The Vital Numbers: Births and Deaths

  • A. J. Jaffe


The general rule applicable to all living creatures is simple. If more births than deaths occur, a population is increasing in numbers. If there are more deaths, the population decreases. Of course, for any particular area such as a city or state or province, the increase or decrease in the number of people may result from in- or outmigration. But here we are considering only the result of births and deaths upon population size. Hence, we shall examine the course of births and deaths among the Amerindians of Canada and the United States with particular emphasis on the twentieth century. (For detailed information about the basic information available and how we analyzed it, see Appendix 8.)


Twentieth Century Appendix Table Total Fertility Rate Vital Rate Indian Woman 
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  1. 1.
    The CEB in 1910 for all women in the nation aged 35 to 44 is recorded as 3.55 (PC80–1-C1, Table 84). However, the table carries the footnote: “Data shown for 1940 and 1910 include estimates of children for women with no report on children ever born.” We suggest that the true rate in 1910 was between 3.8 and 4.0. Detailed information on how the number of children not reported was estimated by Census personnel is needed to ascertain a more nearly correct figure.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Family income is so highly related to extent of schooling that little is served by showing income separately.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    See Romaniuc n.d., pp. 18–21, “Canada’s Indians: Transition from Traditional High to Modern Low.”Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    See also Indian Land Tenure, 1935, pp. 66–67.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    See Appendix 8.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Indian Health Service, photocopies.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    There is no or very little actual in or outmigration of American Indians between the United States and the rest of the world. However, change in reported ethnicity amounts to migration. One who reports to the Census as Indian in one census and as non-Indian in the following enumeration is equivalent to an emigrant. A shift from non-Indian to Indian is the equivalent of immigration.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. J. Jaffe
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Columbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.National Museum of the American IndianNew YorkUSA

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