 633,000
Tennessee 590,000 191,000 781,000
Kentucky 693,000 105,000 798,000
Total 3,981,000 2,420,000 6,398,000
Arkansas 381,000 149,000 530,000
Louisiana 277,000 262,000 539,000
Texas 956,000 260,000 1,216,000

Only 60 per cent. of these children were enrolled in the schools in 1900 and the average daily attendance was only 70 per cent. of those enrolled; so that only 42 per cent. of the southern children are

  1. See Report of the Proceedings of the Sixth Conference for Education in the South.