Monday, October 02, 2006

1900 Census: Diversity, housing, and nativity

This sort of relates to the other post but not really.
I'm no where near done with 1900 but here is something I am noticing and there might be an explanation for it that I haven't researched. There are a good number of renters with boarders. For example I might have the Smiths, and along with Mr. & Mrs. Smith and their 2 kids they have Miss. Brown and Miss. Jones with them. However, the Smiths rent. I just can't get it out of my head that a renter would have a renter. Of course, I am assuming the boarder is paying the head and not the landlord. Home ownership is the exception, not the norm, for blacks and whites.
It is rare to find a one or two person household in one house. People have their minor and adult children living with them. There are sometimes two or more households in one house (and I wonder what the housing situation was like when I think of houses I've been in). There are plenty of boarders living with families or widows. There are cousins, in-laws, grandchildren, and adult siblings in the house as well.
The other thing is the continued racial diversity of the 1900 neighborhood. In 1880 the neighborhood was something like 57% white and 43% black. I'm still seeing a diverse group but I haven't done the whole thing so I don't know what the numbers are going to look like until I'm done.
Lastly, DC natives. A lot of people are from somewhere else. There are DC natives as heads of households and as spouses, but I'm more likely to see people from Virginia and Maryland. This goes for both blacks and whites. I wonder if I will see the trend continue, where DC natives just don't settle in the TC in large numbers. Off the top of my head, in the 1930 census where the neighborhood looks (not complete so I don't know) majority black, I remember seeing a lot of people from North Carolina and South Carolina settling in. So am I seeing people choosing not to stay in their place of birth and moving to where the jobs take them?


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